Competitive adsorption of lecithin and saliva at the O/W interface in relation to the oral processing of lipid continuous foods

Perrine Delime, Natasja Lemmens-Smink, Bettina Wolf*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This research is relevant to oral processing of lipid continuous foods. During this first step of food digestion, lipid continuous foods such as chocolate or margarine phase invert into oil-in-water emulsions stimulated through the mechanical action of tongue and teeth in combination with the change in temperature and the high surface activity of salivary proteins. These are hypothesised to stabilise the newly formed interface in competition with surfactants or surface active molecules released from the food if present. Here competitive adsorption between mechanically stimulated human whole saliva (HWS) and lecithin dissolved in sunflower oil freed of interfacially active contaminants was investigated in-vitro using a pendant drop tensiometer for dynamic interfacial tension and interfacial rheological measurements. Initially, it was validated that the interfacial properties of HWS samples remained unaffected by frozen storage at -80 °C during 6 weeks. Protein concentration affected the absolute values of interfacial tension and in particular the dilatational elastic modulus. Competitive adsorption studies revealed a mixed interface and it follows that emulsion stabilisation during oral processing involves both salivary proteins and lecithin present in the oil phase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-291
Number of pages7
JournalFood Biophysics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jun 2014


  • Competitive adsorption
  • Human whole saliva
  • Interfacial rheology
  • Lipid continuous foods Lecithin
  • Oral processing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Biophysics
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering


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