Influence of a non-ionic surfactant in the microstructure and rheology of a pickering emulsion stabilized by cellulose nanofibrils

Jorge Velásquez-Cock, Angélica María Serpa, Catalina Gómez-Hoyos, Piedad Gañán, Manuel Romero-Sáez, Lina María Vélez, Natalia Correa-Hincapié, Robin Zuluaga

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Emulsion stabilization is a broad and relevant field with applications in oil, polymer and food industries. In recent years, the use of solid particles to stabilize emulsions or Pickering emulsions have been studied for their kinetic and physical properties. Nanomaterials derived from natural sources are an interesting alternative for this application. Cellulose nanofibrils (CNFs) have been widely explored as a Pickering emulsifier with potential food applications, however, in some cases the presence of surfactants is unavoidable, and the literature is devoid of an evaluation of the effect of a non-ionic food-grade surfactant, such as polysorbate 80, in the stabilization of a vegetable oil by CNFs. To better assess the possible interactions between CNFs and this surfactant emulsions containing coconut oil, an emerging and broadly used oil, were processed with and without polysorbate 80 and evaluated in their qualitative stability, morphological and physical properties. Fluorescence microscopy, dynamic light scattering and rheology were used for this assessment. Results indicate in absence of the surfactant, emulsion stability increased at higher CNFs content, creaming was observed at 0.15 and 0.3 wt.% of CNFs, while it was not evidenced when 0.7 wt.% was used. After the addition of surfactant, the droplets are covered by the surfactant, resulting in particles with a smaller diameter, entrapped in the cellulosic structure. Rheology indicates a lower network stiffness after adding polysorbate 80.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number3625
    Issue number21
    StatePublished - 1 Nov 2021

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    Funding: The present study was funded by Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation of the Colombian Government (MINCIENCIAS), grant number 808, 2018. Contract number 80740-126-2019. This project was financed with resources from the Francisco José de Caldas National Fund for the Financing of Science, Technology and Innovation.

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


    • Coconut oil
    • Colloids
    • Nanocellulose
    • Non-ionic surfactant
    • Pickering emulsions


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