Defibrillated microcrystalline cellulose as an efficient emulsion stabilizer – Study of food-grade Pickering emulsions resistant to extreme conditions

Tomer Schvartz, Oded Shoseyov*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Natural and sustainable Pickering emulsion stabilizers are gaining increased popularity in various fields, especially in the food industry and plant-based alternative sector. However, suitable biocompatible and food-grade stabilizers are scarce, have limited emulsification efficiency, and their stability has only been tested under mild environmental conditions. In this work, mechanically defibrillated microcrystalline cellulose (dMCC) was characterized and assessed for its emulsifying efficiency under extreme conditions that simulate industrial production processes. Food-grade dMCC-based Pickering emulsions produced with commercial canola or coconut oil, at an oil concentration of up to 50%, demonstrated exceptional stability under long-term storage (6 months) and after standard sterilization treatment (121 °C at 210 kPa). This was demonstrated by measurements of emulsion droplet diameter, rheological characteristics, and zeta-potential values, which remained unchanged over time of despite the harsh conditions applied. Furthermore, polarized microscopy revealed that dMCC particles accumulated over time on the emulsion droplet surface, which might explain the high stability of the emulsions. These findings suggest that dMCC is a robust emulsifier that can be applied with various types of oils to produce stable Pickering emulsions, resistant to harsh production conditions. Taken together, dMCC can therefore be incorporated in commercial applications where plant-based, sustainable, and efficient Pickering stabilizers are required.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number113006
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was mainly funded by grant from the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture [grant number 12-01-0009 ].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors


  • Defibrillated microcrystalline cellulose
  • Extreme conditions
  • Food-grade sustainable and plant-based
  • Pickering emulsions
  • Sterilization and long-term storage


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