The role of surfactants in chocolate: structural studies at the sucrose/oil interface

Condensed Matter lunchtime seminar

The role of surfactants in chocolate: structural studies at the sucrose/oil interface

  • Event time: 1:00pm
  • Event date: 16th May 2016
  • Speaker: (School of Physics & Astronomy, University of Edinburgh)
  • Location: Room 2511,

Event details

Rheology of molten chocolate plays an important role in its manufacturing and mouth feel. Chocolate is a dense suspension of solids, mainly sucrose, in a continuous fat phase, cocoa butter, stabilised by Lecithin, which predominantly comprises phospholipid, and PGPR, a polymeric surfactant. These two surfactants show a co-operative effect in the rheology of chocolate such that yield stress and viscosity are both reduced for a binary mixture of these two. Understanding the structure formed by the surfactants can give an important insight into their role in the rheology of molten chocolate. Given the compositional complexity of chocolate we model the system into a simpler sucrose in oil suspension with PGPR and Lecithin. I will briefly talk about the model sucrose/oil suspension and its rheology and also develop a model system based on planar (spin-coated) sucrose interface. Further, I will discuss the structural investigation done on the model systems using Tensiometry, QCM-D and Small Angle Neutron Scattering, the challenges of these techniques, their limitations and future structural investigations using Neutron Reflectivity.

This is a weekly series of informal talks given primarily by members of the soft condensed matter and statistical mechanics groups, but is also open to members of other groups and external visitors. The aim of the series is to promote discussion and learning of various topics at a level suitable to the broad background of the group. Everyone is welcome to attend..

Find out more about Condensed Matter lunchtime seminars.