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Characterization of Oleogels Based on Waxes and Their Hydrolyzates

Wettlaufer, Till; Hetzer, Birgit; Flöter, Eckhard

In this paper, the structuring of liquid oils, also known as oleogelation, is systematically investigated for the first time using a quasi-quaternary mixing system approach. Native waxes with different quantities of wax esters (WE), n-alkanes (hydrocarbons (HC)), fatty acids (FA), and fatty alcohols (FaOH) are applied in mixtures with hydrolyzed waxes to systematically change the composition. Hydrolyzed waxes contain high levels of FA and FaOH. The model systems are investigated on microscopic level (brightfield light microscopy (BFM), cryogenic scanning electron microscopy (cryo-SEM)) as well as on their macroscopic properties (rheology, gel hardness) and calorimetric behavior (differential scanning calorimetry (DSC)). It is found that sunflower wax (SFW)-based gels (12% structurant) become less hard on any admixture. Beeswax (BW)-based gels show significant increases in hardness when 25% and 50% (w/w) hydrolyzate are admixed. This could be related to stepwise crystallization. Further analysis reveals that the dissolution/melting behavior of the wax ester mixtures can be surprisingly well described as ideal solubility of a single pseudocomponent. The approach to unravel the individual contributions of the different species present in waxes is successful and marks a first step to better understand the systematic of wax functionality as oleogelators.
Published in: European journal of lipid science and technology, 10.1002/ejlt.202000345, Wiley