• Phytosterol crystallisation within bulk and dispersed triacylglycerol matrices as influenced by oil droplet size and low molecular weight surfactant addition

      Zychowski, Lisa M.; Logan, Amy; Augustin, Mary Ann; Kelly, Alan L.; O'Mahony, James A.; Conn, Charlotte E.; Auty, Mark; Teagasc; Australian Research Council; 6412; et al. (Elsevier, 2018-04-12)
      Phytosterols can lower LDL-cholesterol and are frequently used by the functional food industry. However, little is known regarding how phytosterol crystallisation can be controlled, despite solubilised phytosterols having improved bioaccessibility. This study investigates phytosterol crystallisation in bulk milk fat and in model dairy emulsion systems at two average droplet sizes, 1.0 and 0.2 µm. The effect of lecithin and monoacylglycerol addition on phytosterol crystallisation for both emulsion and bulk systems was also evaluated. Results demonstrated that lecithin and monoacylglycerols enrichment into the bulk system minimised phytosterol crystallisation. However, in emulsions, phytosterol crystallisation was mainly influenced by decreasing the droplet size. Smaller emulsion droplets containing lecithin showed the greatest potential for decreasing phytosterol crystallisation and had improved physicochemical stability. This information can be employed by the functional food industry to minimise phytosterol crystallisation and possibly improve bioaccessibility.