Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Healthier foods through emulsion science

Emulsion-based food products show tremendous promise because of their health and economic benefits. An EU initiative developed instant emulsions for the food sector that provide healthier products while minimising various costs.
Healthier foods through emulsion science
When designing instant foods, instant emulsions need less time and energy to be created compared to standard emulsification methods thanks to ingredients known as cellulose derivatives. These biopolymers are often included in food to enhance nutritional properties. They also display highly functional properties that are key to the manufacturing process.

With this in mind, the EU-funded CELGESTANT (Instant emulsions stabilised by cellulose derivatives with specific digestion profiles) project sought to develop instant emulsions that are stabilised by cellulose derivatives and control their digestion profiles through analyses. This helps reduce and improve the absorption of fat.

Work began with the characterisation of cellulose derivatives using commercially available cellulose ethers and olive oil. To this end, a study was carried out to examine adsorption dynamics and structure created by the ethers at the oil-water interface. Findings showed that the ethers are able to absorb at the oil-water interface of emulsions.

Project partners applied a new approach to the creation of instant emulsion that resulted in full emulsification in under three minutes overall. They studied the interaction between bile salts and cellulose ethers. Results showed that cellulose ethers compete with bile salts for the oil-water interface and also resist displacement by the salts from the oil-water interface. Further examination suggested that this interaction is likely driven by the hydrophobicity of the ether and salt. It also affects the role of bile salts in the digestion of emulsions. The use of several techniques led to the achievement of a controlled digestibility of instant emulsions.

Research outcomes were published in a leading journal on scientific and technological aspects of industrially relevant polysaccharides.

CELGESTANT contributed to the design of instant food emulsions that reduce ingredient, process and supply costs while providing healthier, inexpensive and ready-to-eat choices.

Related information


Emulsion-based food, instant emulsions, instant foods, cellulose derivatives, digestion
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