PLoS One. 2022 Aug 31;17(8):e0271512. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0271512. eCollection 2022.
Palm pressed fibre (PPF) is a lignocellulose biomass generated from palm oil mill that is rich in cellulose. The present work aimed to combine acid hydrolysis followed by high-pressure homogenisation (HPH) to produce nanocrystal cellulose (CNC) with enhanced physicochemical properties from PPF. PPF was alkaline treated, bleached, acid hydrolysed and homogenised under high pressure condition to prepare CNC. The effects of homogenisation pressure (10, 30, 50, 70 MPa) and cycles (1, 3, 5, 7) on the particle size, zeta potential and rheological properties of CNC produced were investigated. HPH was capable of producing CNC with better stability. Results revealed that utilizing 1 cycle of homogenisation at a pressure of 50 MPa resulted in CNC with the smallest dimension, highest aspect ratio, moderate viscosity and exceptionally high zeta potential. Subsequently, 0.15% (CNC 0.15 -PE) and 0.30% (CNC 0.30 -PE) of CNC was used to stabilise oil-in-water emulsions and their stability was evaluated against different pH, temperature and ionic strength. All the CNC-stabilised emulsions demonstrated good thermal stability. CNC 0.30 -PE exhibited larger droplets but higher stability than CNC 0.15 -PE. In short, CNC with gel like structure has a promising potential to serve as a natural Pickering emulsifier to stabilise oil-in-water emulsion in various food applications.