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Main application of polyglycerol esters of fatty acids

2021-01-14 16:23

Background and Overview

Polyglycerol esters of fatty acids are a new type of nonionic surfactants with excellent performance. Because of their excellent emulsification, dispersion, wetting, and stability, they have a wide range of applications. Especially in the food industry, people are paying more and more attention to food hygiene and safety today. The development of non-toxic and environmentally friendly surfactants has become an important content in the research field of food additives. Fatty acid monoglycerides and polyglycerol esters of fatty acids are recognized by people for their excellent safety and excellent surface activity. Compared with other food additives such as sucrose esters, they have better emulsification performance and flavor.



Polyglycerol esters of fatty acids are polyhydroxy ester nonionic surfactant, which has the advantages of many varieties, wide application range and good emulsification performance. Since its hydrophilicity depends on the degree of polymerization of glycerol n, and the lipophilicity depends on the length and number of fatty acid alkyl R, changing the degree of polymerization n, the type of fatty acid and the degree of esterification can obtain the hydrophilic-lipophilic balance value ( HLB value) a series of non-ionic surfactants with different properties in the range of 2-16 to suit various application requirements.


Polyglycerol esters of fatty acids (PGFE) are generally produced by the esterification reaction of polyglycerol (PG) and fatty acid (FE). The product has many components and complex structure. Its structure depends on the degree of polymerization of polyglycerol, the type of fatty acid, and Esterification degree and esterification position. The general structure of polyglycerol esters of fatty acids can be expressed as follows:



Polyglycerol ester of fatty acid has multiple properties such as good emulsification, dispersion, wetting, stability, foaming, etc. It is a safe and environmentally friendly excellent surfactant. With the continuous improvement of the production process of polyglycerol esters of fatty acids and the continuous improvement of quality, the products have been widely used in many fields with higher safety requirements, and their application fields are further expanding. It will become the most widely used type of surfactant. The appearance of polyglycerol esters of fatty acid ranges from light yellow oily liquid to waxy solid, depending on the degree of polymerization of the combined fatty acid and glycerin. Its biggest feature is that it is quite stable under acidic conditions, has good heat resistance, is not prone to hydrolysis, has a wide range of HLB values, and can be widely used in many fields.


Used in the food industry


1) Food emulsifier


Food emulsifier is the most important application field of polyglycerol esters of fatty acids. It can be used in water-in-oil type (W/O), oil-in-water type (O/W), double emulsification type (O/W/O, W /O/W) Emulsifier for emulsion.


Water-in-oil type (W/O): Polyglycerol esters of fatty acid with HLB value ≤ 6 can be used as water-in-oil emulsifiers, with good emulsification properties, and can be used to produce butter, shortening, etc. Compared with other food emulsifiers, polyglycerol fatty ester has higher emulsifying power and good heat resistance. In the application process, it can be used alone or mixed with fatty acid sucrose esters to obtain higher stability, foaming and shape retention ability.


Oil-in-water (O/W): Hydrophilic polyglycerol esters of fatty acid with HLB value ≥ 7 can be used as oil-in-water emulsifiers to form emulsions with good salt resistance and acid resistance. It has a lower PH value and higher salt content. When it is high, its emulsification and stability are still good, and it is an important emulsifier for the production of coconut milk and milk.


Double emulsion type (O/W/O, W/O/W): W/O/W type emulsion is formed by dispersing W/O type emulsion in water.


Nowadays, the application of dual emulsification technology has attracted more and more attention. The strong W/O emulsification ability of polyglycerol esters of fatty acids makes it possible to promote the application of dual emulsification technology in the food industry. In addition, it can also be applied to O/W/O emulsions. Foods produced by this double emulsion technology include ice cream, margarine, mayonnaise, beverages, etc.


2) Used as a crystallization regulator


It has crystallization inhibition or crystallization promotion effects respectively due to their different structures. Selecting a certain polyglycerol esters of fatty acids can adjust the crystallization speed, improve the emulsification performance, and reduce the particle size of the crystals. , thereby improving appreance.


For example, during the production and storage of chocolate, due to temperature changes, oil and sugar crystals are produced, which affects the appearance of the product. Adding polyglycerol esters of fatty acids to chocolate can increase the stability of the chocolate, prevent the precipitation of fat and sugar from blooming, and improve the appearance.


3) Viscosity modifier


Polyglycerol esters of fatty acids are often used as viscosity modifiers in the food industry. For example, chocolate contains cocoa powder, milk powder and sucrose. The properties of these ingredients are very different, and they are not compatible with each other, so the dispersibility is very poor. Polyglycerol esters of fatty acids can improve the dispersibility of these ingredients, form a smooth tissue structure, reduce the friction between oils and sucrose and other ingredients, so that the fluidity of the chocolate is relatively enhanced, thereby reducing the viscosity.


4) Antibacterial and fresh-keeping effect


Polyglycerol esters of fatty acids have good antibacterial effects, with different structures it has different antibacterial targets, especially the oine with short chain length (C8-12), which are resistant to bacteria, molds, Yeasts have a strong antibacterial effect, coupled with their non-toxic and edible properties, they are very suitable as food antibacterial agents.



application of polyglycerol esters of fatty acids in different industries



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