Investigation into interactions between emulsifiers and wheat starch/wheat flour



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Kansas State University


One long-term goal of cereal science research is to increase the shelf life of baked products and one approach to that goal has been the use of emulsifiers. Emulsifiers are surface-active agents, some of which improve specific properties of baked products. Two emulsifiers, sodium stearoyl lactylate (SSL) and oleyl lactylic acid (OLA) are similar in structure, the difference being the acid moiety: stearic versus oleic acid. Widely researched, SSL has found many uses in baked products. However, how OLA interacts with starch/flour in baked products or how that interaction affects product quality is not well understood. The objective of this study was to understand the interactions between normal wheat starch and these emulsifiers, as well as the differences between SSL and OLA in those regards. The effects of the two emulsifiers on the pasting properties of wheat starch and wheat flour were determined using a MicroViscoAmylograph. Heating at 6oC/min with increased emulsifier concentration (0-2%) resulted in increased hot paste viscosity and apparent interaction of both emulsifiers with wheat starch. Solid content affected both maximum hot and final viscosity. OLA produced increased maximum hot and final viscosities with increased starch concentration and emulsifier concentrations. For wheat flour, higher concentrations of SSL reduced both maximum hot paste and final viscosities. OLA behaves differently with wheat flour. At lower flour concentrations, higher concentrations of OLA reduced maximum hot viscosity. The effects of SSL on starch were affected by an increased heating and cooling rate (10oC/min). Heating stage microscopic analysis revealed that the presence of emulsifiers inhibited granular swelling beyond the normal gelatinization temperature (65oC) in both starch and flour systems. OLA’s effect in this respect was greater than that of SSL. Complex formation between emulsifiers and wheat starch and wheat flour was determined using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). For isolated wheat starch and hard wheat flour, DSC and XRD indicated that OLA complexes to a greater extent than does SSL. For flour, XRD indicated no difference exhibited in the interaction of the emulsifiers with the flours.
KEYWORDS: Emulsifiers, Starch, Wheat flour



Starch, Emulsifiers, Wheat flour

Graduation Month



Master of Science


Department of Grain Science and Industry

Major Professor

Yong Cheng Shi; Jon M. Faubion