Improvement of Stability of Oil-in-Water Emulsions Containing Caseinate-Coated Droplets by Addition of Sodium Alginate



ABSTRACT:  The potential of sodium alginate for improving the stability of emulsions containing caseinate-coated droplets was investigated. One wt% corn oil-in-water emulsions containing anionic caseinate-coated droplets (0.15 wt% sodium caseinate) and anionic sodium alginate (0 to 1 wt%) were prepared at pH 7. The pH of these emulsions was then adjusted to 3.5, so that the anionic alginate molecules adsorbed to the cationic caseinate-coated droplets. Extensive droplet aggregation occurred when there was insufficient alginate to completely saturate the droplet surfaces due to bridging flocculation, and when the nonadsorbed alginate concentration was high enough to induce depletion flocculation. Emulsions with relatively small particle sizes could be formed over a range of alginate concentrations (0.1 to 0.4 wt%). The influence of pHs (3 to 7) and sodium chloride (0 to 500 mM) on the properties of primary (0 wt% alginate) and secondary (0.15 wt% alginate) emulsions was studied. Alginate adsorbed to the droplet surfaces at pHs 3, 4, and 5, but not at pHs 6 and 7, due to electrostatic attraction between anionic groups on the alginate and cationic groups on the adsorbed caseinate. Secondary emulsions had better stability than primary emulsions at pH values near caseinate's isoelectric point (pHs 4 and 5). In addition, secondary emulsions were stable up to higher ionic strengths (< 300 mM) than primary emulsions (<50 mM). The controlled electrostatic deposition method utilized in this study could be used to extend the range of application of dairy protein emulsifiers in the food industry.