Evidence of Oil Exchange between Oil-in-Water Emulsion Droplets Stabilized by Milk Proteins

D. Julian McClements, Stephanie R. Dungan, J. Bruce German, John E. Kinsella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Differential scanning calorimetry has been used to monitor the crystallization of hydrocarbons in oil-in-water emulsions containing a mixture of pure n-hexadecane droplets (10 wt%) and pure octadecane droplets (10 wt%) stabilized by either whey protein isolate or casein (0.5 wt%). The phase behavior of the emulsions changed with time in a manner consistent with oil exchange between the n-hexadecane and octadecane droplets. The rate of exchange was faster for the emulsion containing whey protein isolate than the one containing casein, and increased for both emulsions when additional protein (2.5 wt%) was added to the aqueous phase. The addition of NaCl (2.5 wt%) to the aqueous phase slightly decreased the rate of oil exchange. Measurements of the droplet size distribution of the emulsions during the course of the experiments indicated that the oil exchange was not caused by droplet aggregation or Ostwald ripening. We propose that the mechanism for oil exchange is the reversible binding of hydrocarbons to protein molecules (either at a specific binding site or by incorporation into micelles), and their subsequent transport through the aqueous phase separating the droplets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)425-429
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 15 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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