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Abstract

A two-gelatin-gel model system was used to investigate the water status of two gels with different Aw, 0.968 (H-gel) and 0.828 (L-gel), using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques. A multi slice-multi echo pulse sequence was applied and the transverse relaxation time (T2) of water protons was calculated. During storage the average T2 values of H-gel decreased, while those of L-gel increased. However, at the end of storage (15 days) when the Aw of two gels were the same, the average T2 values of L-gel were larger than those of H-gel, and heterogeneous T2 values were observed in both gels. This was due to water migration between the two gels and redistribution of water in each gel during storage. The two-gelatin-gel model system and nondestructive MRI technique established in this study offer a good method to monitor moisture redistribution between gels with different Aw and to investigate the water status and structural changes in food systems during storage.

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