Oil-in-water (O/W) emulsion-gel systems containing high oil payloads are of increasing interest for food applications because of the reduction in encapsulation cost, consumption frequency or volume of food products. This study shows a facile approach to prepare stable alginate-based O/W emulsions at high oil loading using a mixture of nonionic surfactants (Tween 80 and Span 20) as a template to form gelled-emulsions. The synergistic effects of alginate and surfactants on the O/W emulsion properties were evaluated in terms of oil droplet size and emulsion stability. At 2% (w/v) of alginate and 1% (w/v) of surfactants, the size distribution of oil droplets was narrow and monomodal, even at an oil loading of 70% (v/v). The emulsions formed were stable against phase separation. The oil droplet size could be further reduced to below 1 μm using a high-shear homogenizer. The emulsions formed could be easily molded and gelled into solids of different shapes via ionic gelation. The findings of this study create possible avenues for applications in food industries.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.