Ptychographic X-ray computed tomography of extended colloidal networks in food emulsions

Mikkel Schou Nielsen, Merete Bøgelund Munk, Ana Diaz, Emil Bøje Lind Pedersen, Mirko Holler, Stefan Bruns, Jens Risbo, Kell Mortensen, Robert Krarup Feidenhans'l

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As a main structural level in colloidal food materials, extended colloidal networks are important for texture and rheology. By obtaining the 3D microstructure of the network, macroscopic mechanical properties of the material can be inferred. However, this approach is hampered by the lack of suitable non-destructive 3D imaging techniques with submicron resolution. We present results of quantitative ptychographic X-ray computed tomography applied to a palm kernel oil based oil-in-water emulsion. The measurements were carried out at ambient pressure and temperature. The 3D structure of the extended colloidal network of fat globules was obtained with a resolution of around 300 nm. Through image analysis of the network structure, the fat globule size distribution was computed and compared to previous findings. In further support, the reconstructed electron density values were within 4% of reference values.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFood Structure
Pages (from-to)21-28
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • 3D microstructure
  • Colloidal network
  • Computed tomography
  • Food emulsion
  • X-ray phase-contrast imaging
  • X-ray ptychography

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