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Protein particles and their behaviour in liquid products

Protein particles have a growing interest in the food industry, and could be used for different purposes to create protein drinks or gels. These particles are of the size of a micron, and can be made with different properties by changing:

•     the protein source

Alev 2013.JPG

•    the surface of the protein particle (protein or polysaccharide coating)  
•    the environment in which the protein particles are present (salt, pH, proteins, polysaccharides, etc)

Depending on the different conditions, different behaviour of the particles and the particle dispersions can be observed:

-    Swelling / shrinking of the particles: this has been observed to change with different pH (change the charges on the protein) and the temperature.  

-    Rheological behaviour: the viscosity is dependent on the size of the particles and the interactions with the continuous matrix. When swelling occurs, shear-thickening behavior is observed, which is not very common for food products

-    Stability: the stability is very dependent on the interaction between the interface and the surrounding continuous matrix

In this project, we will investigate the effect of the different conditions on the behaviour of different protein particle dispersions.  

Research topics
•    Investigate the swelling behaviour of protein particles with different coatings and in different continuous phases
•    Investigate the interaction of particles with different salts and with polysaccharides

•    Preparation of protein particles from different protein sources and investigate their behaviour (swelling, stability)


•    Rheometer
•    Lumifuge – Turbiscan

•    Optical microscopy – CLSM – SEM