The goal of this work was to analyze the effect of CNCs on the gelatinization of different starches (potato, wheat and waxy maize) through the characterization of the rheological and thermal properties of starch–CNC blends. CNCs were blended with different starches, adding CNCs at concentrations of 0, 2, 6 and 10% w/w. Starch–CNC blends were processed by rapid viscoanalysis (RVA) and cooled to 70 °C. Pasting parameters such as pasting temperature, peak, hold and breakdown viscosity were assessed. After RVA testing, starch–CNC blends were immediately analyzed by rotational and dynamic rheology at 70 °C. Gelatinization temperature and enthalpy were assessed by differential scanning calorimetry. Our results suggest that CNCs modify the starch gelatinization but that this behavior depends on the starch origin. In potato starch, CNCs promoted a less organized structure after gelatinization which would allow a higher interaction amylose– CNC. However, this behavior was not observed in wheat and waxy maize starch. Insights focusing on the role of CNC on gelatinization yielded relevant information for better understanding the structural changes that take place on starch during storage, which are closely related with starch retrogradation. This insight can be used as an input for the tailored design of novel materials oriented towards different technological applications.
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