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The 2 Significant Roles of Curdlan in Food Industry
Curdlan in Food Industry
Curdlan is a new natural polysaccharide food gum with unique functionalities, such as water retention, freezing resistance, heat resistance, adhesion and film formation. Curdlan has been used in a wide variety of applications, including as a food quality improver, as a low-calorie, high-fiber food material, and in the development of new food products.
1. The Role of Curdlan in Food Structure
The unique physicochemical properties of Curdlan make it have a wide range of applications in food products. For example, it is used as a gelling agent, structure modifier, water-holding agent, film-forming agent, chelating agent, thickening agent and stabilizer in the production of jellies, noodles, burgers, hams, edible fiber films, fried foods, frozen foods, and low-calorie foods (diet foods). These applications are closely related to their properties.
First, it can be used as a quality improver to greatly improve the quality and taste of food products. When used as a quality improver, curdlan is often made into aqueous dispersion or dilute alkali solution;
Secondly, it is used as the main component of food products to develop new food products by using its unique gelling properties.
Curdlan can be used in a variety of food products such as jelly, noodles, sausages, hamburgers and ice cream. As a food additive, it improves water retention, viscoelasticity, stability, and thickening of products.
Curdlan gel is between the brittleness of agar and the elasticity of gelatin, and is stable at pH 3-9.5, while agar cannot form gel below pH 4.5.
① The gel formed by Curdlan can quickly absorb sucrose and is suitable for making jelly.
② The curdlan suspension can be squeezed into boiling water to form bean noodles by using its thermal gelling property, and the shape of the noodles will not change or dissolve during the subsequent heat treatment. Tofu is a traditional food in China and Japan, and it has a soft texture. Adding curdlan to make tofu into noodles gives it a different texture, and it can also be sterilized at high temperature, and it can be refrigerated.
③ In meat processing, curdlan can improve the water-holding capacity of sausage and ham. 0.2%~1% curdlan can be added to hamburger to form soft, juicy and high yield hamburger after cooking.
④ The gel property of curdlan can be used to process many new food products, for example, curdlan is used as a key component in the production of vegetarian sausage, which has the texture, flavor and taste of full-fat sausage.
⑤ It also replaces fat in cheese products and prevents dehydration and shrinkage of sour cream and low-fat acidic thin cream. The pasteurization temperature of most dairy processes is appropriate for curdlan gel.
(6) Curdlan also has good film-forming properties, and the resulting film is edible, insoluble in water, biodegradable, and impermeable to oxygen.
2. Specific Roles of Curdlan in Food
2.1 Use as food quality improver
- 1 Noodle food
Such as soup noodles, instant noodles and other noodles, increase the elasticity, chewy, prevent cooking, sticky, cloudy soup, etc. Standard use amount, 0.1-1% for wheat flour.
- 2 Aquatic processing products
Make food elastic, improve the sense of food, prevent cooking rotten, replace fish, improve the rate of finished products. Standard use 0.1-1%.
- 3 Meat food
Such as sausage, ham, etc. to improve water retention, firmness, improve the sense of food, so that the sausage and other latex more stable. The standard use amount is 0.1-1%.
- 4 Cooked food, snacks
Such as hamburgers, fried chicken, dumplings, siu mai. Improve the water retention, food quality, food sensory improvement of various types of food, in addition to soy protein taste. Standard use 0.2-2%.
- 5 Sauces, jams
Increase viscosity, anti-sedimentation, improve quality. Standard use 0.2-2%.
- 6 Canned food
Anti-drip and permeation to improve quality. Standard use 0.2-1%.
- 7 Others
Improve the water retention of cakes when frozen, inhibit oil absorption of fried food, replace fat to achieve low-fat effect, etc. The standard use amount is 0.2-1%.
2.2 Direct use as the main component
- 1 Artificial meat and aquatic products
It can reproduce the taste of various food materials, improve heat resistance and freezing resistance, and replace protein and soy protein. Standard use amount 3-10%.
- 2 Tofu processing
Enhances heat resistance and freezing resistance, and improves texture and formation. Standard use amount 0.5-5%.
- 3 Fats replacing gum
Cooked food, processed animal meat products and other food low-fat. The standard use amount is 2-4%.
- 4 Other
Such as frozen gelatinous food, edible mask, etc. It has heat resistance and freezing resistance, and can be heated and mixed with starch to get fresh taste. The standard use amount is 1-10%.
Curdlan has many special properties, and it forms a thermally irreversible & reversible curdlan gel that has edible and many industrial uses. There are 3 main factors affecting the strength of curdlan gel.
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