This study explores the molecular structuring of salmon gelatin (SG) with controlled molecular weight produced from salmon skin, and its relationship with its thermal and rheological properties. SG was produced under different pH conditions to produce samples with well-defined high (SGH), medium (SGM), and low (SGL) molecular weight. These samples were characterized in terms of their molecular weight (MW, capillary viscometry), molecular weight distribution (electrophoresis), amino acid profile, and Raman spectroscopy. These results were correlated with thermal (gelation energy) and rheological properties. SGH presented the higher MW (173 kDa) whereas SGL showed shorter gelatin polymer chains (MW < 65 kDa). Raman spectra and gelation energy suggest that amount of helical structures in gelatin is dependent on the molecular weight, which was well reflected by the higher viscosity and G′ values for SGH. Interestingly, for all the molecular weight and molecular configuration tested, SG behaved as a strong gel (tan δ < 1), despite its low viscosity and low gelation temperature (3–10 °C). Hence, the molecular structuring of SG reflected directly on the thermal and viscosity properties, but not in terms of the viscoelastic strength of gelatin produced. These results give new insights about the relationship among structural features and macromolecular properties (thermal and rheological), which is relevant to design a low viscosity biomaterial with tailored properties for specific applications
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