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Monitoring the Polymorphic Transformation of a Palm Kernel-Based Emulsion Using Ultrasound


Ultrasonic spectrometry was used to monitor the changes in polymorphism of palm kernel fat present in two tempered non-dairy emulsions with different globule sizes. Laser diffraction and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) were performed to characterize the emulsions. X-ray diffraction (XRD) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) were used to determine the polymorphic state and solid fat content (SFC) of fully hydrogenated palm kernel oil during tempering of the emulsions. The ultrasonic instrument generated a “chirp” signal, which is characterized by its bandwidth. The ultrasonic measurements were carried out using two different pairs of transducers with different center frequencies, 2.25 and 0.5 MHz, and bandwidths. 3D plots were generated disputing time, frequency, and signal strength. The whole tempering process, from start to finish, was better characterized with the 2.25-MHz center frequency transducers. The ultrasonic velocity through the emulsions was always higher for the more stable β′ polymorph than for the α polymorph (p < 0.05) regardless of the pair of transducers used. The 2.25-MHz transducer revealed no significant difference (p > 0.05) on the ultrasound velocities obtained for the two globule sizes. Monitoring of polymorphic changes in emulsions using ultrasonic spectrometry could be used for an online measurement system for industrial manufacturing.

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The authors would like to thank Ian Neeson from VN Instruments for his help with the ultrasound sound data analysis.

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Correspondence to Alejandro G. Marangoni.

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Reiner, J., Peyronel, F., Weiss, J. et al. Monitoring the Polymorphic Transformation of a Palm Kernel-Based Emulsion Using Ultrasound. Food Bioprocess Technol 11, 797–808 (2018).

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  • Emulsions
  • PKO
  • Ultrasonics
  • Spectrometry
  • Polymorphism
  • In-line