The influence of thermal processing on droplet flocculation in oil-in-water emulsions stabilized by either beta-lactoglobulin (primary emulsions) or beta-lactoglobulin-iota-carrageenan (secondary emulsions) at pH 6 has been investigated. In the absence of salt, the zeta-potential of the primary emulsion was less negative (-40 mV) than that of the secondary emulsion (-55 mV) due to adsorption of anionic iota-carrageenan to the anionic beta-Lg-coated droplet surfaces. The zeta-potential and mean diameter (d(43) approximately 0.3 microm) of droplets in primary and secondary emulsions did not change after storage at temperatures ranging from 30 to 90 degrees C. In the presence of 150 mM NaCl, the zeta-potential of the primary emulsion was much less negative (-27 mV) than that of the secondary emulsion (-50 mV), suggesting that the latter was less influenced by electrostatic screening effects. The zeta-potential of the primary emulsions did not change after storage at elevated temperatures (30-90 degrees C). The zeta-potential of the secondary emulsions became less negative, and the aqueous phase iota-carrageenan concentration increased at storage temperatures exceeding 50 degrees C, indicating iota-carrageenan desorbed from the beta-Lg-coated droplets. In the primary emulsions, appreciable droplet flocculation (d(43) approximately 8 microm) occurred at temperatures below the thermal denaturation temperature (T(m)) of the adsorbed proteins due to surface denaturation, while more extensive flocculation (d(43) > 20 microm) occurred above T(m) due to thermal denaturation. In the secondary emulsions, the extent of droplet flocculation below T(m) was reduced substantially (d(43) approximately 0.8 microm), which was attributed to the ability of adsorbed carrageenan to increase droplet-droplet repulsion. However, extensive droplet flocculation was observed above T(m) because carrageenan desorbed from the droplet surfaces. Differential scanning calorimetry showed that iota-carrageenan and beta-Lg interacted strongly in aqueous solutions containing 0 mM NaCl, but not in those containing 150 mM NaCl, presumably because salt weakened the electrostatic attraction between the molecules.
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