PhD thesis Daan de Kort, June 14, 2016
In order to understand food product functionality such as elastic and flow behavior and mass
transport properties, one first has to understand the multi-length-scale structure of the material.
The aim of this work is to explore novel methodologies to study and characterize multi-lengthscale
structures of food hydrogels under static and dynamic conditions. The focus lies on
hydrogels comprising polysaccharides, because they show a rich variation in elastic and flow
The largest part of the thesis focuses on the use of nanoparticles (3–30 nm diameter) that are
dissolved into the water phase of hydrogels, and whose mobility is reduced due to the presence of the polymer network. This retardation of nanoparticle self-diffusion in hydrogels relative to selfdiffusion in neat water can be used to infer structural information about the microstructure of the polymer network.