Journal article

Emulsion formation and stabilization by biomolecules : The leading role of cellulose


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Publication Details

Author list: Costa, Carolina

Publication year: 2019

ISSN: 2073-4360


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Emulsion stabilization by native cellulose has been mainly hampered because of its insolubility in water. Chemical modification is normally needed to obtain water-soluble cellulose derivatives. These modified celluloses have been widely used for a range of applications by the food, cosmetic, pharmaceutic, paint and construction industries. In most cases, the modified celluloses are used as rheology modifiers (thickeners) or as emulsifying agents. In the last decade, the structural features of cellulose have been revisited, with particular focus on its structural anisotropy (amphiphilicity) and the molecular interactions leading to its resistance to dissolution. The amphiphilic behavior of native cellulose is evidenced by its capacity to adsorb at the interface between oil and aqueous solvent solutions, thus being capable of stabilizing emulsions. In this overview, the fundamentals of emulsion formation and stabilization by biomolecules are briefly revisited before different aspects around the emerging role of cellulose as emulsion stabilizer are addressed in detail. Particular focus is given to systems stabilized by native cellulose, either molecularly-dissolved or not (Pickering-like effect).


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