Food Emulsion Microstructure and Shape Effects

How do the connections between emulsion drops improve whipped cream?

The stability of many foods is based on, or affected by, emulsions arrested by colloids. Prediction, and thus optimization, of these products’ stability is often impossible because practitioners lack the fundamental understanding needed to design microstructural and rheological properties. Two main benefits result from the development of such predictive capability: the development of new materials and the avoidance of process and product instabilities.  An example of directed design of arrest is the formulation of very low-fat foods, with the texture and enjoyment of much higher-fat formulations, improving overall consumer health without lost enjoyment.

The unique approach of this work is to perform direct study of arrest and the resultant variations in microstructure for multiple droplet networks. Because a multitude of commercial materials contain both emulsions and colloids, and their structural and flow behaviour is not understood or predictable, our proposed work will at last enable modelling and optimizing their behaviour, avoid catastrophic failure due to instabilities, and permit the development of innovative new microstructured fluid materials not currently imagined.

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