Fabrication, characterisation and stability of oil-in-water emulsions stabilised by solid lipid particles: the role of particle characteristics and emulsion microstructure upon Pickering functionality

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Colleges, School and Institutes


The quest to identify and use bio-based particles with a Pickering stabilisation potential for food applications has lately been particularly substantial and includes, among other candidates, lipid-based particles. The present study investigates the ability of solid lipid particles to stabilise oil-in-water (o/w) emulsions against coalescence. Results obtained showed that emulsion stability could be achieved when low amounts (0.8 wt/wt%) of a surface active species (e.g. Tween 80 or NaCas) were used in particles' fabrication. Triple staining of the o/w emulsions enabled the visualisation of emulsion droplets' surface via confocal microscopy. This revealed an interfacial location of the lipid particles, hence confirming stabilisation via a Pickering mechanism. Emulsion droplet size was controlled by varying several formulation parameters, such as the type of the lipid and surface active component, the processing route and the polarity of the dispersed phase. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) was employed as the analytical tool to quantify the amount of crystalline material available to stabilise the emulsion droplets at different intervals during the experimental timeframe. Dissolution of lipid particles in the oil phase was observed and evolved distinctly between a wax and a triglyceride, and in the presence of a non-ionic surfactant and a protein. Yet, this behaviour did not result in emulsion destabilisation. Moreover, emulsion's thermal stability was found to be determined by the behaviour of lipid particles under temperature effects.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2583-2591
JournalFood & Function
Issue number7
Early online date27 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017