Gelatinisation of aqueous cornstarch dispersions with different amylose/amylopectin ratios were studied by Rheology Solutions with respect to their response to the simultaneous application of thermal and mechanical stresses. The study was conducted using a combined controlled stress (CS) rheometer and microscope with camera, allowing variations of viscosity and microstructure to be recorded concurrently.
The microscopic images were recorded by the camera, one image for each rheological data point. It is the first time a direct relationship between viscosity and physical variation of starch granules in dispersion has been established and directly optically observed for starch gelatinisation in the presence of an applied shear field. It was found that there are two steps for starch gelatinisation under these conditions with regard to the physical transition of the starch granules: (1) starch swelling and gradual dissolving and leaching of starch components; (2) rapid dissolution of a high proportion of the granule. In the first step the viscosity increased gradually, as the starch granule was slowly dissolved and materials were leached into the water carrier.
The granules became almost transparent in the presence of the applied thermal and mechanical fields and dimensional changes in the starch granules (swelling) during the latter stages of gelatinisation can not be clearly observed. In the second step, the starch granule disappeared in a short time and viscosity of the aqueous material increased sharply. The gelatinisation temperature under shear stress, as measured by the CS rheometer/microscope combination is lower than that measured by Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) under shear-less conditions.