Characterisation of Physicochemical Properties of Propionylated Corn Starch and Its
Application as Stabiliser

Lee-Fen Hong1, Lai-Hoong Cheng2, Chong Yew Lee1 and Kok Khiang Peh1*

1School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, USM, 11800 Minden, Penang, Malaysia
2Food Technology Division, School of Industrial Technology, Universiti Sains Malaysia, USM, 11800 Minden,
  Penang, Malaysia

Article history
Received September 20, 2014
Accepted May 13, 2015

Key words:
starch propionate, degree of substitution, physicochemical properties, oil-in-water 
emulsion, stabiliser

A series of propionylated starches with different degrees of substitution (DS) was synthesised and their physicochemical properties and application as a stabiliser were investigated. Starch propionates with moderate DS were prepared by esterification of native corn starch with propionic anhydride. By varying the reaction times of the esterification process, twelve starch propionates with DS of 0.47 to 0.94 were prepared. FTIR and NMR confirmed the introduction of propionyl groups to the starch. X-ray diffraction pattern showed reduced crystallinity in the starch propionates. The contact angle was found to increase proportionately with the increase in DS. Swelling power results showed that starch propionates were able to swell more than native corn starch at low temperature (40 °C). Oil-in-water (O/W) emulsions prepared using starch propionates (DS of 0.64 to 0.86) showed exceptional stability when challenged by centrifugation stress test. These stable O/W emulsions had viscosities in the range of 1236.7–3330.0 mPa·s. In conclusion, moderately substituted short-chain (propionylated) starches could be a promising cold swelling starch, thickener and O/W emulsion stabiliser in food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries.

*Corresponding author:   email3  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
                                       tel3  +604 654 2257
                                       fax2  +604 657 0017