The usage of hydrocolloids in food

The usage of hydrocolloids in food

The term “hydrocolloids” includes polysaccharides and proteins, which are now widely used in various spheres of industry. They perform different functions such as thickening and gelling of aqueous solutions, stabilization of foams, emulsions and suspensions, slowing down and complete ice and sugar crystallization preventing, flavour enhancement, etc. According to the method of their obtaining hydrocolloids are divided into:

  • botanical (cellulose, gum, gum arabic, starch, pectin);
  • out of algae (agar, carrageenan, alginate);
  • of microbial origin (dextrin, xanthan gum, Kurd lan);

of animal origin (gelatin, casein, whey protein, chitosan).
These ingredients have recently become very popular in the food industry. Despite the fact that their concentration in products does not exceed 1%, they significantly affect the texture and organoleptic properties of products.
Agar-agar is a hydrocolloid that forms stable gels. It is obtained by extraction of red seaweed. This homogenized dry odourless product can be  in powder or in  flakes and has a high gelling power, well soluble in water (forms gels of high transparency) and can be used at a wide range of pH (from 5 to 8), thermo reversible, absorbs and retains odours , stable. High-quality powdered agar-agar from seaweed type of Gracilaria, Gelidium with different gelling power meets all the requirements listed above and can be successfully used:

  • in the confectionery industry (marmalade, souffles, confectionery mass of Bird’s milk type);
  • in the dairy industry ( to maintain the consistency of the finished product in yoghurts, to stabilize the structure and consistency of ice cream);
  • in the meat industry ( to reduce the fat content);
  • in the canning industry ( to stabilize the product);
  • in bacteriology, microbiology, pharmacy, cosmetics  as a nutrient component.

Pectin is also a hydrocolloid made by extraction from apple and citrus pulp. Pectin as a substance of plant origin is considered to be a very useful dietary supplement. It forms an important part of the diet, performing the function of dietary protein which when absorbed by water gives a feeling of satiety. These properties are used in the treatment of obesity. Pectin are also used to remove heavy metals from the organism, to reduce cholesterol level and to fight bacteria causing diarrhea. According to their raw material pectins are divided into:

  • apple;
  • citrus;
  • citrus-apple.

Taking into account the level of etherification (LE) pectins are divided into:

  • High etherificated (HE) with SE more than 50%;
  • Low etherificated (LE) with SE less than 50%.

HE pectin is  used as a gelling agent in the manufacture of products containing more than 55% of CP and with pH around 3.0 (jams, fruit fillings for dairy drinks, desserts, pastries). LE pectins are used as stabilizers for opaque beverages, fruit juices, dietary supplements, medicines. LE pectins are used for gelling of products with reduced sugar content, they can form a gel in less concentrated solutions and  within  wider range of pH (low sugar jams, additives for yogurt, cream cheese, ketchup, protein stabilizers in milk drinks and yoghurts). In practice the choice of the pectin type depends on the amount of CP, the pH value, the consistency and the filling temperature.
Product Milei 80 is a natural water-soluble whey protein concentrate, made on the basis of fresh sweet whey in the process of drying by airflow. This is a high quality dietary protein product that has numerous functional properties:

  • water binding
  • emulsification
  • providing viscosity
  • gel formation.

Due to its diverse protein fractions this mix of whey proteins Milei can be successfully used in baby food and in the dairy industry, in the production of specialties, confectionery and bakery products, meat products.