Exploring how changes to the steroidal core alter oleogelation capability in sterol: γ-oryzanol blends

Andrew B. Matheson, Georgios Dalkas, Gareth O. Lloyd, Aaliyah Hart, Arjen Bot, Ruud den Adel, Vasileios Koutsos, Paul S. Clegg, Stephen Robert Euston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
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Oleogels based on sterols such as β-sitosterol blended with the sterol ester γ-oryzanol are a very interesting class of systems, but there are aspects of their formation and structure that remain elusive. It has previously been shown that a methyl group on the C30 position of the sterol-ester plays an important role in gelation. This work explored the effect that having C30 methyl groups on both the sterol and the sterol-ester had on the gelation process and subsequent gel structure. Lanosterol and saponified γ-oryzanol (which was synthesized as part of this study) were identified as materials of interest, as both feature a methyl group on the C30 position of their steroidal cores. It was observed that both sterols formed gels when blended with γ-oryzanol, and also that lanosterol gelled sunflower oil without the addition of γ-oryzanol. All of these gels were significantly weaker than that formed by β-sitosterol blended with γ-oryzanol. To explore why, molecular docking simulations along with AFM and SAXS were used to examine these gels on a broad range of length scales. The results suggest that saponified γ-oryzanol-γ-oryzanol gels have a very similar structure to that of β-sitosterol-γ-oryzanol gels. Lanosterol-γ-oryzanol gels and pure lanosterol gel, however, form with a totally different structure facilitated by the head-to-tail stacking motif exhibited by lanosterol. These results give further evidence that relatively slight changes to the molecular structure of gelators can result in significant differences in subsequent gel properties.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)943-950
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Oil Chemists' Society
Issue number11
Early online date29 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


  • fat substitutes
  • nutraceuticals/functional foods
  • rheology
  • structure–functional properties

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Organic Chemistry


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