February 7, 2012

The process of gelatinization

Gelatinization occurs when starch granules are heated in a liquid. It is responsible for the thickening of food systems. The process is an important physic-chemical change associated with the cooking of starchy materials.

When the liquid is heated, the hydrogen bonds holding the starch together weaken, allowing water to penetrate the starch molecules, causing them to swell until their peak thickness is reached.

During the gelatinization, water will be absorbed into the individual starch granules and held there tightly, actually becoming bound water. Bound water is no longer able to flow; the water that is bound in the granules causes granule themselves to swell significantly.

The gelatinizes starch mixtures are opaque and fragile and the ordered crystalline structure of starch is lost.

Gelatinization takes place over a temperature range that varies according to the source of starch and its amylose/amylopectin ratio.

The most important factors that affect the gelatinization temperature are:
*Type of starch
*Amount of tenderizer: sweeteners and fats
*Amount of acid
The process of gelatinization

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