January 14, 2024

Vegetable Gums in Processed Foods

Gums are now widespread in various processed foods, playing a crucial role in boosting thickness, facilitating emulsification, and ensuring product stability.

Serving as both thickeners and binding agents, vegetable gums consist of the starchy liquid formed during the cooking of diverse vegetables. When added to food products, these thickeners and vegetable gums improve viscosity without compromising flavor, taste, color, or texture.

Derived from a diverse range of sources, vegetable gums can be obtained from both terrestrial and marine environments. Specific seaweeds, such as carrageenan and alginates, serve as excellent sources of food gums from marine settings. On land, guar, locust bean gum, and pectin are extracted from plants, while xanthan gum is produced through microbial fermentation. In contrast, gelatin is sourced from animal tissue.

Gums' functions extend to maintaining moisture in foods and preventing staleness in baked goods like cookies, cakes, and bread. In salad dressings, gums act as both thickening agents and emulsifiers to counteract oil separation.

Agar agar is employed as a vegetable gum to gel dairy products like yogurt, showcasing its ability to absorb water at a rate 100 times its weight as a food thickener.

Cellulose gum, originating from plant cell walls like wood pulp and cottonseeds, has a longstanding role as a vegetable gum and food thickening agent. Commonly found in low-fat and diet products, it enhances consistency to make them more appealing to consumers.
Vegetable Gums in Processed Foods

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