Edible oil Structuring: Principles and Applications

Maya Davidovich-Pinhas, Biotechnology and Food Engineering, Technion, Haifa, Israel

Oil structuring, or oleogelation, is the process of giving solid properties to liquid oil using physical interactions without chemical interference. Oleogel systems offer a unique chemical composition arising from the solvent nature, i.e. oil, with a controllable properties arising from the gelator molecule used for their production. Each gelator type produces a unique physical gel with specific set of properties. The current research focused on the structure-property-function relation of various oleogel systems aiming to develop controllable gel system. Sol-gel and gel-sol transitions were determined using thermal analysis and temperature dependent rheology experiment. Additional mechanical analysis was performed to determine the gel textural and thixotropy behavior using rheometer and texture analyzer. The gel’s nano and micro-structural attributes was evaluated using x-ray diffraction and light microscopy. Combination of two or more types of gelator molecules broaden the properties range even further. Such flexibility enables adjustment of a wide range of attributes, which makes oleogels potentially suitable for a variety of applications, going from pharmaceutical therapeutic treatments, through dietary supplements, all the way to bioactive delivery in cosmetics as well as fat replacers in foods.

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