Lubrication properties of fat droplets in filled gels

A: Lubrication and sensory properties of fat in filled gels
B: Fat-mimicking mechanism of particle fat replacers in filled gels


During oral processing, fat contained food can form very thin films on our tongues, which give us desirable fat related sensory perception (e.g., creamy, fatty, smooth, lubricating). It is known that the viscosity of food system and the amount of oil content are very important parameters affecting lubrication. However, the morphology properties, size, coalescence of fat droplets and the interaction between fat droplets and gel matrix might also contribute to the lubrication effect. The application of tribology (also called thin film rheology) is reported as a relatively new scientific approach to relate the physical properties of food to their sensory perception and oral behavior.


To study the influence of fat (A) and/or fat replacer (B) properties (e.g., solid fat content, droplet size, interactions between fat droplets and matrix, fat replacer morphology properties etc.) on the tribological properties (lubrication behavior) and fat-related sensory perception of different filled gel systems.

Lubrication KL.jpg


Literature research; Development of the method to analyze tribological behavior of model food with different fat properties; Use of Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy to study the microstructure; Sensory evaluation and data analysis; Report writing and results presenting.

Practical information

Location: NIZO food research, Ede, the Netherlands

Study relevance

This project is suitable for 2 Master students who have background or strong interest in sensory science and/or food physics (esp. food rheology and tribology).