, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 191-197

Stability of Biopolymer Particles Formed by Heat Treatment of β-lactoglobulin/Beet Pectin Electrostatic Complexes

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The purpose of this study was to examine the stability of biopolymer particles formed by heating electrostatic complexes of β-lactoglobulin and sugar beet pectin together (pH 5, 80 °C for 15 min). The effects of electrostatic interactions on the formation and stability of the particles were investigated by incorporation of different salt levels (0 to 200 mM NaCl) during the preparation procedure. Biopolymer particles were characterized by turbidity, electrophoretic mobility, dynamic light scattering, and visual observance. Salt inclusion (≥25 mM) prior to heating β-lactoglobulin/pectin complexes led to the formation of large biopolymer particles (d > 1,000 nm) that rapidly sedimented, but salt inclusion after heating (0 to 200 mM) led to the formation of biopolymer particles that remained relatively small (d < 350 nm) and were stable to sedimentation. The biopolymer particles formed in the absence of salt remained stable over a wide range of pH values (e.g., pH 3 to 7 in the presence of 200 mM NaCl). These biopolymer particles may therefore be suitable for application in a number of food products as delivery systems, clouding agents, or texture modifiers.