The irreversible aggregation of cellulose nanofibrils (CNFs) during their dehydration or hornification, increases their commercialization costs, restricting their storage and transportation to cellulosic suspensions. This issue has prompted the development of different alternatives in literature; some of them require energy intensive treatments for their redispersion or the use of additives which are not convenient for food or pharmaceutical related applications. To overcome these problems, the present work evaluates the use of maltodextrin (MDX) as a capping agent to avoid CNFs hornification. Different nanocellulose to MDX (N:M) ratios were evaluated. The physico-chemical, morphological and rheological properties of ensuing samples were analyzed. Infrared spectroscopy and thermal analyses indicate a complete removal of MDX after cellulose isolation. A suspension stability comparable to the never-dried product was achieved when using a N:M ratio beyond 1:1.5, and it was maintained up to a ratio of 1:2.5. Morphological and rheological data agree with these results.
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