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Certain gums and stabilizers optimize creme brulee vanilla seed suspension, texture.

We are very familiar with creme brulee, a dessert consisting of a rich custard base topped with a contrasting layer of hard caramel. It is usually served at room temperature. The custard base is traditionally flavored with vanilla.

Seed particles of vanilla that are present in creme brulee are one of the main sources of flavor in the dessert. However, the manner in which these particles are suspended in the product is an issue that is commonly encountered with creme brulee.

Scientists at the University of Florida added such food grade gums as carrageenan to determine if it would facilitate vanilla particle suspension, as well as enhance mouth feel and creaminess in the finished product. They found that it's possible to suspend vanilla seed particles while having a minimal negative textural effect on the product. This makes it possible to maintain the expected mouthfeel of creme brulee while achieving better vanilla seed suspension. The end result is an overall better product experience for consumers.

The researchers first made a control batch of creme brulee based on a standard recipe. From the control batch, the custard was separated into four batches. These included one control group and three test groups. Specific amounts of gums and stabilizers were added to the test groups. All of the groups were baked and cooled.

Sensory tests were performed on the cooled product, comparing mouth feel, suspension and overall similarity to the control group. In addition to sensory testing, the final products underwent a seed particle count to compare the amount of vanilla seeds that sank to the bottom in each test group.

The scientists found that as various gums and stabilizers are added to the creme brulee, the product may thicken. This aids suspension, but also greatly decreases mouth feel and consumer acceptance.

After testing various blends of commercial gums and stabilizers, the scientists indicated that Dairyblend[TM] offered a pleasant mouth feel and adequate vanilla seed suspension. The product, at 0.125% by weight, aided in suspension without causing negative changes in texture, as compared to the control group.

Further information. Paul Sarnoski, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, The University of Florida, 572 Newell Dr., FSHN Building, Room 349A, PO Box 110370, Gainesville, FL 32611; phone: 352-392-1991l; email:

Please Note: Illustration(s) are not available due to copyright restrictions.

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Publication:Emerging Food R&D Report
Date:Jun 1, 2016
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