The purpose of this study was to prepare and characterize biopolymer particles based on thermal treatment of protein–polysaccharide electrostatic complexes formed from a globular protein (β-lactoglobulin) and an anionic polysaccharide (beet pectin). Initially, the optimum pH and pectin concentration for forming protein–polysaccharide complexes were established by mixing 0.5 wt% β-lactoglobulin solutions with beet pectin (0–0.5 wt%) at different pH values (3–7). Biopolymer complexes in the sub-micron size range (d = 100–300 nm) were formed at pH 5.0 and 0.1 wt% pectin. These particles were then subjected to a thermal treatment (30–90 °C at 0.8 °C min−1). The presence of pectin increased the thermal aggregation temperature of the protein, although aggregate formation was still observed when the protein–polysaccharide systems were heated above about 70 °C. The impact of pH (3–7) on the properties of heat-treated biopolymer particles (83 °C, 15 min, pH 5) was then established. The biopolymer particles were stable to aggregation over a range of pH values, which increased as the amount of pectin was increased. The biopolymer particles prepared in this study may be useful for encapsulation and delivery of bioactive food components, or as substitutes for lipid droplets.
- electrical charge,
- saturation concentration
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