FOOD MATERIALS SCIENCE: EFFECTS OF POLYPHENOLS ON SUCROSE CRYSTALLIZATION AND CHARACTERIZATION AND CREATION OF ALTERNATIVE SALTS OF THIAMINE
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Proper understanding of materials science is critical in understanding the functionality of ingredients in food products, as well as their behavior in these products over time. Amorphous materials are metastable, eventually rearranging to the thermodynamically stable crystalline state. Amorphous materials have properties which are beneficial in some food products: they are softer in texture and dissolve more rapidly. The amorphous state of sucrose might provide an increase in quality in applications like powdered beverages where rapid dissolution is preferred. A number of classes of compounds have been shown to delay the crystallization of amorphous sucrose; however, polyphenols, particularly their glycosylated forms, have been little explored. Glycosylated polyphenols contain two distinct structural regions: a more hydrophilic sugar unit(s) and a more hydrophobic polyphenol backbone. While the sugar unit should be able to easily associate with sucrose molecules, the polyphenolic backbone may not and might provide hindrance to crystal nucleation and growth.
Thiamine is an essential nutrient that is found naturally in foods such as whole grains and pork. The processing of grains removes nearly the entirety of the natural thiamine content; thus, foods are often enriched with synthetic thiamine. Two salts of thiamine are used commercially: thiamine mononitrate and thiamine chloride hydrochloride. The two forms have specific applications driven by their specific properties, specifically their aqueous solubility and hygroscopicity. While these two salts provide adequate functionality, it is possible new salts may have properties beneficial in certain food applications. A method making use of silver nitrate was developed to produce new salt forms. An intermediate in this reaction, TCl·H2O, was characterized including measurements of stability in aqueous solutions and solid state properties.