Transglutaminase-catalyzed cross-linking of interfacial proteins in oil-in-water has been shown to influence physical stability, but little is known about how this reaction impacts lipid oxidation. Therefore, this study evaluated the influence of transglutaminase-induced interfacial protein cross-linking on the oxidative stability of casein-stabilized menhaden oil-in-water emulsions. Interfacial casein in menhaden oil-in-water emulsions cross-linked by transglutaminase (pH 7.0) produced a cohesive interfacial protein layer that could not be removed from the emulsion droplet by Tween 20. Although transglutaminase cross-linked the interfacial casein, these emulsions did not show increased oxidative stability when compared to untreated emulsions as determined by measurement of lipid hydroperoxides and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances. These results indicate that increasing the cohesiveness of proteins at the interface of oil-in-water emulsions does not inhibit lipid oxidation. This could be due to the ability of prooxidative species such as iron to diffuse through the cross-linked protein layer where it could promote the decomposition of lipid hydroperoxides into free radicals that could oxidize unsaturated fatty acids in the emulsion droplet core.
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