Effect of pH and ionic strength on the physicochemical properties of coconut milk emulsions

N. Tangsuphoom, J. N. Coupland

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Coconut milk (16% to 17% fat, 1.8% to 2% protein) was extracted from coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) endosperm and diluted in buffer to produce natural oil-in-water emulsions (10 wt% oil). The effect of pH (3 to 7) and NaCl (0 to 200 mM) on the properties and stability, namely, mean particle size, ζ-potential, viscosity, microstructure, and creaming stability, of the natural coconut milk emulsions was investigated. At pH values close to the isoelectric point (IEP) of the coconut proteins (pH 3.5 to 4) and in the absence of NaCl, coconut milk flocculated, but did not coalesce. Flocculation corresponded to low surface charges and was accompanied by an increase in emulsion viscosity. Adding up to 200 mM NaCl to those flocculated emulsions did not change the apparent degree of flocculation. Coconut milk emulsion at pH 6 was negatively charged and not flocculated. Upon addition of salt, the ζ-potential decreased from -16 to -6 mV (at 200 mM NaCl) but this was not sufficient to induce flocculation in coconut milk emulsions. At low pH (< IEP), the positively charged droplets of coconut milk emulsions only flocculated when the NaCl concentration exceeded 50 mM, as the ζ-potential approached zero.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E274-E280
JournalJournal of Food Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science


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