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Optimization of nano-emulsions production by microfluidization

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to produce an oil-in-water nano-emulsion with different compositions of the continuous and dispersed phases through microfluidization. The aqueous phase was a solution of maltodextrin with five different emulsifying ingredients including modified starch (Capsul and Hi-Cap), sodium caseinate (SC), whey protein hydrolysate (WPH), or whey protein concentrate (WPC), while the oil phase consisted of d-limonene or fish oil. Results showed that micofluidizer was capable of producing nano-emulsions (D32 as small as 150 nm) with a narrow size distribution. Generally, moderate microfluidization pressures (42–63 MPa) and cycles (1–2) were the optimum conditions beyond which, there were adverse changes in the emulsion size. For the two oils tested as the dispersed phase, fish oil emulsions had lower Sauter mean diameters (D32) but with wider size distributions than d-limonene. When different emulsifying ingredients were compared, Hi-Cap produced nano-emulsions with the narrowest distribution but highest D32 (about 600 nm). Nano-emulsions with WPC had the smallest D32 (about 200 nm) but the widest size distribution. It was found that a d-limonene volume fraction of 0.10 was the optimum dispersed-phase concentration in terms of emulsion droplet size (D32). Also, adding a surfactant (Tween 20) helped to reduce the emulsion size significantly during microfluidization, but it lead to extensive flocculation of emulsion droplets because of surfactant–biopolymer interactions and emulsifier displacement.

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Notes

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    In rest of the discussion, instead of using different terms such as droplet diameter, droplet size, emulsion size, etc. which may become confusing, emulsion droplet size or simply EDS will be used.

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Correspondence to Bhesh Bhandari.

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Jafari, S.M., He, Y. & Bhandari, B. Optimization of nano-emulsions production by microfluidization. Eur Food Res Technol 225, 733–741 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00217-006-0476-9

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Keywords

  • Nano-emulsion
  • d-Limonene
  • Fish oil
  • Emulsification
  • Emulsifier
  • Droplet size distribution