Metastable properties of biopolymer networks affect significantly the diffusion kinetics of bioactive compounds. That was shown to be the case in high solid samples of protein and polysaccharide supporting a homogeneous distribution of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Thermomechanical behaviour of these matrices was characterised in relation to their glass transition temperature (Tg). A free volume theory of diffusion was considered to treat transport phenomena of fatty acids within glassy polymers. It was found that at T > Tg the effective diffusion coefficient of microconstituent transport would increase in accordance with the free volume of the polymer matrix. Fitting experimental diffusivity data in glassy polymers to a free volume based theory generates a two-parameter equation that calculates the extent of molecular interaction between macromolecule and microconstituent. Gradual substitution of polymer with small-molecule co-solute, glucose syrup in this case, induces a plasticising effect that profoundly affects the level of interaction, hence the diffusion of fatty acids in the condensed biomaterial.
Food Hydrocolloids – Elsevier
Published: May 1, 2018
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