Chapter 14: Applications of Scanning Electron Microscopy and Atomic Force Microscopy to Food Structure Characterisation
Published:17 Oct 2019
Linking functional properties to the underpinning structure of food materials requires an evaluation of nano-, micro-, and macrostructural elements. The toolbox of techniques available is broad, but our underlying premise is that understanding the operation of the tool means better interpretation of the results. As such, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) provides the best structural imaging when the compromises of high resolution and surface sensitivity are understood. Likewise, the parameters of atomic force microscopy balance resolution with surface damage. Evolution in both these techniques is leading to greater application in food structure characterisation. SEM can be applied to fully hydrated specimens in their native state using “environmental” instruments, allowing for in situ testing as well as structural analysis. AFM is increasingly used for applications beyond imaging, where mechanical properties and surface chemistry can be investigated with high spatial resolution.