Organogel Formation of Soybean Oil with Waxes
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Many waxes including plant waxes and animal waxes were evaluated for the gelation ability toward soybean oil (SBO) and compared with hydrogenated vegetable oils, petroleum waxes and commercial non-edible gelling agents to understand factors affecting the gelation ability of a gelator. Sunflower wax (SW) showed the most promising results and all SW samples from three different suppliers could make a gel with concentrations as low as 0.5 wt%. Candelilla wax and rice bran wax also showed good gelation properties, which, however, varied with different suppliers. Gelation ability of a wax is significantly dependant on its purity and detailed composition. A wax ester with longer alkyl chains has significantly better gelation ability toward SBO than that with shorter alkyl chains indicating that the chain length of a component in a wax such as wax ester is an important factor for gelation ability. The SW–SBO organogel showed increased melting point with increased SW content, showing the melting point range from about 47 to 65 °C with 0.5–10 wt% SW. The effects of cooling rate on crystal size and firmness of a gel were investigated. The dependence of firmness on cooling rate was so significant that the desired texture of an organogel could be achieved by controlling the cooling rate in addition to controlling the amount of gelling agent. This research reveals that a small amount of food grade plant waxes including SW may replace a large amount of the hardstock containing trans-fat or saturated fat.
KeywordsOrganogel Wax Wax ester Sunflower wax Soybean oil Trans-fat Saturated fat
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