Oil Structuring: Concepts, Overview and Future Perspectives
Although still in its infancy, the field of edible oil structuring has emerged as a subject of growing interest in the last couple of years. Oil structuring, or more specifically oleogelation, constitutes a range of approaches aimed at creating viscoelastic ‘gel-like’ structures from edible liquid oils without relying on solid fats. The main focus lies in understanding the self-assembling properties of alternative structuring units in order to mimic the network-forming capability of fat crystals in oil continuous medium. Working on this principle, a number of structuring agents ranging from natural waxes to biopolymers have been explored for oleogelation. The aim of this chapter is to give a concise account of the concepts of oleogelation (with a ‘colloidal gel’ perspective) and an overview of the current literature in this field (with emphasis on the work published in the last 5 years), concluding with some future trends.