Droplet deformation and break-up under shear: Hydrocolloid solution vs. suspension of starch granules

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Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • UMR CNRS/Ecole des Mines de Paris 7635
  • University of Nottingham


Shear induced deformation and rupture of two types of droplets, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) aqueous solution and modified waxy maize suspension, were studied and compared using a counter-rotating rheo-optical set-up. The motivation of the work was to explain the difference observed in flavour perception of food products thickened by these two fluids. A droplet of either fluid was placed into silicon oil and deformation and break-up were monitored as a function of applied shear stress and strain. It was found that starch suspension droplets broke up at lower deformation stress and strain than HPMC solution droplets despite viscosity ratio and capillary number suggesting the opposite. It is hypothesised that the ease with which droplets thickened by starch break-up is responsible for their rapid mixing with saliva.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)495-502
Number of pages8
JournalFood Hydrocolloids
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2011


  • Droplet, HPMC, Rheo-optics, Shear, Starch, Suspension