Sandra Beyer Gregersen


Sandra Beyer Gregersen
Se relationer på Aarhus Universitet


PhD project: Microstructure and Rheological Properties of Vegetable Oils for use in Chocolate and Confectionery


Aarhus University, Faculty of Science & Technology


Department of Food Science


Lars Wiking, PhD, Ass. Prof.


Marianne Hammershøj, PhD, Ass. Prof.

Project term:

September 2011 – 2014

Masters degree:

MSc in Process Technology (Biotechnology)




Vegetable oils are applied in chocolate and confectionery manufacturing to reduce raw material costs and processing time. As the oil crystallizes it forms a three dimensional network that is of great importance for the storage stability, texture and mouthfeel of the final products. The structure of the fat crystal network will depend on the processing, which involves cooling, heating and agitation. It is important that cocoa butter alternatives has an optimized melting profile and contribute to a desirable texture and taste release. The hypothesis is that the texture and storage stability of cocoa butter alternatives can be improved through correctly controlled dynamic processes. The current knowledge of how dynamic processes affect crystallization of lipids is, however, limited especially for systems where more than one kind of oil is present.



The aim of the project is to elucidate the effect of different processing parameters on the microstructure and rheological properties of different vegetable oil systems for use in chocolate and confectionary.


Research outline

Selected vegetable oil systems will be subjected to different cooling profiles and different degree of shear/agitation. Polarized light microscopy and confocal laser scanning microscopy will be applied for studying the microstructure. Oscillatory rheometry and penetration test will be applied for studying the textural properties.

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