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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Influence of the Emulsifier System on Breakup and Coalescence of Oil Droplets during Atomization of Oil-In-Water Emulsions

Institute of Process Engineering in Life Sciences, Food Process Engineering, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, 76131 Karlsruhe, Germany
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
ChemEngineering 2020, 4(3), 47;
Received: 20 May 2020 / Revised: 16 June 2020 / Accepted: 20 July 2020 / Published: 3 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emulsion Process Design)
Spray drying of whey protein-based emulsions is a common task in food engineering. Lipophilic, low molecular weight emulsifiers including lecithin, citrem, and mono- and diglycerides, are commonly added to the formulations, as they are expected to improve the processing and shelf life stability of the products. During the atomization step of spray drying, the emulsions are subjected to high stresses, which can lead to breakup and subsequent coalescence of the oil droplets. The extent of these phenomena is expected to be greatly influenced by the emulsifiers in the system. The focus of this study was therefore set on the changes in the oil droplet size of whey protein-based emulsions during atomization, as affected by the addition of low molecular weight emulsifiers. Atomization experiments were performed with emulsions stabilized either with whey protein isolate (WPI), or with combinations of WPI and lecithin, WPI and citrem, and WPI and mono- and diglycerides. The addition of lecithin promoted oil droplet breakup during atomization and improved droplet stabilization against coalescence. The addition of citrem and of mono- and diglycerides did not affect oil droplet breakup, but greatly promoted coalescence of the oil droplets. In order to elucidate the underlying mechanisms, measurements of interfacial tensions and coalescence times in single droplets experiments were performed and correlated to the atomization experiments. The results on oil droplet breakup were in good accordance with the observed differences in the interfacial tension measurements. The results on oil droplet coalescence correlated only to a limited extent with the results of coalescence times of single droplet experiments. View Full-Text
Keywords: atomization; oil-in-water emulsions; droplet breakup; coalescence; emulsifiers atomization; oil-in-water emulsions; droplet breakup; coalescence; emulsifiers
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Taboada, M.L.; Leister, N.; Karbstein, H.P.; Gaukel, V. Influence of the Emulsifier System on Breakup and Coalescence of Oil Droplets during Atomization of Oil-In-Water Emulsions. ChemEngineering 2020, 4, 47.

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