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Carrageenan high on texture, low on cost for confectioners, study

By Jane Byrne , 11-Mar-2010
Last updated on 11-Mar-2010 at 16:21 GMT

Carrageenan has good textural properties and is a more cost effective hydrocolloid than dextran for use in semi liquid syrups for production of a wide range of confectionery products, claims a new study from Mexico.

Understanding the key interactions of additives in a food matrix is vital for confectionery manufacturers seeking to develop new formulations or improve established ones.

According to the study published in the journal Food Research International, the carrageenan samples (lamda and kappa) evaluated by the Mexican scientists showed better rheological and textural properties, in a semi-fluid confectionery product, in comparison to dextran such as hardness, viscosity and adhesive force.

“These results show that the carrageenan type used in this study is a good alternative hydrocolloid to modify textural properties of syrups; moreover, its cost is less than 40 per cent compared with dextran,” said the scientists.

Syrups form the base of many confectionery products and a wide variety of flavours, rheological and textural properties can be obtained or modified using different types and concentration of sugars, acids, flavours, colours, and polysaccharides, state the researchers.

They claim that syrup formulations using the carrageenan samples evaluated could be used as a base of sweets with fruit pulp or flavour or for the filling of hard sweets and other confectionery products.

The authors said their research was prompted by the fact that there are few studies of hydrocolloids applied on syrups.

The study

A syrup model was made with sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, gum (dextran or carrageenan), citric acid and waste, said the authors.

Two soluble sugar levels (°Brix) were obtained with 21 per cent or 58.1 per cent sucrose and 9 per cent or 24.9 per cent high fructose corn syrup. Syrups at room temperature were prepared by completely dissolving sugar in a 30 per cent of the total formulation water and dissolving the gum in the 70 per cent remaining, added the researchers.

They explained that the gum solution was stirred, with the corresponding mixer and maintained at room temperature for 30 minutes to complete hydration. The sugar solution was cooked at 88.5°C (low °Brix level) or 96°C (high °Brix level during 15 minutes, and syrups were cooked for better dissolution and to avoid lump formation.

An experimental design based on Taguchi’s method was used, continued the authors, to determine the most important factors playing a role on the syrup properties such as sugar concentration, gum type, gum concentration, citric acid concentration and stirring rate.

And, they said, an analysis of variance to determine the rate of influence of the variables and interactions between them was performed.

Results

The researchers concluded that determining factors for all the studied properties, excluding turbidity, was the Brix content and gum type, with the °Brix content the factor that showed the maximum influence.

The gum type, they found, had influence over viscosity, hardness, adhesive force and turbidity.

“The mean values of viscosity, hardness and adhesive force for all samples with carrageenan were higher than those obtained with dextran (at both °Brix levels),” stated the researchers.

Source: Food Research International
Published online ahead of print
Title: Effects of formulation and processing conditions on the rheological and textural properties of a semi-liquid syrup model
Authors: M.P. Molina-Rubio, N.B. Casas-Alencaster, L.P Martinez-Padilla

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