FOOD. Science. Technology. Quality

Food. SCIENCE. Technology. Quality

Food. Science. TECHNOLOGY. Quality

Food. Science. Technology. QUALITY




Role of liquid crystal phase in food processing processes


In the paper, the literature is reviewed on the occurrence and role of liquid crystal phase in the food processing processes. Upon the description of general properties of liquid-crystal state of matter, it is discussed the significance of lyotropic mesophase occurring as the consequence of self-aggregation processes of amphiphilic components of food. First of all, this referrs to systems containing emulsifiers such as lecithin, mono- and diacylglycerols, as well as esters of fatty acids and saccharose or sorbitan. The occurrence of liquid crystal phase plays an important role in the processes such as preparing products with a reduced calorific value (emulsion stabilization); it also impacts the crystallization progress of acylglyceroles. The lyotropic liquid crystal systems can be also applied as carriers of some specific food additives, for example in a process of gradually releasing drugs and smell substances. On the other hand, thermotropic liquid crystal substances, which do not usually occur in natural products, are applied to control some technological processes, for instance when constructing sensors detecting volatile substances such as alcohols, esters, or lower hydrocarbons, or constructing sensors in which chiral properties of liquid crystal substances are used to selective light reflection.


liquid crystal phase, amphiphilic compounds, emulsifiers, lyotropic phase, functional food