Simultaneous Microstructural Calorimetric and Characterization of Food and Biomaterials Using Thermal Microscopy
As polymers are important components of food and biomaterial systems, their properties are governed by their structure and interactions. Therefore it is important to be able to determine factors that ultimately influence performance attributes, such as food texture and material strength. Current means of observing polymer properties during processing (phase changes) typically involve a combination of separate experimental tools, each only providing a part of the picture. Recent developments in instrumentation have combined optical microscopy with differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) to provide simultaneous measurements within a single experiment. The Mettler Toledo FP84HT-FP90 Hot Stage-DSC provides this capability, and will be invaluable for the study of polymer systems in foods and materials. The acquisition of this instrument will provide
increased insight and interpretative power for research of thermal transitions necessary to manipulate and optimize food and bioproduct systems. Three multidisciplinary research interests involving investigation of: 1) thermal transitions within heated potato tissue, 2) stress-crack prediction in food and biomaterials, and 3) interactions central to wood plastic composites are delineated within the proposal to justify equipment need. The Mettler Toledo FP84HT-FP90 will greatly improve our potential to make significant, meaningful scientific contribution within the food and bioproducts research arenas, and provide research support to facilitate the competitiveness of U.S. products in global markets.