Bild DM Laura Riedel

M.Sc. Désirée Martin

  • Postanschrift: Kaiserstr. 12
    Liefer- und Besucheranschrift: Gotthard-Franz-Straße 3
    Geb. 50.31, 4. OG
    D-76131 Karlsruhe

About myself

After graduating from highschool in Thuringia, I immediately began to study Life Science Engineering at KIT in Karlsruhe. My interest in food process engineering had already been spiked during my bachelor's degree. Accordingly, I completed my bachelor's thesis at Food Process Engineering (LVT) in the field of double emulsions. During my Master studies, I had the chance to gain further experience in the field of emulsification technology as a student assistant. I did my six-month industrial internship at Beiersdorf AG in Hamburg. Here, I investigated the use of solid lipid nanoparticles (SLNs) in the cosmetics industry. My master's thesis focussed on melt emulsions: I investigated the influence of the molecular structure of the emulsifier and the process control on the crystallisation behaviour of emulsified triglycerides.

Since October 2021, I have been working on my doctorate as a research assistant in the emulsification technology group.

Research focus

Structuring and texture modification of vegan yoghurt alternatives

Biopolymers, such as pectins, are used in food products to create textures and gels (e.g. in jams and marmalades). However, the gelling properties of pectins can also be used to synthesise microgel particles. Microgel particles are colloids, each consisting of a gelled polymer network. As such, microgel particles combine the properties of particles, gel networks, and the polymer chains used for microgel formation. For this reason, microgel particles are of great interest to the food industry. They can be used as texturisers and emulsifiers in various applications. The main focus of my research is the usage of pectin-based microgel particeles for structuring and texture modification of vegan yoghurt alternatives.

Molecular structure – function relationships of gum arabic

The focus here is on the influence of the molecular composition of gum arabic on the stabilisation of flavour and beverage emulsions. The aim is to investigate the causes for the different emulsification behaviour of various gum Arabic samples. The relationship between the structure and the emulsifying and emulsion-stabilising properties is being investigated.


Structuring and texture modification of vegan yoghurt alternatives

Microgel formation is composed of a mixing step and of a droplet/gel breakup step which correspond to the processes occurring during the emulsification of fluids. For this reason, the machines used for emulsification (high-pressure homogenization, rotor-stator system, etc.) can also be employed for microgel formation. Optical and rheological methods are used for the characterization of microgel particles, these include light microscopy, (interfacial) rheology and particle size measurement techniques.

Molecular structure – function relationships of gum arabic

The interfacial and emulsifying properties can be investigated, among other things, by measuring the interfacial tension, the interfacial rheology and the drop size distribution of emulsions.

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