Measurement of Dairy and Food Emulsions using Laser Diffraction
Application Note Feb 26, 2016
Malvern Instruments Limited
The particle size of the fat droplets present in dairy and other food emulsions is important in defining properties such as flavor release, mouth feel and the emulsion stability. Large emulsion droplets can lead to poor flavor release, a greasy mouth feel and poor stability due to creaming. Emulsification to a smaller droplet size tends to reduce creaming and improve the taste of a product. However, in doing this a balance is required, as decreasing the particle size increases the available surface area, which in turn can lead to flocculation if the emulsifier concentration is not controlled.
In other products, such as ice cream, the particle size of the fat droplets is important in defining structural characteristics. Aggregated fat clusters are known to be involved in the stabilization of the air cells within whippable diary products. The formation of these clusters can only be achieved by the controlled destabilization of the fat emulsion. Thus, a knowledge of the particle size is important in defining the functionality and taste of different food emulsion products.