Structured Edible Oils: The Potential of Mixed Cyclic Di-Amino Acids
Cyclic di-amino acids (CdAAs) are versatile low molecular-mass organogelators (LMOGs) investigated across multiple applications, including oil structuring and improving drug delivery. The gelling behavior, and crystal morphology compared for induvial and mixed CdAAs in various solvents found mixtures of four or more CdAAs altered gelation allowing it to form a colloidal, protein crystal network in canola oil, while individual CdAA gelators precipitated. Combining CdAAs alters the gelation behavior of the mixed CdAA gels compared to pure CdAA gels. Self-assembly of a single CdAA is influenced by identical amino acid side chains driving molecular alignment. Mixed CdAA systems are directed to self-assemble based on their cyclic ring, and with sufficient amino acid side chain diversity, highly branched colloidal protein crystal form, solidifying canola oil. The crystalline networks formed by the mixed CdAAs are similar to traditional fat crystal networks, making mixed CdAAs an excellent candidate as a novel fat structuring agent.