Protein-lipid interactions at interfaces
Keywords:Atomicforce microscopy, Interfacial physics, Lipid-binding proteins, Multiphase foods
Foams and emulsions are both types of multiphase foods and are a dispersion of one immiscible phase (e.g. air or oil) in another (e.g. water). Amphiphilic molecules (either proteins or chemical compounds) are able to stabilise the interface between these phases and are termed emulsifiers. The ability of protein emulsifiers to bind lipid is reviewed, and the mechanisms underlying the behaviour of these and low molecular weight surfactants (LMWS) at the interface are summarised. New research, exploiting atomic force microscopy, has given fresh insights into the mechanisms by which proteins and LMWS interact when both are present at the interface, compromising the stability of foams and emulsions stabilised by these mixtures. The understanding of component interactions at the interfacial level is essential if advances are to be made in the control and manipulation of multiphase foods during production and storage.
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