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HZAU Sheds New Light on the Controllable and Precise Emulsion Preparation by Food Complex Emulsification Systems

Recently, a research team of vegetable and fruit processing chemistry and comprehensive utilization, led by Professor Pan Siyi, published a review paper entitled “Ultrasonic emulsification: An overview on the preparation of different emulsifiers-stabilized emulsions” in Trends in Food Science & Technology. Based on the controllable and precise emulsion preparation by food complex emulsification systems, this paper gives a systematic explanation of the distinctions between existing emulsification systems and the mechanism of the ultrasonic emulsification system. It goes further to explore how emulsifiers like proteins, polysaccharide and surfactants work in the ultrasonic emulsification system to produce stabilized emulsion.

Diagram 1: Mechanism where HIU emulsification prepares stable food protein emulsions

In global food industry, it always remains a hot topic as well as a tricky issue to prepare emulsion precisely and controllably with complex food emulsification systems. High intensity ultrasound (HIU), as an emerging food processing technique, attracts a lot of attention from experts in this field. Compared with other emulsification techniques, HIU is almost immune from the sample’s viscosity, and the ultrasonic device is easier to move and clean with less power consumption. Since 2009, HZAU’s fruit and vegetable processing chemistry and comprehensive utilization team has been conducting a research on the application and mechanism of ultrasonic techniques in plant-based protein structure, processing properties and emulsification, and has successfully constructed an ultrasonic processing platform.

On the basis of the team’s research progress over the years, this paper systematically summarizes the ultrasonic emulsification technique and its mechanism, and expounds the mechanism of ultrasound emulsification process and its edges in preparing emulsion. It points out that HIU could be applied to improve the emulsifying properties of food emulsifiers such as proteins and polysaccharides and enhance the stability of their emulsions. Protein-polysaccharide complex stabilized emulsions produced by HIU shows better stability against environmental stresses than the emulsions stabilized by individual components. Moreover, HIU homogenizers are more energy efficient and eco-friendly than high pressure homogenizers and microfluidizers.

Taha Ahmed, an international student from College of Food Sciences & Technology of HZAU, is the first author and Associate Prof. Hu Hao is the corresponding author of this paper. The project is funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China(Project No.31871726) and China Association for Science and Technology(Project No.2019QNRC001).

Translated by: Chen Song
Supervised by: Pan Buhan