Recent Research

Rheo-chemistry of Aiyu Gelation

Post Date:2021-08-24

Fan-Wei Wang, Michela Geri, Yun-Ru Chen, Jung-Ren Huang, Gareth McKinley*, Yeng-Long Chen*
Food Hydrocolloids, 2021

Aiyu is a popular summer dessert made from aiyu seeds uniquely cultivated in Taiwan. Unlike many pectin gels, making aiyu gels need only mixing with water, without cooking or adding acids. This simple, unique characteristic derives from the complex interplay of enzymatic activation of pectin polymers, transient binding with calcium ions, and stable cooperative calcium binding to form stable junction zone crosslinks.

We employed advanced rheometry, electron microscopy , and reaction kinetics modeling techniques to understand how aiyu viscoelasticity progresses during gelation. We discovered a previously unreported phenomenon, reflected in an inflection point in the storage and loss moduli during gelation, that may be attributed to the formation of long junction zone crosslinks. Our team is exploring how to better control the quality and lifetime of the aiyu gel. Furthermore, we aim to develop future applications for biomaterials.

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Journal Links: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0268005X21004173?via%3Dihub

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