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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Peoria, Illinois » National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research » Functional Foods Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #312903

Research Project: IMPROVING STABILITY AND HEALTHFULNESS OF U.S. COMMODITY VEGETABLE OILS AND PRODUCTS

Location: Functional Foods Research

Title: Morphology and networks of sunflower wax crystals in organogel

Author
item Hwang, Hong-sik
item Kim, Sanghoon
item Evans, Kervin
item Koga, Clarissa - University Of Illinois
item Lee, Youngsoo - University Of Illinois

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/11/2015
Publication Date: 7/14/2015
Citation: Hwang, H., Kim, S., Evans, K.O., Koga, C., Lee, Y. 2015. Morphology and networks of sunflower wax crystals in organogel [abstract]. Institute of Food Technologists.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Plant waxes are considered as promising alternatives to unhealthy solid fats such as trans fats and saturated fats in structured food products including margarines and spreads. Sunflower wax is of a great interest due to its strong gelling ability. Morphology of sunflower wax crystals formed in soybean oil organogel was investigated with polarized light microscopy, phase contrast microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and atomic force microscopy (AFM). It was found that sunflower wax forms extremely thin (100 to 250 nm) plate-like crystals. We also developed a new sample preparation method to determine three dimensional networks of crystals in organogel. In this method, the organogel sample is soaked in a UV-curable resin in which soybean oil is replaced with the resin, the resin is cured under sunlight, and the cured resin containing the organogel sample is ground and polished to examine a cross-section view of the sample under SEM. It was found that new plate-like crystals branched out from a crystal to make several crystals connected each other forming three dimensional networks. Therefore, it was concluded that even a very small amount of sunflower wax could form a gel with vegetable oil by networking numerous extremely thin crystals.