The effect of glycerol on molecular mobility in amorphous sucrose detected by phosphorescence of erythrosin B

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Luminescence from the triplet probe erythrosin B provides spectroscopic characteristics such as emission energy and lifetime that are sensitive to molecular mobility of the local solvent environment. This study investigated how variation in glycerol content influences the properties of an amorphous sucrose matrix by monitoring phosphorescence of erythrosin B over the temperature range from 5 to 100°C. Emission energy, lifetime, and red-edge excitation data revealed that glycerol affected the mobility of amorphous sucrose matrix primarily through plasticization when the mole ratio of glycerol/sucrose was above 0.27, resulting in a decrease in emission energy (ν p), lifetime (τ) and energy difference (Δν P) with excitation at the absorption peak and red edge and an increase in the nonradiative, collisional quenching rate k TS0. At mole ratios 0.27 and at temperatures below the matrix T g, glycerol exhibited an "antiplasticization" effect, as indicated by higher values of emission energy, lifetime, and energy difference and lower values of the matrix collisional quenching rate. Changes in the distribution of emission energy (emission bandwidth) and lifetime, and variation in the emission lifetime vs wavelength showed that glycerol reduced the spectral heterogeneity. These data illustrate the complex effect of a hydrogen bonding solute on the mobility of an amorphous, hydrogen bonded sugar matrix.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-145
Number of pages13
JournalFood Biophysics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Food Science
  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


  • Amorphous solid
  • Antiplasticization
  • Erythrosin B
  • Glass mobility
  • Glycerol
  • Molecular mobility
  • Phosphorescence
  • Plasticization


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