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Adv Colloid Interface Sci. 2002 Mar 29;97(1-3):63-89.

Theoretical prediction of emulsion color.

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  • 1Department of Food Science, University of Massachusetts, Amherst 01003, USA.


The perceived quality of many commercial products that are based on emulsions is determined by their color. In this article, a theory is presented to relate the color of emulsions to their composition and microstructure. First, the scattering characteristics (Qs and g) of individual droplets are calculated using Mie Theory. Second, the scattering (S) and absorption (K) coefficients of a concentrated emulsion are calculated using radiative transfer theory. Third, the reflectance spectrum (R) of the emulsion is calculated using Kubelka-Munk Theory. Finally, the tristimulus coordinates (XYZ, or L*a*b*) of the emulsion are calculated using color theory. There is excellent agreement between theoretical predictions and experimental measurements of the influence of droplet and chromophore characteristics on the tristimulus coordinates of concentrated oil-in-water emulsions.

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