Imaging of Oil/Monoglyceride Networks by Polarizing Near-Field Scanning Optical Microscopy
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Polarizing near-field scanning optical microscopy (NSOM) was applied for visualization of lipid coagel structures. The technique ensures obtaining polarization contrast images at micro- and nanoscale resolution. Comparison to the polarizing light microscopy images revealed that the same fractal structural organization persists also at submicron scale, at the level of primary ordered structures creation. Many long birefringent needle-shaped primary crystallites were imaged in the corn oil:monoglyceride samples, and lower amount of smaller oval-shaped primary crystallites—in the olive oil:monoglyceride samples. Unlike atomic force microscopy, polarizing NSOM brought direct evidence on the physical state of specific features. Compared to the polarizing light microscopy, polarizing NSOM provided additional information on the structural organization of oil–monoglyceride coagels at the micro- and submicron scale.
KeywordsPolarizing NSOM Lipid Coagel Oil Monoglyceride Microscopy
This work was supported by the Israel Science Foundation (ISF) and the N. Willbush research fund. The authors would like to thank Dr. Nelson K. O. Ojijo (currently at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture & Technology, Nairobi, Kenya) for his assistance in sample preparation.
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