Special Issue "Gels Prepared with Food Materials"

A special issue of Gels (ISSN 2310-2861).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 March 2019)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Assist. Prof. Owen Griffith Jones

Department of Food Science, Purdue University, 745 Agriculture Mall Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: food proteins; assembled structures; emulsions; atomic force microscopy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Many traditional food products are at least partially comprised of gels, and there are many non-food applications for gels comprised of food-based sources, including proteins, polysaccharides, and lipid components. There is a growing consumer-driven demand for gelling materials that minimize our ecological footprint, such as proteins and polysaccharides from waste-streams or non-traditional sources, or that possess enhanced performance, such as programmable gels able to respond to their environment. The search for improved functionality in products has also yielded interesting developments in composite gel materials and colloidal particles with gelled internal structures.

As leaders in the research on gels using food materials and/or for food application, I invite you to contribute new advancements to this Special Issue of Gels. This will be an excellent showcase of our efforts for the broader scientific community, some of whom will be intimately familiar with gel research but less familiar with food materials. I especially encourage submission of research involving composite gels with proteins and/or polysaccharides, novel approaches to gels for dairy, meat, or other food-based applications, gels formed with lesser known animal- or plant-products, or plant- or animal-based microgels.

Assist. Prof. Owen Griffith Jones
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Gels is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) is waived for well-prepared manuscripts submitted to this issue. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Food
  • Polysaccharide gel
  • Protein gel
  • Composite gel
  • Microgel
  • Gelled emulsion
  • Colloidal gel

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Segregation Behavior of Polysaccharide–Polysaccharide Mixtures—A Feasibility Study
Received: 18 April 2019 / Revised: 9 May 2019 / Accepted: 10 May 2019 / Published: 13 May 2019
PDF Full-text (1755 KB) | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The segregative phase separation behavior of biopolymer mixtures composed entirely of polysaccharides was investigated. First, the electrical, optical, and rheological properties of alginate, modified beet pectin, and unmodified beet pectin solutions were characterized to determine their electrical charge, molecular weight, solubility, and flow [...] Read more.
The segregative phase separation behavior of biopolymer mixtures composed entirely of polysaccharides was investigated. First, the electrical, optical, and rheological properties of alginate, modified beet pectin, and unmodified beet pectin solutions were characterized to determine their electrical charge, molecular weight, solubility, and flow behavior. Second, suitable conditions for inducing phase segregation in biopolymer mixtures were established by measuring biopolymer concentrations and segregation times. Third, alginate–beet pectin mixtures were blended at pH 7 to promote segregation and the partitioning of the biopolymers between the upper and lower phases was determined using UV–visible spectrophotometry, colorimetry, and calcium sensitivity measurements. The results revealed that phase separation depended on the overall biopolymer concentration and the degree of biopolymer hydrophobicity. A two-phase system could be formed when modified beet pectins (DE 68%) were used but not when unmodified ones (DE 53%) were used. Our measurements demonstrated that the phase separated systems consisted of a pectin-rich lower phase and an alginate-rich upper phase. These results suggest that novel structures may be formed by utilization of polysaccharide–polysaccharide phase separation. By controlling the product formulation and processing conditions it may therefore be possible to fabricate biopolymer particles with specific dimensions, shapes, and internal structures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gels Prepared with Food Materials)
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Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Chia (Salvia hispanica L.) a Promising Alternative for Conventional and Gelled Emulsions: Technological and Lipid Structural Characteristics
Received: 14 March 2019 / Accepted: 7 April 2019 / Published: 10 April 2019
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Abstract
Chia (Salvia hispanica L.) is an oilseed plant which contains proteins of high biological value and other healthy components with interesting technological properties. For these reasons, chia could be a promising option for the formation and stabilization of oil-in-water emulsions. The aim [...] Read more.
Chia (Salvia hispanica L.) is an oilseed plant which contains proteins of high biological value and other healthy components with interesting technological properties. For these reasons, chia could be a promising option for the formation and stabilization of oil-in-water emulsions. The aim of this study is to evaluate the potential of chia protein (from chia flour) in the formation of emulsions. To that end, composition and technological and structural properties determined by infrared spectroscopy were investigated in conventional (EC) and gelled (EGC) emulsions with chia and compared with their corresponding soy protein emulsions with the same protein content [conventional (ES) or gelled (EGS)] used as reference. All emulsions containing chia had better fat and water binding properties than those elaborated with soy protein isolate (SPI). The color of the emulsions varied significantly depending on whether the emulsions were made with chia or SPI. EGS and EGC exhibited the greatest (p < 0.05) penetration force values, being EGC the firmest (p < 0.05). Depending on the type of emulsion, Attenuated Total Reflectance (ATR)-FTIR Spectroscopy revealed differences in their lipid structure and interaction in terms of lipid acyl chain mobility (order/disorder) and emulsion droplet size. These structural characteristics could be related to the textural behavior of emulsions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gels Prepared with Food Materials)
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Open AccessArticle
Microstructure of a Model Fresh Cheese and Bioaccessibility of Vitamin D3 Using In Vitro Digestion
Received: 11 January 2019 / Revised: 4 March 2019 / Accepted: 5 March 2019 / Published: 10 March 2019
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Abstract
In this study, the effect of a composition (protein to fat (P/F) ratio) and a processing condition (homogenization pressure for emulsification of cheese milk) on the texture, microstructure, and bioaccessibility of vitamin D3 of a model acid coagulated fresh cheese was evaluated. [...] Read more.
In this study, the effect of a composition (protein to fat (P/F) ratio) and a processing condition (homogenization pressure for emulsification of cheese milk) on the texture, microstructure, and bioaccessibility of vitamin D3 of a model acid coagulated fresh cheese was evaluated. It was hypothesized that increasing P/F ratios (0.9, 1.3, 1.7, and 2) and homogenization pressures (17, 50, 75, and 150 MPa) will decrease the particle size of the cheese milk emulsion. The decreased emulsion particle size will result in a more rigid and elastic cheese matrix with smaller pore sizes, with an increased interfacial surface area of fat particles, which will then improve the bioaccessibility of vitamin D3. The P/F ratio exhibited a positive impact on the texture in a large deformation analysis. On the other hand, the effect of the P/F ratio and homogenization pressure was not significant on rheological properties of the cheese using a small deformation by means of a frequency sweep test, nor the porosity determined by environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM). These results suggested that the modification of the microstructure of acid coagulated fresh cheeses required other variables than P/F ratio and homogenization pressure probably due to a compression step after curd formation. Interestingly, the bioaccessibility of vitamin D3 measured by in vitro digestion was reduced as P/F ratio and homogenization pressure increased, which may indicate a reinforced protein–protein interaction that affected protein hydrolysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gels Prepared with Food Materials)
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Figure 1

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Impacts of Size and Deformability of β-Lactoglobulin Microgels on the Colloidal Stability and Volatile Flavor Release of Microgel-Stabilized Emulsions
Received: 24 August 2018 / Revised: 10 September 2018 / Accepted: 12 September 2018 / Published: 15 September 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3150 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Emulsions can be prepared from protein microgel particles as an alternative to traditional emulsifiers. Prior experiments have indicated that smaller and more deformable microgels would decrease both the physical destabilization of emulsions and the diffusion-based losses of entrapped volatile molecules. The microgels were [...] Read more.
Emulsions can be prepared from protein microgel particles as an alternative to traditional emulsifiers. Prior experiments have indicated that smaller and more deformable microgels would decrease both the physical destabilization of emulsions and the diffusion-based losses of entrapped volatile molecules. The microgels were prepared from β-lactoglobulin with an average diameter of 150 nm, 231 nm, or 266 nm; large microgels were cross-linked to decrease their deformability. Dilute emulsions of 15–50 μm diameter were prepared with microgels by high shear mixing. Light scattering and microscopy showed that the emulsions prepared with larger, untreated microgels possessed a larger initial droplet size, but were resistant to droplet growth during storage or after acidification, increased ionic strength, and exposure to surfactants. The emulsions prepared with cross-linked microgels emulsions were the least resistant to flocculation, creaming, and shrinkage. All emulsion droplets shrank as limonene was lost during storage, and the inability of microgels to desorb caused droplets to become non-spherical. The microgels were not displaced by Tween 20 but were displaced by excess sodium dodecyl sulfate. Hexanol diffusion and associated shrinkage of pendant droplets was not prevented by any of the microgels, yet the rate of shrinkage was reduced with the largest microgels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gels Prepared with Food Materials)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Protein-Based Nanostructures for Food Applications
Received: 2 November 2018 / Revised: 13 February 2019 / Accepted: 14 February 2019 / Published: 22 February 2019
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Abstract
Proteins are receiving significant attention for the production of structures for the encapsulation of active compounds, aimed at their use in food products. Proteins are one of the most used biomaterials in the food industry due to their nutritional value, non-toxicity, biodegradability, and [...] Read more.
Proteins are receiving significant attention for the production of structures for the encapsulation of active compounds, aimed at their use in food products. Proteins are one of the most used biomaterials in the food industry due to their nutritional value, non-toxicity, biodegradability, and ability to create new textures, in particular, their ability to form gel particles that can go from macro- to nanoscale. This review points out the different techniques to obtain protein-based nanostructures and their use to encapsulate and release bioactive compounds, while also presenting some examples of food grade proteins, the mechanism of formation of the nanostructures, and the behavior under different conditions, such as in the gastrointestinal tract. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gels Prepared with Food Materials)
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