Physical and Viscoelastic Properties of Calcium Alginate Gels
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] Calcium alginate gels have a wide variety of applications in food processing, bioengineering and pharmaceuticals due to their unique advantages. In this research, three calcium alginate gel systems including calcium chloride-alginate gel, calcium lactate-alginate gel and calcium sulfate-GDL-alginate gel, were studied. Calcium chloride-alginate gel and calcium lactate-alginate gel were prepared by the diffusion method, while calcium sulfate-GDL-alginate gel was formed by the internal setting method. For each calcium alginate gel system, hardness, springiness, cohesiveness, adhesiveness, fracturability, and water holding capacity were tested to identify the influence of alginate levels, calcium levels and swelling temperature levels. At the same time, the influence of alginate levels, calcium levels and temperature levels on viscoelastic properties like complex modulus (G*), storage modulus (G'), loss modulus (G') and phase angle of calcium alginate gels was studied. Results show that calcium alginate gels exhibit a solid-like behavior, with phase angles in the range of 3.2°-6.8°. In addition, the type of calcium source makes a difference on gel properties. Calcium lactate-alginate gels are the hardest, followed by calcium chloride-alginate gels, and then calcium sulfate-GDL-alginate gels.