Effects of Crystal Growth and Polymorphism of Triacylglycerols on NMR Relaxation Parameters. 1. Evidence of a Relationship between Crystal Size and Spin−Lattice Relaxation Time
Matthieu Adam-Berret†‡§, Alain Riaublanc‡, Corinne Rondeau-Mouro‡ and Franois Mariette*‡§
Fat crystal networks confer their physical properties on fat-containing products. They are characterized by the solid fat content (SFC) and the design of the crystals, that is, their polymorphism and their size. Different techniques such as NMR, differential scanning calorimetry, and X-ray diffraction (XRD) are used to determine these parameters. Low-field NMR, the reference method for evaluation of SFC, has been proven to allow the determination of polymorphism through spin−lattice relaxation time (T1) and second moment (M2) measurements. However, this technique could provide more information on the system. On the basis of the effects of supercooling on the NMR parameters, the first evidence of a possible relationship between the size of the crystals and T1 was demonstrated. The effects of a liquid phase on the fat crystal network were investigated with liquid tricaprin and solid tristearin. It was demonstrated that the two triacylglycerols can cocrystallize, and that the liquid phase modified the polymorphic behavior of tristearin. The evolution of T1 over time could be related to the Ostwald ripening phenomenon. In view of this evidence, it was concluded that there was a relationship between T1 and the size of the crystals in the fat crystal network.