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Sources and functions of several common hydrocolloids 

Apr 28, 2023

The application of hydrocolloids has a long history, which can be traced back to ancient Egypt. With the continuous development of industry, more and more hydrocolloids have been used in the field of food and medicine. So far, the hydrophilic colloids that can be used in the food industry in the world There are more than 60 kinds of colloids, and their sources and distributions are very extensive. The following Chuanglian Edible Gum Network briefly introduces the sources and functions of several common hydrocolloids.

1. From animal skin or bone - gelatin

Source: Gelatin is hydrolyzed from animal skin or bone. The expensive "miracle health product" donkey hide gelatin is made from donkey skin, which is not fundamentally different from gelatin.

Function: As a hydrophilic colloid/edible glue/food glue, gelatin has strong protective colloid properties and can be used as a stabilizer and emulsifier for hydrophobic colloids. Gelatin is an ampholyte and has the function of protective colloid, so it can agglomerate charged particles into agglomerates in aqueous solution. Using this characteristic, it can be used as a clarifying agent for wine and alcohol. The gelatin solution has the function of stabilizing the foam, and it also has foaming property, especially the gelatin near the solidification temperature, which has a strong foaming property. The viscosity of gelatin solution varies mainly due to molecular weight distribution, and the viscosity and gel strength are also affected by pH value, temperature, electrolyte, etc.

2. From microbial fermentation - xanthan gum

Source: Xanthan gum is a bacterial heteropolysaccharide produced on a large scale in the world. It is obtained by aerobic fermentation and separation and purification of Xanthomonas campestris. Simply put, it is obtained by microbial fermentation.

Function: Xanthan gum is mainly used as a stabilizer, thickener and processing agent for various purposes in the industry, including making canned and bottled foods, bakery foods, dairy products, frozen foods, salad dressings, Beverages, brewing, candy, pastry accessories, etc. When making food, it is easy to flow, easy to pour and pour, easy to pipe, and reduces energy consumption.

3. Konjac gum, the tuber from the konjac plant

Konjac gum is a hydrogel-like polysaccharide extracted from the tubers of various konjac plants.

Main functions: (1) As a thickener and stabilizer, it can be added to jelly, jam, fruit juice, vegetable juice, ice cream, ice cream and other cold drinks, solid drinks, seasoning powder and soup powder; (2) As a binder It can be added to noodles, rice noodles, twisted skin, meatballs, ham sausage, bread and pastries to strengthen the gluten and keep fresh; (3) as a gelling agent, it can be added to various soft candies, brown sugar and crystal sugar, It can also be used to make bionic food. Medical research has found that konjac gum has the effects of lowering blood fat and enhancing antioxidant capacity.


4. From the peel residue - pectin

Sources: The main sources of pectin are orange peels and apple juice residue. Pectin is a soluble dietary fiber derived from the plant kingdom. It is an acidic heteropolysaccharide rich in galacturonic acid and a structural component of plant cell walls. It is recommended as a food additive by the FAO/WHO Joint Committee on Food Additives.

Function: Pectin has good gelling, thickening and stabilizing properties and is widely used in the food industry. (1) As a gelling agent, it is used in the production of jam, jelly, soft candy, etc.; (2) As a stabilizer, it is used in the production of pectin chocolate drinks and acid milk drinks; (3) Pectin also has good antidiarrheal properties , anti-cancer, weight loss, lowering blood sugar and cholesterol, so it is usually used in the pharmaceutical industry to make hemostatic agents, plasma substitutes, toxic metal antidotes, etc.

5. Fenugreek gum from plant seeds

Source: Prepared by separating endosperm from fenugreek seeds. Industrial grade fenugreek gum is used in oil fields, explosives, printing and dyeing industries, and has a bitter and peculiar smell.

Function: Food-grade fenugreek gum has no bitter taste and no peculiar smell. In May 2000, fenugreek gum was approved by the National Food Additives Committee as a food thickener. Studies have found that food-grade fenugreek gum has a significant hypoglycemic effect on type 2 diabetes. Gum arabic, guar gum, and locust bean gum are all extracted from the seeds of the corresponding plants.

6. Carrageenan from marine plants

Source: Carrageenan is a general term for seaweed polysaccharides extracted from marine plants such as Eucheuma and Staghorn. Carrageenan is a natural food additive. As early as 2001, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Health Organization Food Additives Expert Committee canceled the limit on the daily intake of carrageenan, confirming that it is a safe, non-toxic, and no side effects. edible gum.

Function: Carrageenan is widely used in meat products. It is mainly used as a thickener and stabilizer in sausage, ham and barbecue products. The general amount of addition is 0.3-0.5% of meat products. The protein in meat products is divided into water-soluble protein, salt-soluble protein and hard protein, which give meat a pleasant taste. However, after long-term processing and heat treatment, many proteins will be denatured and decomposed. Carrageenan can react with the polar part of protein (amino acid), and combine water-soluble protein, salt-soluble protein and other proteins added later in the gel system more effectively. Taste and smell molecules in meat products make it tender, juicy, elastic and chewy.

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