Emulsifiers play a key role in the formulation of food products. Without them, familiar products in the marketplace, ranging from salad dressings to mayonnaise, from sauces to margarine, from cake mixes to beverages, would simply not be possible.
The food industry uses many different kinds of emulsifiers to offer stability, functionality, ingredient delivery, and improved product quality. These can include gums, pectins, alginates, starches, lecithin, proteins, those derived from fatty acids, and others, and these will be described further in this article. Some emulsifiers work better than others, especially depending on their application.
Emulsifiers can be defined as substances that reduce the surface tension between two immiscible phases at their interface, allowing them to become miscible. A general background on emulsifiers and the emulsions they help to create would traditionally follow next, but as several of the companies included in this article will do that in the context of their ingredient development, I will let them speak for themselves. Suffice it to say, oil and water don’t mix, and because of that, we need efficient emulsifiers to create stable emulsions. Because emulsions depend on the attraction between polar molecules, they can fail to form or break down if their watery component contains dissolved substances that carry a lot of electric charge.
This article will discuss several emulsifier developments—some of them traditional, and some not so traditional. These may include how components in egg yolk function as emulsifiers and the benefits they bring to the table. Or how stable beverage emulsions can be created with an emerging quillaja-based emulsifier brought to market by a starch company, no less. Or how companies are creating emulsifiers that offer simple labeling benefits. Or how cyclodextrins can provide a novel approach to stabilizing emulsions. Or how a high-lipid algal flour functions as a natural emulsifier.
Several of the emulsifiers discussed in this article have been recently honored with innovation awards, suggesting that the development of emulsifiers is very much in the forefront of ingredient development. A gum-based emulsifier blend for sour cream, shortenings that use a fat-sparing emulsifier package, and a new dessert concept using emulsifiers are just a few examples.
Food formulators continue to look for alternative emulsifiers for a number of reasons, whether they involve cost, improved functionality, simpler labels, allergies, and so on.
But the one common thread that runs through this article is an emphasis on “emulsifying excellence,” and the following companies will discuss how they go about achieving that in a number of food and beverage applications.
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Emulsification was one of the topics of a new online educational resource, the FunctionalEgg.org video series, created by the American Egg Board, Park Ridge, Ill. (phone 847-296-7043, www.aeb.org). This training module was designed to educate food formulators on how egg yolk emulsions can produce smooth and creamy textures in a variety of applications.
Very simply, an emulsion is a dispersed solution of two immiscible liquid phases. They are immiscible because of their oppositely charged molecular structures that naturally repulse each other… and the best example of this is oil and water.
When the outer phase consists of water and the inner phase of oil, it is considered an oil-in-water emulsion. Mayonnaise and ice cream are two common examples. When this is reversed (water dispersed in oil), a water-in-oil emulsion exists. The most common examples are butter and margarine. The visual appearance of an emulsion depends on the droplet diameter, with most food emulsions consisting of very fine droplets with diameters in the range of 0.15 to 100 micrometers. Such a fine particle size emulsion has a milky, creamy, somewhat opaque appearance. These particles are undetected by the human eye and indistinguishable by the human tongue.
Emulsions do not just happen. They are made and stabilized with assistance from emulsifiers, which are surface-active agents that decrease the interfacial tension that exists between the two oppositely charged molecules. Quality emulsifiers, such as egg yolks, prevent the fine droplets from aggregating and coalescing into a single large droplet.
Emulsifiers are special molecules, as they have oppositely charged ends. The polar end is hydrophilic—it likes water and readily dissolves in water. The other end is hydrophobic—it repels water. This end is also referred to as lipophilic as it has good solubility in phases such as oil or fat. So essentially, emulsifiers are the interface of two immiscible liquids, decreasing the natural repulsion they have for each other and ultimately bridging them together.
This is important in the food industry because so many foods rely on this so-called creaming of oil with water. Mayonnaise, ranch dressing, tartar sauce, alfredo sauce, cream puffs, custards and other products are all examples that rely on eggs for their creamy textures. Egg yolks are a choice emulsifier for these and many applications because egg yolks are a concentrated source of a number of all natural emulsifying compounds including phospholipids, lipoproteins, and lecithin. And in today’s back-to basics, clean-label food-formulating environment, the way in which egg yolks appear on the ingredient statements—simply as egg yolks—is a definite plus.
The emulsifiers in egg yolks function in a number of ways to produce a desirable creamy texture. For example, in custards and chocolate truffles, they can coat polarized liquids with fat to create smooth, creamy textures. The emulsifiers can also thicken solutions. In mayonnaise, an entire cup of tiny oil droplets is packed into about two tablespoons of liquid to produce a thick spread. The more droplets of oil crowded into the continuous water phase, or in the case of mayonnaise, the vinegar, lemon juice, and water phase, the thicker the solution becomes.
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Egg yolks are particularly desirable as an ingredient in ice cream mixes that do not contain hydrocolloids or synthetic emulsifiers. Not only do the yolks create a stable oil-in-water emulsion—dispersing milkfat throughout the mix and preventing it from clumping—yolks help improve the mix’s pumpability and whipping properties during manufacturing. The proteins in egg yolks can also help control density, hardness, and texture by encouraging the formation of small ice crystals. All of this contributes to a smooth, non-gritty frozen treat.
Another benefit to using egg yolks as an emulsifier is their flexibility because egg yolk-stabilized emulsions can be cold or warm, depending upon the fat or oil. Think mayonnaise, which is sold at ambient temperature and refrigerated after opening, and hollandaise sauce, which is prepared with heat and served warm.
Depending upon the application, it is important to determine when egg yolks are necessary or if whole egg products can be used. While a whole egg provides the yolk’s emulsifiers, it also provides the fat-free protein of the egg white, which can dry out products when the proteins coagulate and pull moisture out of the system. Further, some applications require extra emulsifying action. When this is the case, extra egg yolks will be used to supplement whole eggs in a product formulation.
A number of factors can impact the emulsification properties of egg yolks, and these should be considered during product formulation and manufacturing. For example, food manufacturers appreciate the convenience of frozen and dried egg products because both have longer shelf life than their fresh, refrigerated counterparts. The problem is that both freezing and drying can decrease the emulsifying ability of egg yolk.
With freezing, low temperatures cause a gradual denaturation of yolk proteins, along with a gradual increase in viscosity. The freezing and thawing process also results in an irreversible gelation of the yolk. All of this decreases the capacity and stability of the emulsifiers found in the egg yolk.
Egg product suppliers have learned that if they add 10% salt or sugar to the yolk prior to freezing, this protects against gelation. When such salted or sugared yolks are used, product formulations require a simple adjustment for added salt or sugar. Also, egg yolk emulsion stability has been shown to increase in the presence of salt.
Drying yolks also decreases their emulsifying capacity because lipids are released by the lipoproteins in the drying process. This reduces their power to decrease interfacial tension between the immiscible liquids. Again, suppliers have identified that the addition of 5% to 10% sucrose before drying maintains the emulsifying capacity of yolks.
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A Natural Option for Beverage Emulsification
A natural emulsifier for beverages, Q-Naturale is derived from the Quillaja Saponaria tree grown in Chile. National Starch, Bridgewater, N.J. (phone 800-797-4992, www.foodinnovation.com), offers the ingredient in a partnership with Desert King International, the largest producer of quillaja. The quillaja-based emulsifier functions as a powerful surfactant that provides stable microemulsions by forming micelles around oil droplets. The ingredient can help formulators create clearer, sediment-free beverages when using oil-soluble flavors and actives or when producing alcoholic beverages. It can also help beverage manufacturers reduce formulation costs by eliminating the need for weighting agents, one of the most costly ingredients in a beverage formula.
The ingredient may be used as an alternative to gum arabic and modified food starches. According to Dinah Diaz, the company’s market development manager, the new emulsifier, compared to gum arabic, provides excellent emulsification properties, including the ability to create high-load emulsions. It works at extremely low usage levels, creates emulsions with similar opacity levels to gum arabic and starch, is easy to formulate within a broad range of pH and temperatures, and has excellent temperature stability at room temperature and cold temperatures.
Moreover, the ingredient can help achieve a cost advantage over gum arabic because it can be used at 3% vs 16% gum arabic. Another benefit is that it comes in a liquid form and is dispersed immediately, eliminating the slow hydration process associated with gum arabic and modified starches.
And considering supply shortages of gum arabic, the quillaja-based emulsifier may provide a promising alternative. National Starch claims that it can supply sufficient quantities of the emulsifier to replace the world’s requirement of gum arabic used in today’s beverages.
Diaz notes that the company has discovered a way to deliver high oil and active load emulsions (up to 55%) in beverages. This novel, patent-pending method is suitable for creating beverages with enhanced clarity. The emulsifier can also be used in the delivery of high levels of nutrients and vitamins (such as beta-carotene and omega-3 fatty acids). For flavored malt alcoholic beverages, which cannot use modified starches, it offers superior performance (up to 20% alcohol load) with prolonged stability over time and no sediment.
The company has developed a range of beverage concepts that demonstrate how the emulsifier can produce clear nonalcoholic and alcoholic beverages more efficiently. These might include sparkling beverages, vitamin-fortified flavored waters, juices, herb-based drinks, and iced teas, among others. At the 2011 IFT Food Expo, the company showcased the emulsifier in a fortified, citrus-flavored vitamin water, Vitality Shot, which was kept crystal clear by the Q-Naturale emulsion system. The application prototype was fortified with a calcified mineral source and soluble fiber.
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In 2011, the company introduced its Q-Naturale system into spray-dried flavors. The new Q-Naturale encapsulation matrices are designed to assist flavor and fragrance house companies with a range of processing and consumer end-use benefits, including potentially significant processing savings during spray drying. Because of the matrices’ higher solids content, spray drying time is reduced, and quick dispersion contributes to greater processing efficiency.
“What could be the biggest benefit,” says Diaz, “is the potential savings in raw materials due to the high oil loading (up to 30%) of the Q-Naturale matrix. This new technology also reduces oxidation due to less surface oil, leading to better retention of flavors and actives during spray drying.”
Q-Naturale SF is targeted for applications where sugar-free/no-cavity-causing spray-dried flavors are used. These include powdered puddings, chewing gum, chewing gum coatings, oral care products, powdered beverages, vitamins, and pressed tablets. Q-Naturale CL was developed in response to the growth of natural, clean-label foods and those retailers looking at reducing additives in their products. CL is intended for flavors, nutrients, and spices that go into foods and powdered beverages.
Historically, National Starch has been a supplier of starches and starch derivatives. However, its partnership with Desert King to make readily available a consistent supply of the quillaja-based emulsifier—and the evolving directions that this emulsifier has taken since its introduction in 2008—demonstrates the company’s commitment to provide the industry with another food innovation that offers, among its other properties, “emulsifying excellence.” This is important for a number of reasons.
First, the company has claimed to find an ingredient that will rival and possibly surpass the properties of gum acacia—a smart move for any competitive starch company. Second, the addition of quillaja to its product portfolio provides an emulsifying solution for those applications that cannot use a starch or in those applications where starches cannot achieve the necessary functionality. Third, the ingredient has used “emulsifying excellence” as a sort of springboard, evolving into an ingredient that can deliver high oil and active food emulsions, as well as deliver high levels of nutrients without compromising clarity, and most recently has been used as a system to develop encapsulation matrices for spray-dried flavors.
New Emulsifiers for Cakes and Ice Creams
At the 2011 IFT Food Expo, Palsgaard Inc., Morris Plains, N.J. (phone 973-998-7951, www.palsgaard.com), launched new lines of emulsifiers for cakes and ice creams.
According to Knud Erik Morgensen, Palsgaard Business Unit Manager for Bakery & Confectionery, who published a technical paper on cake emulsifiers in 2010, traditionally several cake emulsifiers contain four or more different types of emulsifiers in combination. Add to this the same number of different carrier materials such as sorbitol, propylene glycol, glycerol, ethanol, skim milk powder, caseinate, soy protein, maltodextrin, sugar, and others. This makes for a long list of ingredients, and it can be difficult to decide on the correct labeling, especially if these ingredients are also part of other functional ingredients such as flavors and preservatives.
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He notes that the company’s new product, Palsgaard SA 6600 contains only one emulsifier and one food carrier. This is the simplest possible declaration for an activated cake emulsifier. It also affords advantages such as no allergens, increased production capacities, lower dosages, less product waste, faster premixing, and significantly greater increased outputs as well as simplified product development and adjustments.
When using Palsgaard SA 6600, it is possible to replace hardened fats and trans fats with more healthy vegetable oils, Morgensen explained. “It can carry high amounts of oil, making it a very flexible ingredient in relation to use in different product types such as sponge cakes, Swiss rolls, cupcakes, muffins, and other cakes with a high fat content,” he continued. “The benefits in cakes of using oils instead of more saturated fats are much better juiciness and improved softness during storage.”
Activated cake emulsifier is a term used to describe the instant properties of Palsgaard SA6600 when adding the product to the cake batter, explained Morgensen. The activation is achieved by placing the emulsifier on the surface of very small starch granules by means of an extrusion process. The emulsifier on the surface of the starch granule has to be in a stable alpha crystal form as this special crystal form is essential for proper aeration of the cake batter.
Full benefit of the new emulsifier is achieved by making sure that the emulsifier is properly distributed in the cake batter, added Morgensen. At low energy input, it is physically distributed and solubilized in the batter and as the energy input is gradually increased by further mixing, the emulsifier is building an ideal emulsion and dispersion for further processing in the aerator. The company can offer alternative powdered cake emulsifiers suitable for different premix equipment such as low shear. This guarantees full performance of the selected cake emulsifier.
“Palsgaard produces many different types of polyglycerol ester, and we have succeeded in developing specific types and carriers for optimum performance in relation to aeration, stability, and softness over time,” said Morgensen. “Creating a cake emulsifier with only one emulsifier type and one carrier type has only been possible due to our long experience in this specialized field.”
Cake and ice cream frequently go together, and so now let’s look at the company’s work in the latter area, with Palsgaard’s Hanne K. Ludvigsen, Product Manager for the Ice Cream and Dairy Group, sharing her thoughts on new innovative developments, which were discussed in a technical paper in June 2010.
Industrially produced ice cream uses functional ingredients such as emulsifiers and stabilizers to ensure eating qualities and shelf life, said Ludvigsen. These emulsifiers and stabilizers serve functions such as preventing whey separation in the mix; improving the whipping properties and texture; modifying sensory attributes; enhancing the stand-up properties of extruded ice cream; preventing ice crystal growth during storage; and improving the melting resistance.
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Emulsifier and stabilizer blends for ice cream traditionally contain at least three additives and often as many as five to ensure good eating qualities as well as long shelf life. Responding to consumer demand for “clean label” products, the company reduced the number of additives to just two in its new Extrulce range of emulsifier and stabilizer systems, which it introduced in Europe in 2010. And now the company is launching not only its Extrulce product line in the U.S. but also its latest functional blend, Extrulce 304, which contains just one additive yet ensures a creamy, refreshing but full-bodied ice cream with excellent stand-up properties, heat shock stability, and slow melting.
“Extrulce 304 consists of one additive, mono- and diglycerides, and one other ingredient, vegetable fiber,” notes Ludvigsen. “As an ingredient, vegetable fiber is very much accepted by health-conscious consumers.”
Even with just one or two additives, these new emulsifier and stabilizer systems for ice cream provide all of the functionalities expected of emulsifiers and stabilizers with as many as five additives, Ludvigsen emphasized.
A Microalgae-Based Emulsifier
A high-lipid algal flour, developed by Solazyme Roquette Nutritionals, functions as a natural emulsifier in a broad range of applications, including ice cream, sauces, salad dressings, mayonnaise, cake, and other products. This microalgae-based ingredient reportedly contains more than 50% lipids (primarily monounsaturated fatty acids) and about one-third carbohydrates (fiber and simple sugars) as well as protein, phospholipids, and mono- and diglycerides.
According to the company, this composition of fiber, oil, and natural emulsifiers—when combined with proprietary processing techniques—yields a particle that can act as a natural emulsifier. This creates some very interesting formulation opportunities.
For example, the use of algal flour in a traditional recipe allows fat or egg yolks in a finished product to be reduced by 50% or more. The fat in finished products made with algal flour is primarily unsaturated, is low in saturated fat, and contains no cholesterol. Finished products are better-for-you without compromising flavor.
Furthermore, adds the company, foods made with the ingredient have a creamy mouthfeel and milk-like flavor. These properties lend themselves well to ice cream, nondairy beverages, cheese, and butter spreads. These advantageous attributes have been measured using descriptive analysis for ice cream and salad dressings.
Many foods, such as salad dressings, mayonnaises, dessert creams, or margarine contain both water and oil phases, which only form a stable mixture when emulsifiers are added. Conventional emulsifiers include mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids, lecithin, or proteins. However, animal-based proteins have some disadvantages—they are sensitive to heat and acids, do not have a long shelf life, may contain cholesterol, and are potentially allergenic.
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At Food Ingredients Europe 2011, Germany-based Wacker Chemie AG (phone 49 89 6279 1604, www.wacker.com), highlighted a solution for stabilizing oil-in-water emulsions using alpha cyclodextrin. The ring-shaped molecules bioengineered from starch are ideally suited as emulsifiers for foods containing stable mixed oil and water phases. The ingredient can be used to produce emulsions that remain stable even at high temperatures.
According to the company, the interior of the doughnut-shaped alpha-cyclodextrin molecule is lipophilic (fat loving), while its exterior is hydrophilic (water loving). Fatty acid groups can “slip” into the interior of the alpha-cyclodextrin and form a surfactant structure, suitable as an emulsifier. This complex permanently stabilizes the otherwise incompatible oil/water phase interfaces of the emulsion—even at high processing temperatures.
The product is thus ideal as an emulsifier in, for example, salad dressings, dessert creams, or margarine, noted the company. Alpha-cyclodextrin can also adjust the emulsion’s viscosity, and therefore its mouthfeel, as required—from a fluidity similar to ketchup to a firm texture resembling sugar frosting. This makes it unnecessary to use additional hydrocolloids.
Wacker produces its alpha-cyclodextrin—a natural degradation product of starch—from renewable raw materials, such as corn or potatoes, using bioengineering techniques. It offers an alternative stabilizer for oil-in-water emulsions that is not only free of cholesterol and allergens, but also plant-based.
Shortenings Use ‘Fat-Sparing Emulsifier Package’
Shortenings from Loders Croklaan North America contain what the company describes as a “fat-sparing emulsifier package” that allows a reduction in use of up to 15% fat in applications that currently use an all-purpose shortening. Saturated fat is reduced up to 30% and fat content plus calories from fat is reduced by 15%.
The shortenings, SansTrans VLS30 and VLS40, were developed by the company to reduce trans fat with neutral or decreased cost. Converting products to trans fat-free can involve a very significant cost increase. With their fat-sparing emulsifier package, these two shortenings were not only able to accomplish the elimination of trans fat in the formulating of bakery and snack food products, but were able to reduce saturated fat content and calories in these products as well.
According to the company, the products’ modest fat reduction does not alter the taste and texture of the finished product, and reformulation, which is minimal, is not impacted by cost.
Gum-Based Emulsifier Blend for Sour Cream
A hydrocolloid blend combining natural emulsifiers with traditional thickeners and gelling agents to create a full-bodied texture for sour cream was developed by TIC Gums Inc., White Marsh, Md. (phone 410-273-7300, www.ticgums.com). The ingredient, Dairyblend SC-ASC, was expressly invented to help food formulators deliver a full-bodied texture for this dairy food application, conveying high quality, stable sour cream products.
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“The power and versatility of Dairyblend SC-ASC is that it can be used for acid set, cultured standard, and reduced-fat sour cream, without the use of mono-diglyceride emulsifiers,” said Donna Klockerman, Dairy Food Scientist for TIC Gums. “This range of applications will make it more useful to sour cream makers.”
Klockerman added that engineering texture and stability into products such as sour cream early in the development process is important because it is extremely difficult to add texture back into a formula late in the process.
New Oat Fiber Functions As an Emulsifier
An oat-based beta-glucan soluble fiber, developed under the name PromOat by Swedish Biovelop (www.promoat.com), is said to possess powerful emulsifying properties. The ingredient behaves in a similar way to other hydrocolloids and also displays strong hydrophilic (water-binding) properties.
Its properties enable the ingredient to mimic the mouthfeel and texture of fat, thereby allowing manufacturers to replace fat and create desirable-tasting, low-fat products. PromOat can also be used to perform the technical functions of viscosity modification and stabilization.
Emulsifiers for Colors
The November 2011 Ingredients section looked at a variety of color developments. Emulsifiers can play an important role in the area of colors. Take, for example, caramel color, which can function as an emulsifier. In soft drinks, it can help maintain the suspension of flavor oils in a solution, Polyglycerol polyricinoleic acid, available under the name Drewpol® PGPR from Stepan Food & Health Specialties, Maywood, N.J. (phone 201-712-7642, www.stepan.com), has been shown to form emulsions or suspensions in dyes, lakes, and exempt-from-certification colors for use in processed foods in which colors are permitted. PGPR forms emulsions by adding as little as 0.1% by weight to the color additive. A maximum amount of 5% by weight of the formulation may be required, depending on the specific color additive being used. One of PGPR’s desired physical behaviors is the suspension of solids in a slurry. PGPR can be beneficial in paints and other high-solids compositions that typically require reduction in low-shear viscosity. This attribute makes PGPR particularly attractive for use in the food coloring industry, especially in the dispersing of highly stable lake colors. Additionally, the water-in-oil emulsifying ability of PGPR improves the stability of dye colorants as well. This ingredient was recently declared GRAS for use in food colorings.
Emulsification and encapsulation techniques can be used to increase stability of natural colors. Food Ingredient Solutions, Teterboro, N.J. (www.foodcolor.com), launched FISclear™, a line of transparent, stable microemulsion colors. It employs emulsifiers to produce emulsions with particle sizes in the 50–100 nm range, producing clarity, stability, and shelf life. At this size, emulsions are often stable for years. To meet anticipated demand, the company has installed an additional 450 MT of high temperature/pressure emulsification capacity.
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A New Layered Gelled Dessert?
A new concept using emulsifiers, Triple Layer Self-Separating Dessert Gel, was developed by CP Kelco, Atlanta, Ga. The concept involves the creation of a process that can separate into three distinct layers for the development of new layered desserts.
“Through a density gradient, created by blending fat-based emulsifiers, an aqueous phase with Kelcogel® F gellan gum, and incorporated air, we can create a homogenous stream that rapidly separates into different phases and eventually sets into a layered gelled dessert,” explained Ted Russin, Scientist for the company. The gellan gum is said to create a thin viscosity in the warm aqueous mix, which allows for the effective separation of the emulsifier layers during cooling and setting.
This innovation gives manufacturers the ability to process two- or three-layered desserts effectively and efficiently.
Emulsifying Solutions Using Gums and Starches
Although gums offer formulators various capabilities, including the ability to emulsify, starches also provide an answer because of their similar functionality and typically lower cost. Gum Technology Corp., Tucson, Ariz. (phone 520-888-5500, www.gumtech.com), has developed systems for emulsifying that combine starches and gums and are designed so that they work synergistically.
Utilizing the best attributes of both gums and starches, these GumPlete™ stabilizing systems reduce overall hydrocolloid usage level, help maintain system integrity, and create a cleaner flavor release with mouthfeel. Developed in early 2011, the new systems work synergistically to create specific functionalities and textures, while also providing cost-effective problem-solving solutions.
And, of course, they contribute to emulsifying excellence, the subject of this article. For example, GumPlete™ SXG-SC-204 will stabilize emulsions and create smooth textures in cream-based sauces, gravies, and soups. It quickly hydrates to create a cold-soluble thickener that provides a creamy and smooth mouthfeel. It also helps to stabilize sauces even through freeze/thaw cycles. It can be used in both cold and heated applications.
A New Sucrose Monoester Emulsifier
A new sucrose monoester emulsifier has been developed by Singapore-based Compass Foods Pte. Ltd. (phone 917-797-4021, www.compassfoods.com). Called Habo Monoester P90, this water-soluble emulsifier reportedly provides a tool for developers working to solubilize flavor oils, natural colors, and nutraceutical ingredients into clear beverages.
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Compass Foods began to develop a patented process for P90 production eight years ago and just completed commissioning a production plant in Singapore. Utilizing this new tasteless and odorless emulsifier, the company developed SoluClear™, a process and formulation that enables fat-soluble materials to be incorporated into clear beverages that can be stable to pH values as low as 2.8.
According to Bob Comstock, Managing Director for Compass Foods, “Our new P90 emulsifier combined with the SoluClear™ process allows for the creation of clear beverages with more authentic citrus and mint flavors, water-soluble carotenoid-based colors without the use of polysorbates, and health-enhancing, fat-soluble nutraceuticals.”
Over the past year, several companies have been developing alternative emulsifiers. For example, according to the University of Manitoba in Canada, pea proteins offer natural emulsifying abilities. Researchers found that pea protein isolate and soy protein isolate formed emulsions with significantly smaller oil droplet sizes than flours that primarily contained fiber or those that consisted mainly of starch. Data showed that pea protein isolate was better at emulsifying than soy protein isolate at pH 7. Furthermore, adding pea starch to soy protein isolate emulsions produced a synergistic effect and increased emulsification capacity compared to soy protein isolate or starch alone.
A natural emulsifier, lecithin is indispensable in the making of chocolate. Germany-based Sternchemie (phone 49 0 40 284 039 0, www.sternchemie) has shown in trials that sunflower lecithin is a viable alternative to soy lecithin for chocolate manufacturing. According to the company, sunflower lecithin is similar to soy lecithin in terms of phospholipids composition. To find out if sunflower lecithin has the same functional properties as soy lecithin in chocolate manufacturing, Sternchemie ran practical tests in cooperation with sister company Herza Schokolade. Production testing showed that in milk chocolate, the standardized sunflower lecithin (LeciStar S100) gives properties that are essentially identical to soy lecithin. In dark chocolate, the flow moisture point was slightly higher. However, adding about 0.1% more sunflower lecithin gives the same flow moisture point as with soy lecithin. With both milk chocolate and the pure dark chocolate, there was no significant difference in taste between sunflower and soy lecithin.
Many companies are seeking ingredients that will hold an emulsion that is natural, does not contain soy lecithin, is hypoallergenic, and in a dry form. Nu-Rice from Ribus Inc., St. Louis, Mo. (phone 314-727-4287, www.ribus.com), is a natural extract from the bran of rice that is water soluble. It is a very good binder of oil in water, which aids in the processing of many beverages, sauces, spreads, and spray-dried emulsions.
What kinds of emulsions can we expect to see in the future? Studies from all around the world are providing different answers to that question.
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For example, research from the University of Saskatchewan in Canada reported that a mixture of carrageenan and whey protein isolate could provide improved emulsion stability and the potential for pH sensitive controlled release of ingredients and flavors. In another study involving whey, scientists from the South China University of Technology report that a new method of emulsification, based on a pre-heat treatment of whey protein and microfluidization techniques, has produced a coldset gelled emulsion for use in foods.
And from New Zealand comes a study which demonstrates that a multilayer emulsion made from beta-lactoglobulin and pectin can be used to control the release of flavors and aromas in food and beverage products.
As can be seen, the quest for emulsifying excellence goes on, all because oil and water don’t mix.
Next month’s Ingredients section will look at a new generation of salt replacers that come from a variety of different sources.
Over the past 18 months, I have written about 50 IngredienTalk blogs on a number of ingredient subjects of significance. Some of these blog posts I published within the Ingredient sections of the magazine.
Since this is the end of the year, I thought this might be a good time to provide a brief summary of these blogs, sort of a cheat sheet if you will for those who may not have seen them on the IFT website. I’ll start with the most recent one and work backwards.
Thoughts of a Different Color. The future of synthetic colors is explored, especially in a world of emerging natural colors.
Candy Is Candy? As a food category, does candy just offer simple indulgence, or does it provide other benefits as well? Both sides of this question are looked at.
Who’s Responsible? What the food industry can do about the growing bias regarding food science and processed foods.
If You Had to Choose Just One … Find out what the most significant ingredient development from the 2011 IFT Food Expo was and why I chose it.
Personal Encounters With Berries. A somewhat whimsical look at how berries changed my life.
Are We Moving Backwards? Keynote Speaker at the 2011 IFT Food Expo challenges the food industry to think seriously about the anti-science bias that is threatening progress.
Fermented Walnuts: A Nutty Idea? How fermentation can bring new products into the marketplace.
How to Attract Attendees to Your IFT Expo Booth—Parts 1, 2, and 3. This three-part blog series provides Food Expo exhibitors with 30 suggestions (10 in each blog) for attracting attendees to their IFT booth.
Sweet Potato ‘Pi’. The value of the sweet potato as a functional and better-for-you ingredient in food formulating is examined.
2050 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. With the new dietary guidelines for Americans recently posted, I took it one step further and tried to imagine what the guidelines will look like 40 years from now.
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Sweet Wake-Up Calls. This blog examines some common breakfast choices such as cereals, looking at various interesting studies along the way.
Got New Milk? How new beverage formats, especially dairy-based ones, are being developed and the ways they can revitalize the market.
Top 10 Stories for 2010—Parts 1, 2, and 3. This three-part blog series provides a list of 30 new stories related to food and food ingredients.
Pass the Popcorn … Bread. New opportunities for popcorn are looked at, including its use in products such as bread.
My Take on the ‘Twinkie Diet’. I take somewhat of a critical view on a calorie-controlled experiment, which generated a great deal of press, but which produced results that were somewhat debatable.
Waking Up to the Dawn Phenomenon. How the consumption of a certain ingredient may help curtail a condition related to diabetes.
A League of Superheroes. Superman and Spiderman meet the food industry, and their powers are tested.
Foods That Bite Back. In the spirit of the season, Halloween movies that focus on “Monster Foods” are reviewed.
Does That Really Belong There? The suitability of an ingredient in a particular application is explored.
The ABCs (and DEFs) of Stevia. The ongoing evolution of stevia is detailed in an interview with a major stevia supplier.
For Want of a Nail. A surprised time traveler finds out what happens when he changes history surrounding a certain food ingredient.
From HFCS to Corn Sugar? This blog looks at the proposed name change of high fructose corn syrup to corn sugar.
Natural*. The meaning of “natural” is discussed, some of it in baseball terms.
A Sticky Script. Busting a foreign racket that involves honey that contains impurities. Huh? Really did happen though.
Dealing with Bad Eggs. Because of a few bad egg producers, the practices of the entire egg industry are scrutinized.
Things Aren’t What They Seem. There’s a touch of magic about the food industry as foods are created with the tastes and smells of other foods.
Synthetic Salt … Someday? Of course, if there was such a product, its biggest problem would be a lack of natural labeling. Interesting idea though.
Ug and the Mega-Mega Drink Stratagem. One of my favorite blogs. A couple of food executives go back in time and introduce a family of cave people to an interesting concept.
Looking for Squealers. No, fibbers need not apply. A new bacon flavor makes its debut at the 2010 IFT Food Expo.
A Bedtime Story. Probably better not to try to explain this one. Tune in for a few chuckles.
Errors in Syn Tax. Looks at the issue of levying sin taxes on certain food products.
A Gusher in the Gulf. Discusses the possible impact of one of the greatest ecological disasters of all time.
A Not-So-Sweet Scenario. Ingredient strategies that can help alleviate the amount of refined sugar in our diet are presented.
It’s a Wonderful Salt. Jimmy Stewart meets sodium chloride. In the context of a classic Christmas movie, the consumption of salt is explored.
Fats and Peace. A war correspondent reminisces about three lipid wars or fat campaigns.
Alien Prize. Space aliens bring back from the planet earth an interesting piece from the Coca-Cola Company. One of my early favorites.
On the Subject of Salt. The pros and cons of salt.
Be Careful What You Wish For. If you ever find an old lamp—and there happens to be a genie inside—it might be better just to forget the whole thing.
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Does Clean Labeling Play Dirty? A prevalent term today, clean labeling actually once had some negative connotations that perhaps should be at least reconsidered.
Can’t I Have It My Way? The everyday frustrations of a consumer looking for a high-fiber hamburger bun.
Well, it certainly has been an interesting journey. These blog posts were designed to stimulate new conversations about ingredients and their related issues. And hopefully they still might. If something on this menu interests you—and you’re an IFT member—visit www.ift.org, type in your name and password, click on the IFT community button, and go to the blog section. Let’s converse already!
Donald E. Pszczola,