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Phospholipid-based microemulsions suitable for use in foods

Patel, N. ORCID:, Schmid, U. and Lawrence, M. J. (2006) Phospholipid-based microemulsions suitable for use in foods. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 54 (20). pp. 7817-7824. ISSN 0021-8561

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1021/jf051288k


The preparation of nonaqueous microemulsions using food-acceptable components is reported. The effect of oil on the formation of microemulsions stabilized by lecithin (Epikuron 200) and containing propylene glycol as immiscible solvent was investigated. When the triglycerides were used as oil, three types of phase behavior were noted, namely, a two-phase cloudy region (occurring at low lecithin concentrations), a liquid crystalline (LC) phase (occurring at high surfactant and low oil concentrations), and a clear monophasic microemulsion region. The extent of this clear one-phase region was found to be dependent upon the molecular volume of the oil being solubilized. Large molecular volume oils, such as soybean and sunflower oils, produced a small microemulsion region, whereas the smallest molecular volume triglyceride, tributyrin, produced a large, clear monophasic region. Use of the ethyl ester, ethyl oleate, as oil produced a clear, monophasic region of a size comparable to that seen with tributyrin. Substitution of some of the propylene glycol with water greatly reduced the extent of the clear one-phase region and increased the extent of the liquid crystalline region. In contrast, ethanol enhanced the clear, monophasic region by decreasing the LC phase. Replacement of some of the lecithin with the micelle-forming nonionic surfactant Tween 80 to produce mixed lecithin/Tween 80 mixtures of weight ratios (Km) 1:2 and 1:3 did not significantly alter the phase behavior, although there was a marginal increase in the area of the two-phase, cloudy region of the phase diagram. The use of the lower phosphatidylcholine content lecithin, Epikuron 170, in place of Epikuron 200 resulted in a reduction in the LC region for all of the systems investigated. In conclusion, these studies show that it is possible to prepare one-phase, clear lecithin-based microemulsions over a wide range of compositions using components that are food-acceptable.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:No Reading authors. Back catalogue items
ID Code:37504
Uncontrolled Keywords:Phospholipids; food-acceptable microemulsions; triglycerides; ethyl esters
Publisher:American Chemical Society

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