The determination of the lower critical concentration temperature and intrinsic viscosity: The syneresis reaction of polymeric gels

Komla Ako, Said Elmarhoum, Claire D. Munialo

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5 Citations (Scopus)
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This work studies (by rheological method) the temperature dependence of coil-to-coil contact critical concentration (C* in g/L) and the intrinsic viscosity ([η] in L/g) as the capacity of a single-coil to bind the solvent molecules and increase the solution viscosity accordingly. The C* and [η] were measured and fitted by a model to characterize the thermodynamic stability of the kappa-carrageenan (kC) polysaccharide in solution. The weakest C* and greatest [η] of the kC was found to be ≈ 0.44 g/L and ≈1.23 L/g, respectively. The temperature where the C* was weakest was found at ≈ 30 °C and is referred to as the lower critical concentration temperature (LCCT). The expansion of the polysaccharide was greater at the LCCT, but its capacity to bind the solvent molecules was found greater at ≈ 20 °C according to the model. The hydrodynamic permeability resistance was defined as C*[η] and was shown to decrease smoothly by a slope of 2.6 × 10−3/°C with the increase in temperature from 0 °C to 45 °C, then strongly by a slope of 22.5 × 10−3/°C after 60 °C. Therefore, if a polymer solution at LCCT is gelled at lower or higher temperature, the polymer sizes will decrease (syneresis reaction), but the [η] and gel elasticity will interfere with the kinetics of the reaction to determine thereafter the serum holding capacity of the gels.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107346
JournalFood Hydrocolloids
Issue numberPart B
Early online date9 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022

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We thank Vincent VERDOOT for his technical assistance on the Rheometer Instruments. The authors thank Pr. Marguerite Rinaudo for providing us with the kappa-Carrageenan product. We thank Laurine Buon and Eric Bayma from Cermav for their kind assistance on the product composition. This work was financially supported by I-MEP2 PhD graduate school. The Laboratoire Rh?ologie et Proc?d?s (LRP) is part of the LabEx Tec 21 (Investissements d'Avenir - grant agreement n?ANR-11-LABX-0030) and of the PolyNat Carnot Institut Investissements d'Avenir - grant agreement (n?ANR-11-CARN-030-01).


  • Hydrodynamic volume
  • Polymers expansion
  • Rheology
  • Water-holding capacity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)


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