Food Microstructure

The microstrueture (location, distribution, size, morphology, porosity, etc) of a food material is closely correlated to its texture (1), component functionality (2), and nutritional quality (3). The challenge lies in finding the appropriate methodology (or combination of such) for microstructural characterization. This review will focus mainly on the various techniques available for such characterization with special emphasis on their applications and limitations.

A basic approach for visualizing the microstructure of a sample is to obtain a magnified view of its components through microscopic techniques. Excellent examples of the relationship of microscopic observations to changes observed during processing can be found in the literature (4,5). Our attempt will be to summarize the differences of some basic microscopy techniques and their limitations and advantages.

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