Research Expertise

World class expertise in the physical characterization of lipid structure and its relationship to functionality, nutrition and quality.

Reducing Trans and Saturated Fatty Acids in Fat by Structuring Oil - Improving Cardiovascular Health

Motivated by a need to reduce trans and saturated fatty acids in fats, we have been studying the exciting field of oleogels and structured emulsions.

The idea here is to find amphiphilic, surfactant-like molecules, which self-assemble in oil to form non-conventional liquid-crystalline or crystalline structures that are very efficient in forming networks that trap oil.

We have worked with self-assembled fibrillar networks (SAFINs) as well as polymer oleogels, waxes and monoglycerides.

Polarized light micrograph of 12-hydroxystearic acid-canola oil oleogel, a SAFIN. Magnification bar represents 100μm.

Cryo-SEM of a de-oiled 12-hydroxystearic acid-canola oil oleogel

Cryo-SEM of a de-oiled ethylcellulose olegel

Most of the research focus in this area in the past three years has been on ethylcellulose oleogels, from manufacturing, mechanical properties, microstructure and crystallography.