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The Application of Thickeners

The Application of Thickeners

2022-09-26

Thickener is a kind of food additives that can increase the viscosity of food and change its properties. Generally speaking, thickeners are water-based polymer compounds that can be hydrated to form high-viscosity homogeneous liquids, often referred to as aqueous solutions, hydrophilic colloids or edible gums. It can improve the viscosity of food or form viscose, thereby changing the physical properties of food, giving food sticky, suitable taste, and emulsifying, stabilizing or making it in a suspended state.


The application of  thickeners has been a combination of food production technology and art, providing a variety of options for the food industry, and the combined application of various glues has also become one of the processing secrets of many specialty products. The shape, taste and cost of food are all related to the correct choice of thickener and the best combination. Therefore, complex thickeners have become a research hotspot in carbohydrates or polysaccharides.


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I. Two characteristics thickeners


1. Viscosity properties


Most food thickeners conform to the rheological properties of Newtonian liquids at polarized or lower concentrations, and are pseudoplastic at higher concentrations. As the food thickener increases, the viscosity of its solution also increases.


2. Gel properties


When the concentration of the thickener reaches the critical concentration of gel, its aqueous solution is a viscous flowing liquid under warm conditions. However, when the temperature is lowered, the dispersion medium is completely contained in the polymer network structure, forming a non-flowing semi-solid substance, which is called a gel. In thickener gels, the bonding of thickener macromolecular bonds only forms a relaxed three-dimensional network structure.


II. ACE thinckners


1. E415 Xanthan Gum


Xanthan Gum is an effective thickening agent and multi-purpose stabilizer. It is widely used in the food industry for producing canned food, bakery, dairy, frozen food, drinks, sauces, and others.


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2. E401 Sodium Alginate


Sodium Alginate has multiple benefits and functions in the food industry, including stabilization, hydration, thickening, and emulsification. It is mainly used as a thickening agent for soups, drinks, and ice cream, as well as a gelling agent for jellies.


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