Abstract: In order to characterize the rheological nature of a starch paste in a non-contacting and non-destructive way along with its aging, passive particle tracking microrheology (pptMR) was used to evaluate rheological properties and inner structure of starch past during cooling and refrigeration. The results showed that pptMR derived elasticity index (EI), fluidity index (FI) and solid-liquid balance (SLB) could well characterize short-term retrogradation of amylose. In particular, SLB presented a higher resolution. On the other hand, macroscopic viscosity index (MVI) was effective to reflect short-term retrogradation of amylose and also long-term retrogradation of amylopectin. Moreover, pptMR derived elastic modulus (G′), loss modulus (G″) and loss tangent (tanδ) were good indicators of continuous changes in viscoelastic nature and sol-gel transition of starch paste upon cooling, which could also characterize long-term retrogradation of starch paste. In summary, pptMR is a potential method for continuously exploring cooling-induced aging events of starch paste, which has undoubtable advantages comparing against traditional mechanical rheology with further methodological investigation should be addressed in the future.
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