Alba, Katerina, Kasapis, Stefan and Kontogiorgos, Vassilis (2015) Influence of pH on mechanical relaxations in high solids lm-pectin preparations. Carbohydrate Polymers, 127. pp. 182-188. ISSN 0144-8617

The influence of pH on the mechanical relaxation of LM-pectin in the presence of co-solute has been investigated by means of differential scanning calorimetry, ζ-potential measurements and small deformation dynamic oscillation in shear. pH was found to affect the conformational properties of the polyelectrolyte altering its structural behaviour. Cooling scans in the vicinity of the glass transition region revealed a remarkable change in the viscoelastic functions as the polyelectrolyte rearranges from extended (neutral pH) to compact conformations (acidic pH). This conformational rearrangement was experimentally observed to result in early vitrification at neutral pH values where dissociation of galacturonic acid residues takes place. Time-temperature superposition of the mechanical shift factors and theoretical modeling utilizing WLF kinetics confirmed the accelerated kinetics of glass transition in the extended pectin conformation at neutral pH. Determination of the relaxation spectra of the samples using spectral analysis of the master curves revealed that the relaxation of macromolecules occurs within ~0.1 s regardless of the solvent pH.

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