Pickering o/w emulsions prepared with 40 wt % rapeseed oil were stabilized with the use of low charged enzymatically treated cellulose nanofibrils (CNFs) and highly charged 2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidine-1-oxyl (TEMPO)-oxidized CNFs. The emulsion-forming abilities and storage stability of the two qualities were tested in the presence of NaCl and acetic acid, at concentrations relevant to food applications. Food emulsions may be an important future application area for CNFs due to their availability and excellent viscosifying abilities. The emulsion characterization was carried out by visual inspection, light microscopy, viscosity measurements, dynamic light scattering and mild centrifugation, which showed that stable emulsions could be obtained for both CNF qualities in the absence of salt and acid. In addition, the enzymatically stabilized CNFs were able to stabilize emulsions in the presence of acid and NaCl, with little change in the appearance or droplet size distribution over one month of storage at room temperature. The work showed that enzymatically treated CNFs could be suitable for use in food systems where NaCl and acid are present, while the more highly charged TEMPO-CNFs might be more suited for other applications, where they can contribute to a high emulsion viscosity even at low concentrations.
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