Advanced insight in pectin-based oil-in-water emulsions with targeted physicochemical and nutritional functionality: Is the truth in the pectin mix?
In our human diet, we consume lipids mainly as emulsions (e.g. sauces, soups). Oil-in-water emulsions are composed of oil droplets dispersed in water whereby the interface is covered with a layer of emulsifier allowing stability of the droplets dispersed. Pectin is group of complex polysaccharides present in higher plants and is omnipresent in many waste streams of food production (e.g. citrus peel). Particular pectin structures can adsorb at the oil-water interface, while others have more emulsion stabilizing potential effecting the aqueous viscosity. To the best of our knowledge, there is no open literature that starts from the modification of a single natural and sustainable polymer type, in this work pectin, and investigates on a fundamental level the potential of specific pectin building blocks and derivatives thereof for their emulsifying and emulsion stabilizing properties. We hypothesize that through combination of pectin-based structures with distinct and complementary physicochemical functionalities, we can create stable pectin-based emulsions. Optimal physicochemical functionalities do not necessarily align with optimal nutritional functionalities Therefore, we will study lipid digestion kinetics as effected by presence of pectin derived structures as well as mineral bioaccessibility using a beyond state-of-the-art semi-dynamic in vitro digestion model. This project will result in novel mechanistic insight allowing to design emulsions with specific functionalities.