Hydrophobized cellulose nanocrystals enhance xanthan and locust bean gum network properties in gels and emulsions

Rinat Nigmatullin*, Marcus A. Johns*, Stephen J. Eichhorn*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
75 Downloads (Pure)


Locust bean/xanthan gum (LBG/XG) synergistic networks have previously been well studied, with evidence that junction zones between the two polymers result in hydrophobic domains. Here we report on the effect of both hydrophilic and hydrophobic cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) on the rheological properties of the individual gums, the gum networks, and emulsion gels consisting of the gum network and corn oil. We also take advantage of differences in the autofluorescent spectra for each of the components to map their distribution within the gel and emulsion gel systems. Whilst both types of CNC confer thermal stability to the systems, hydrophilic CNCs induce minor changes in rheological properties of synergistic gels and prove to be detrimental to the stability of the emulsion gels. In contrast, hydrophobic CNCs associate with the LBG/XG network, affecting the rheological response. Their inclusion in the emulsion gel system results in smaller, more homogeneously distributed oil droplets with a resultant increase in the storage modulus by an order of magnitude compared to the CNC-free and hydrophilic CNC systems. We conclude that hydrophobic CNCs play a critical role in stabilising LBG/XG network gels and emulsions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number116953
Number of pages10
JournalCarbohydrate Polymers
Early online date18 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2020


  • Locust bean gum
  • Xanthan gum
  • Cellulose nanocrystal
  • Hydrophobicity
  • Rheology
  • Fluorescent spectroscopy


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