Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Charles Hanna


Nanoscale structures formed by edible fats play an important role in the physical properties of foods. In this research we investigate the structures formed by triacylglycerols (TAGs). TAGs form crystalline nanoplatelets (CNPs), which in turn form fat crystal networks in edible oils. We model CNPS in a multicomponent oil consisting of a liquid component, and a component which undergoes nanoscale phase separation to surround the CNPs with a solid coating. We performed Monte Carlo simulations of the system and computed structure functions to determine the spatial distribution of CNPs. We were able to observe three types of behavior depending on the thickness and isotropy or anisotropy of the coating. For a thin isotropic coating, CNPs stack to form rod-like structures called "TAGwoods" which in turn aggregate to form diffusion limited cluster aggregation (DLCA) structures. For thick isotropic coatings, CNPs do not form TAGwoods, and remain uniformly distributed in space. For anisotropic coatings, CNPs may form TAGwoods, but these do not seem to aggregate to form DLCA structures.



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