Journal of food science

Miscibility of Quillaja Saponins with other Co-surfactants under Different pH Values.

PMID 26458074


The miscibility behavior of mixed surfactant systems and the influence of extrinsic parameters are crucial for their application as emulsifiers. Therefore, the objective of this study was to evaluate the miscibility behavior of mixed systems composed of commercial Quillaja saponin and a co-surfactant, namely sodium caseinate, pea protein, rapeseed lecithin, or egg lecithin. These mixtures were evaluated macro- and microscopically at different concentration ratios (maximum concentration 5% w/v) at pH 3, 5, and 7 at 25 °C. The individual ingredients were also assessed for their charge properties and surface hydrophobicity. The results showed that Quillaja saponin-caseinate mixtures were miscible only at pH 7, and showed aggregation and precipitation at lower pH due to increasing electrostatic attraction forces. Rheological measurements showed that Quillaja saponin-pea protein mixtures formed gelled structures at all tested pH values mainly via association of hydrophobic patches. Quillaja saponins mixed with rapeseed lecithin were miscible at all tested pH values due to electrostatic repulsion. Quillaja saponin-egg lecithin mixtures aggregated independent of pH and concentration ratio. The microscopic analysis revealed that the lower the pH and the higher the Quillaja saponin ratio, the denser were the formed Quillaja saponin-egg lecithin aggregates. The results are summarized in ternary phase diagrams that provide a useful tool in selecting a surfactant system for food applications.