Ultrasonic standing waves as a new tool for improved oleogels (H2020 - Marie Skłodowska Curie Individual Fellowship)



Oleogels are lipid-based materials that contain 85 - 99.5% of liquid oil whereas the rest is structuring molecules called oleogelators. They were introduced as saturated and hydrogenated fat substitutes to fight the adverse effects of excessive fat consumption in the diet such as obesity. Obesity is a global problem that nowadays involves billion of adults and millions of children. The annual healthcare costs related to treating diseases caused by/related to obesity is 60 billion euro in Europe and 210 billion dollars in USA. Oleogels can be used to reduce obesity outbreaks by substituting saturated fats. Unfortunately, oleogel storage instability impedes these materials from becoming the "fat of the future". Much effort has been directed to explore strategies to improve oleogel performance such as formulation and processing. The proposed strategies are not able to precisely control the forming crystal network and can also lead to oxidized oleogels. To obtain oleogels with long storage stability it is necessary to carefully control the forming crystalline network without inducing adverse effects such as oxidation.
To this aim, I will develop a new, economic, and environmentally friendly technology that can modify the structure of oleogels to prolong oleogel storage stability, bringing together food science, acoustic physics and engineering. To create such a technology, three goals are set: (i) develop a treatment chamber, (ii) optimize treatment of monoglyceride-containing oleogel, (iii) optimize treatment of wax-containing and phytosterol-containing oleogels. To identify the effect of the treatments, nano and microstructure, oil retention ability, and oxidation mechanisms are studied during and soon after the treatment, and during storage.
The outcome of this proposal is a technology that can finely and precisely direct the crystallization process orienting lipid crystals in controllable shapes/patterns with the final aim to prolong oleogel storage stability
Gällande start-/slutdatum01/09/202031/08/2022