Emulsifying properties of cocoa particles have been investigated in systems containing purified sunflower oil (PSO) and water at varying pH, concentration and source of cocoa particles including cocoa powders (CP), cocoa fibre (CF) and cocoa mass (CM). The effect of cocoa particle source, pH and cocoa particle concentration on emulsion stability was evaluated by following changes in characteristic droplet diameter. Size distributions acquired on the emulsions and aqueous cocoa particle suspensions overlapped. Based on cryo-SEM imaging of the emulsions, isolation of cocoa particle fines and a process of washing the cocoa particles to remove any water soluble molecules, it was concluded that the cocoa particle fines not captured by the small angle laser diffraction method employed for sizing, act as Pickering particles. This research has demonstrated a universal nature of a natural food particle to stabilise oil-in-water emulsions not requiring particle modification or adjusting of the solution properties of the emulsion phases.
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