Electrosorption of pectin onto casein micelles

R. Tuinier, C. Rolin, C. G. de Kruif

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

156 Citations (Scopus)


Pectin, a polysaccharide derived from plant cells of fruit, is commonly used as stabilizer in acidified milk drinks. To gain a better understanding of the way that pectin stabilizes these drinks, we studied the adsorption and layer thickness of pectin on casein micelles in skim milk dispersions. Dynamic light scattering was used to measure the layer thickness of adsorbed pectin onto casein micelles in situ during acidification. The results indicate that the adsorption of pectin onto casein micelles is multilayered and takes place at and below pH 5.0. Renneting, i.e., cleaving-off κ-casein from the casein micelles, did not alter the adsorption pH. It did, however, show that pectin arrests the rennet-induced flocculation of casein micelles below pH 5.0. From the findings we concluded the attachment of pectin onto casein micelles is driven by electrosorption. Adsorption measurements confirmed the multilayered nature of the adsorption of pectin onto casein micelles. Both the adsorbed amount and the layer thickness increased with decreasing pH in the relevant range 3.5-5.0. The phase behavior of a casein micelles/pectin mixture was determined and could be explained in terms of thermodynamic incompatibility being relevant above pH 5.0 and adsorption, leading to either stabilization and bridging, being relevant below pH 5.0. The results confirm that electrosorption is the driving force for the adsorption of pectin onto casein micelles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)632-638
Number of pages7
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


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