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AFM for Food Science Research

Chocolate imaged using atomic force microscopy

Atomic force microscopy can provide unique data in food science. Researchers are looking at the structure of molecules in conditions close to native conditions (e.g. gelatin, casein, xanthin polysaccharides, pectins, amylose, and soy proteins). Larger structures are also being studied, such as polysaccharide gels, starch, gum, chocolate, and milk micelles.

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AFM can provide high resolution images of small molecules and bigger structures. In food science, understanding the structure of foods such as chocolate can help improve the quality in terms of taste as a function of composition, additives, and processing variables. The unique ability of AFM to measure nanomechanical properties at the nanoscale can help distinguish different materials in blends. Samples can be investigated in air, at controlled humidity, or in a liquid environment. Finally, the effect of temperature can be investigated by heating or cooling the entire sample, or local thermal analysis can be used to probe phase transitions at the nanoscale.

  • Food structure and functionality
  • Physico-chemical properties of food biopolymer (protein, carbohydrate polymer, etc.)
  • Food nanotechnology

"AFM-based local thermal analysis is a suitable tool to characterize the impact of different grinding techniques on sucrose surface properties," D. Middendorf, U. Bindrich, P. Mischnick, K. Franke, and V. Heinz, J. Food Eng. 235, 50 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jfoodeng.2018.04.021

"Topographical and nanomechanical characterization of casein nanogel particles using atomic force microscopy," A. Bahri, M. Martin, C. Gergely, S. Marchesseau, and D. Chevalier-Lucia, Food Hydrocoll. 83, 53 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodhyd.2018.03.029

"Simulated gastrointestinal digestion of nisin and interaction between nisin and bile," R. Gough, P. M. O'Connor, M. C. Rea, B. Gómez-Sala, S. Miao, C. Hill, and A. Brodkorb, LWT - Food Sci. Technol. 86, 530 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lwt.2017.08.031

"Polypyrrole/nanocellulose composite for food preservation: Barrier and antioxidant characterization," B. Bideau, J. Bras, N. Adoui, E. Loranger, and C. Daneault, Food Packaging and Shelf Life 12, 1 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fpsl.2017.01.007

"Modification of pea protein isolate for ultrasonic encapsulation of functional liquids," Q. Ye, M. Biviano, S. Mettu, M. Zhou, R. Dagastine, and M. Ashokkumar, RSC Adv. 6, 106130 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1039/c6ra17585f

"Development of biopolymer-based gelatin and casein films incorporating brown seaweed Ascophyllum nodosum extract," S. U. Kadam, S. Pankaj, B. K. Tiwari, P. Cullen, and C. P. O'Donnell, Food Packaging and Shelf Life 6, 68 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fpsl.2015.09.003

"AFM approach to study the function of PGPR's emulsifying properties in cocoa butter based suspensions," D. Middendorf, A. Juadjur, U. Bindrich, and P. Mischnick, Food Struct. 4, 16 (2015). https://doi.org/doi:10.1016/j.foostr.2014.11.003

"AFM study of casein micelles cross-linked by genipin: Effects of acid pH and citrate," N. N. Silva, A. Bahri, F. Guyomarc'h, E. Beaucher, and F. Gaucheron, Dairy Sci. Technol. 95, 75 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13594-014-0199-9

"Characterization of Citrus pectin edible films containing transglutaminase-modified phaseolin," C. V. L. Giosafatto, P. D. Pierro, P. Gunning, A. Mackie, R. Porta, and L. Mariniello, Carbohydr. Polym. 106, 200 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.carbpol.2014.02.015

"Characterization of polylactic acid films for food packaging as affected by dielectric barrier discharge atmospheric plasma," S. K. Pankaj, C. Bueno-Ferrer, N. N. Misra, L. O'Neill, A. Jim énez, P. Bourke, and P. J. Cullen, Innov. Food Sci. Emerg. Technol. 21, 107 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ifset.2013.10.00

"Mining the 'glycocode'—exploring the spatial distribution of glycans in gastrointestinal mucin using force spectroscopy," A. P. Gunning, A. R. Kirby, C. Fuell, C. Pin, L. E. Tailford, and N. Juge, FASEB J. 27, 2342 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1096/fj.12-221416

"β-casein–phospholipid monolayers as model systems to understand lipid–protein interactions in the milk fat globule membrane," S. Gallier, D. Gragson, R. Jiménez-Flores, and D. W. Everett, Int. Dairy J. 22, 58 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.idairyj.2011.08.007

"AFM imaging of milk casein micelles: Evidence for structural rearrangement upon acidification," M. Ouanezar, F. Guyomarc'h, and A. Bouchoux, Langmuir 28, 4915 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1021/la3001448

"CsgA production by Escherichia coli O157:H7 alters attachment to abiotic surfaces in some growth environments," R. M. Goulter-Thorsen, E. Taran, I. R. Gentle, K. S. Gobius, and G. A. Dykes, Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 77, 7339 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1128/aem.00277-11

"Atomic force spectroscopy of interactions between oil droplets in emulsions," A. Gromer and A. P. Gunning, Microscopy and Analysis 25, 9 (2011). link to magazine

"Use of viability staining in combination with flow cytometry for rapid viability assessment of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG in complex protein matrices," S. B. Doherty, L. Wang, R. P. Ross, C. Stanton, G. F. Fitzgerald, and A. Brodkorb, J. Microbiol. Methods 82, 301 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mimet.2010.07.003

"Biopolymer coating of soybean lecithin liposomes via layer-by-layer self-assembly as novel delivery system for ellagic acid," S. Madrigal-Carballo, S. Lim, G. Rodriguez, A. O. Vila, C. G. Krueger, S. Gunasekaran, and J. D. Reed, J. Funct. Foods 2, 99 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jff.2010.01.002

"The interaction between water-insoluble pentosan and gluten of the whole wheat," F. Ma, Z. Wang, S. Xu, and R. Lu, Eur. Food Res. Technol. 229, 231 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00217-009-1041-0

"Evaluation of two food grade proliposomes to encapsulate an extract of a commercial enzyme preparation by microfluidization," A. B. Nongonierma, M. Abrlova, M. A. Fenelon, and K. N. Kilcawley, J. Agric. Food Chem. 57, 3291 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1021/jf803367b https://doi.org/10.1021/jf803367

"Effect of hydrophilic and lipophilic compounds on zein microstructures," Q. Wang, L. Yin, and G. W. Padua, Food Biophys. 3, 174 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11483-008-9080-9

"Noncovalent cross-linking of casein by epigallocatechin gallate characterized by single molecule force microscopy," E. Jöbstl, J. R. Howse, J. P. A. Fairclough, and M. P. Williamson, J. Agric. Food Chem. 54, 4077 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1021/jf053259f