Researchers at The City College of New York have reported the successful transformation of vegetable oils to a semisolid form using low-calorie sugars as a structuring agent.
Mannitol dioctanoate in canola oil self assembles into a crystalline network that encapsulates the oil, causing it to take on a semisolid form.
The findings portend the development of alternatives to structured oil products produced using saturated/trans fatty acids, which have been linked to coronary artery disease, obesity and diabetes.
The team, led by City College Professor of Chemistry George John , tested two sugar alcohol-based gelators, mannitol dioctanoate (M8) and sorbitol dioctanoate (S8), as structuring agents for four refined vegetable oils purchased at local grocery stores: canola oil, olive oil, soybean oil and grape seed oil. Both are amphiphiles – i.e. molecules that are attracted to water and fats – consisting of two octanoic acid chains (C8) appended to a sugar alcohol molecule.
Oils are transformed to semisolid forms known as structured oils. The best known of these are vegetable oil and margarine. Structured oils are also contained in candy and cake frosting.
“We have demonstrated the first sugar-based thickening agents for oil,” said Professor John, whose previous investigations into the use of amphiphiles to solidify oil in the presence of water demonstrated their potential use in oil spill cleanups . He added that the two agents meet both Food & Drug Administration and GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) safety specifications, so they can be used for food processing.
Both M8 and S8 demonstrated excellent gelation tendencies for all of the oils that were tested, and the gels remained stable for several months. When mixed with the oils, the gelation agents self-assembled into three-dimensional crystalline networks that encapsulated the oils in liquid stage. Optimal gelation was achieved at structuring agent concentrations between three percent and five percent.
However, some differences between the two agents were reported. For example, mannitol gels were opaque in appearance while those made with sorbitol were translucent. That was because M8 yields a more densely packed network while the network of S8 gels consisted of needle-like microcrystallites.
Mannitol was found to be a more efficient gelator, producing stronger gels. However, Professor John pointed out that sorbitol-based gels, which have finer structures and appear more translucent, would be better suited for specific applications. “The multi-functionality and tunability of sugar-based gelators presents opportunities to develop next-generation oil thickeners,” he added.
The findings were reported in the November 15 issue of the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry (J. Agric. Food Chem. 2013, DOI: 10.1021/jf401987a ). In addition to Professor John, the team consisted of Swapnil R. Jadhav and Hyeondo Hwang from City College and Qingrong Huang from Rutgers University.About The City College of New York
Ellis Simon | EurekAlert!
Microjet generator for highly viscous fluids
13.02.2018 | Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology
Sweet route to greater yields
08.02.2018 | Rothamsted Research
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.
But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...
Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.
The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...
Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters
Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...
Let’s say the armrest is broken in your vintage car. As things stand, you would need a lot of luck and persistence to find the right spare part. But in the world of Industrie 4.0 and production with batch sizes of one, you can simply scan the armrest and print it out. This is made possible by the first ever 3D scanner capable of working autonomously and in real time. The autonomous scanning system will be on display at the Hannover Messe Preview on February 6 and at the Hannover Messe proper from April 23 to 27, 2018 (Hall 6, Booth A30).
Part of the charm of vintage cars is that they stopped making them long ago, so it is special when you do see one out on the roads. If something breaks or...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
16.02.2018 | Information Technology
16.02.2018 | Health and Medicine
16.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy