"Surfactants are large class of substances with wide range of applications in flotation, detergency, food, cosmetic, pharma, and many other industries. Most of the surfactants used today are synthetic, their production being based on petrochemicals. There is another group of natural surfactants, such as proteins and polysaccharides, which are biodegradable and sustainable. Saponins are class of natural surfactants that have demonstrated in clinical studies a number of positive health effects: antiobesity, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiviral. Saponins are already used in several industries and commercial products, but their properties as foam and emulsion stabilizers are not studied systematically. If saponin properties are understood better, this would open the door for their wide application, especially in foods, beverages, and cosmetics, where their unique properties provide strongest benefits. This will have a positive impact on society and nature, because of their positive health effects and sustainable sourcing. The project has two interrelated research parts: (1) Study of the surface properties of the saponin solutions (surface rhelogy, kinetics of adsorption etc.); (2) Study of the bulk properties of foams and emulsions, stabilized with these solutions (bulk rheology, stability etc.). The major aim is to analyze the complex relation between the surface properties of the saponin solutions with the bulk properties of their foams and emulsions. Based on this knowledge, recommendations will be formulated on how to prepare dispersions with desired properties (high stability, optimal rheology, etc.). The project is collaboration between Wageningen University and Unilever R&D, Vlaardingen, both located in The Netherlands. The research group 'Physical Chemistry and Colloid Science' (Wageningen) has a world reputation in its field. Unilever is an innovative multinational company with consumers, employees, business partners on every continent."
Call for proposal
See other projects for this call