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Grindsted at the forefront in new product development.

Grindsted at the Forefront in New Product Development

The use of emulsifiers and stabilisers in developing food products is not new. Indeed, their functionality and use has been known for half a century or more - and perhaps were not entirely unknown when Raymond Binsted launched Food Trade Review sixty years ago.

However, it is in more recent years that a whole range of new dairy products has been introduced, which rely to a large extent upon that range of functionalities. Grindsted are major producers of these products, the characteristics of which can be simply explained as follows:

Emulsifiers are surface active materials of which part is water soluble and part oil soluble. They do not fully disperse in either water or oil and, therefore, align themselves at the surface of the globules of one when dispersed within the other, whether the emulsion so formed is an oil-in-water one, such as ice cream or water-in-oil one, as in margarine. (See Fig.1).

However, due to their structures, emulsifiers display a number of other useful functions depending upon their interaction with water or fat, or starch or protein. A long list of these different effects is set out in Fig. 2.

Aeration Agglomeration
Amylose complexing Anti-spattering
Coating Creaming
Crumb softening Crystal modifying
Dough strengthening Dough conditioning
Emulsifying Emulsion stabilising
Extrusion aid Fat distribution

Fat sparing

Foam stabilising Foam stiffening

Improvement of texture/consistency

Increased heat stability
Lubrication Moisture retention
Plasticity Protein interaction
Reduced stickiness Release

Viscosity reduction or increase Wetting

Stabilisers are often referred to as hydrocolloids, as they dissolve in water and thus form a network which reduces the mobility of the water. They thereby have many and varied applications in food products, such as thickening, gelling, suspending, foam stabilising, protein protecting and syneresis inhibiting, whilst contributing to the improvement of both body and mouthfeel.

The two product ranges are largely responsible for the textural and structural properties of many foodstuffs.

In recent years there has been a continual and growing interest in the broadening range of dairy-based products. This has been further amplified by the demand for more healthy products, whereby the proportion of butterfat and other fats which are primarily saturated or mono-unsaturated is considerably reduced. Invariably this cannot be achieved simply by removing the fat as this component has important effects upon mouthfeel, body and aeration.

Grindsted have enjoyed an enviable reputation for their expertise and innovation in these areas. A section of their pilot plant is shown in Fig. 3.

Among the many products currently of interest are chocolate milk, milk/juice drinks and cultured milk desserts, all of which require the inclusion of textural ingredients and processing know-how.

Chocolate Milk

One of the main problems in manufacturing chocolate milk is to achieve a stable product without sedimentation of the cocoa particles on standing. Normally, chocolate milk will contain 1-3 percent cocoa powder but, because cocoa is largely insoluble, the particles have to be suspended homogeneously in the milk system. As these particles are relatively large and heavy, it is necessary to form a thixotropic system in order to suspend them.

The principle of a thixotropic system is the formation of a very weak gel when the product is left to stand, which will break down, for instance, on shaking or pouring but reform upon standing. A very satisfactory solution to this problem is the addition of Recodan CM, an integrated blend of emulsifiers and selected stabilisers, at as little as 0.2 percent of chocolate milk. (See Fig.4).

However, the processing conditions are critical to the successful production of chocolate milk, including:


Downstream homogenisation,

Low filling temperatures.

Long Life Drinking Yogurt

One of the major problems encountered in these products is that caused by the action of the low pH on the milk proteins. This is due to the pH value 4 to 4.5 being relatively close to the iso-electric point of milk protein. At this pH, the functional properties of milk proteins are extremely sensitive to changing conditions, especially when the temperature is raised above 60C.

Yogurt, for example, is relatively stable at low temperatures since at a pH below 4.6 the casein micelles have a week positive surface charge and therefore repel each other. Unfortunately this repulsion is very easily disrupted if the energy in the system becomes too great. Consequently, when low pH systems are heated, the protein aggregates and these aggregates precipitate, giving the product a powdery texture.

To overcome the problem in drinking yogurts, for instance, pectin can be added as a protein stabiliser and is effective at levels as low as 0.3 percent.

Pectin belongs to the group of ionic stabilisers and, when present in low pH products, anionic pectin molecules associate initially with the calcium ions present in the milk. This results in a positive charge on the pectin molecules which, when in close proximity to the casein micelles, cause them to become positively charged. As a result, the casein micelles repel each other and thus tend to prevent the formation of aggregates. This is known as ionic stabilisation and is of great importance during long storage of the product.

There is also a secondary effect known as steric stabilisation, which is most important during heat treatment.

High quality Mexpectin is very effective in this respect (see Fig. 5) and can be used in milk/juice and whey/juice drinks.

Additionally, as also in set and stirred yogurts, hydrocolloids are added to increase viscosity and thereby improve texture and mouthfeel.

Grindsted, from their long experience of functional ingredients, are in the forefront of developments in new products.
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Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:60 Years of Food Trade Review: 1931-1991; Grindsted Products, major producers of a whole range of new dairy products
Publication:Food Trade Review
Date:Oct 1, 1991
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