Effect of processing on the microstructural properties of water-in-cocoa butter emulsions

V. Di Bari*, J. E. Norton, I. T. Norton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


A bench scale margarine line (a scraped surface heating exchanger followed by a pin stirrer) was used to produce stable tempered water-in-cocoa butter emulsions. A wide set of processing parameters was explored and correlated to the microstructural properties (d3,2 and main crystal polymorphic form) of emulsions containing 10% or 20% (w/w) aqueous phase. The droplets size (d3,2) was evaluated using pulsed field gradient NMR measurements and related to the applied shear profile. In particular, the effect of each mixer on the final d3,2 values was examined. Results obtained from DSC analysis of fast cooled emulsions were used to understand the effect of continuous shear on the main polymorphic form of cocoa butter. The behaviour of this fat in an emulsified system is still mostly unknown. The results allow us to better understand the mechanism of the emulsifying process occurring in the margarine line, and show a clear dependence of the crystallising behaviour on the applied mechanical shear. Finally, droplets size data was fitted with a power law model used in literature for high shear mixers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-14
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Food Engineering
Early online date4 Sept 2013
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014


  • Cocoa butter
  • Crystallisation
  • Emulsion
  • Microstructure
  • Polymorphism
  • Shear

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science


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