Effect of granule size on the interference colors of starch in polarized light
Author: Swatland, HJ
Source: Biotechnic & Histochemistry, Volume 84, Number 6, January 2010 , pp. 329-336(8)
Publisher: Informa Healthcare
Abstract:<title>Abstract</title> A Nikitin-Berek compensator tilted at 5.5° in a polarizing microscope was used to create a background second-order blue interference color against which starch granules were examined. A grating monochromator showed the first interference minimum of the background was at 590 nm. Starch granules have a radial molecular structure. Thus, some radii were in line with the axis of the compensator while others were across the compensator axis. Where radial birefringence counteracted the background birefringence, starch granules had two quadrants with a bright yellow first-order interference color. Where radial birefringence added to the background birefringence, there were two quadrants of second-order blue (higher than the background). In yellow quadrants where birefringence was reduced, the wavelength of the first interference minimum was reduced. In blue quadrants where birefringence was increased, the wavelength of the first interference minimum was increased. The extent to which the interference minimum of the background birefringence was shifted by starch granules was strongly dependent on the size of the starch granules. For yellow quadrants, the shifts were: r = −0.87, P < 0.001, n = 22 for corn starch; r = − 0.94, P <0.001, n = 22 for tapioca starch; and r = −0.94, P <0.001, n = 12 for potato starch. For blue quadrants, the shifts were: r = 0.80, P < 0.001, n = 22 for corn; r = 0.81, P < 0.001, n = 22 for tapioca; and r = 0.93, P < 0.001, n = 16 for potato. When interference colors are used to evaluate starch granules, the granules should be similar in size or a correction must be made for granule size, and the Michel-Lévy chart of interference colors may be used to collect data subjectively.
Document Type: Research article
Publication date: 2010-01-01