How is the phase structure of the food emulsifier formed?

The emulsifier is a homogeneous polycrystalline material in which emulsifier molecules are aligned with each other in polar groups, and the oleophilic groups are parallel to each other and closely arranged (see Figure 5a). When the emulsifier is mixed with water and heated to the Kraffi temperature (_rc), the lipophilic gene (alkane chain) changes from a solid state to a chaotic liquid state due to the action of heat energy.

At the same time, water penetrates into the hydrophilic group (polar group) of the emulsifier to form a liquid crystalline mesophase, a mesogenic structure, also called a layered mesophase. Depending on the temperature, concentration and chemical configuration of the emulsifier, mesogenic structures of other mesophases can also be formed. If the temperature is further raised, the mesomorphic structure of the layered mesophase is broken to form a hexagonal columnar and cubic mesomorphic structure. When the emulsifier forming a uniform layered mesogenic structure is cooled to room temperature, the lipophilic groups will recrystallize and be arranged into a regular lattice, and the same volume of water will still be between the polar groups, forming A gel composed of a bimolecular lipid compound layer and an aqueous layer alternately.

The outer layer of the emulsifier bilayer is a hydrophilic group that binds directly to water. The bilayers are stacked on each other to form a bimolecular layered structure. When the emulsifier is in a liquid state (above the Kraft characteristic temperature TK), the hydrocarbon chain is in a state of free movement, so that the molecules behave like liquids. The formation of various mesogenic phase structures in emulsifiers is directly related to the degree of saturation of fatty acids.

(1) An emulsifier containing a saturated fatty acid, such as a saturated monoglyceride, preferably forms a layered mesophase. From the application point of view, the bilayered mesophase is very important because the emulsifier in the layered mesophase can form a good dispersion or a highly active gel under certain conditions.

(2) An emulsifier containing an unsaturated fatty acid, such as an unsaturated monoglyceride, preferably forms a cubic mesophase.

(3) In the case of low HLB emulsifiers and mixed emulsifiers, hexagonal columns are formed. II. Mesomorphic phase, and hexagonal column. The mesomorphic phase is formed only at high HLB emulsifiers (strong polar groups). Hexagonal column. The I-like mesophase can form micelles. Understanding the mesogenic and mesogenic structures of various emulsifiers is important for the proper use of food emulsifiers. For example, when a monoglyceride is used in food processing, only the layered dispersed phase and the crystalline form of the gel structure can truly function as an emulsifier.

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