Chitosan is a cationic biopolymer that has many potential applications in the food industry because of its unique nutritional and physicochemical properties. Many of these properties depend on its ability to interact with anionic surface-active molecules, such as surfactants, phospholipids, and bile acids. The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of pH (3 and 7), ionic strength (0 - 200 mM NaCl), and temperature (10 - 50 °C) on the interactions between a model anionic surfactant (sodium dodecyl sulfate, SDS) and chitosan using isothermal titration calorimetry, selective surfactant electrode, and turbidity measurements. At pH 3 and 30 °C, SDS bound strongly to chitosan to form an insoluble complex that contained about 4 - 5 mmol of SDS/1 g of chitosan at saturation. When SDS and chitosan were mixed at pH 7 they did not interact strongly, presumably because the biopolymer had lost most of its positive charge at this pH. However, when SDS and chitosan were mixed at pH 3 and then the solution was adjusted to pH 7, the SDS remained bound to the chitosan. The presence of NaCl (0 - 200 mM) in the solutions decreased the critical micelle concentration (cmc) of SDS (in both the absence and the presence of chitosan) but had little influence on the amount of SDS bound to chitosan at saturation. The cmc of SDS and the amount of SDS bound to the chitosan at saturation were largely independent of the holding temperature (10 - 40 °C). Nevertheless, the enthalpy changes associated with micelle dissociation were highly temperature- dependent, indicating the importance of hydrophobic interactions, whereas the enthalpy changes associated with SDS - chitosan binding were almost temperature-independent, indicating the dominant contribution of electrostatic interactions. This study provides information that may lead to the rational design of chitosan- based ingredients or products with specific nutritional and functional characteristics, for example, cholesterol lowering.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/djulian_mcclements/147/