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Stabiliser to help prevent separation of nutrients in fortified milk products
Friday, 16 July, 2021, 14 : 00 PM [IST]
Pooja Goyal
Any material that is added to a food to achieve a desired effect is referred to as a food ingredient. Food additives, which are chemicals added to foods for specific technical and/or functional objectives during manufacturing, storage, or packaging, are referred to as food ingredients.

Food additives are divided into two categories: direct and indirect. Direct food additives are used to provide foods certain technical or functional properties. This category includes stabilisers, which are used to assist avoid the separation of nutrients in fortified milk products. The addition of a little amount of stabilisers to a dessert gives it the body and texture it needs.

The majority of stabilisers are designed to extend the shelf life of foods by protecting them against microbial assault. Food grade stabilisers are what they're called.

Alginic acid (C6H8O6), which is produced from algae, is also a popular food stabiliser. It's often used in sweets and syrups, as well as a dessert topping. Carrageenan, on the other hand, is an anionic hydrocolloid that is categorised as adsorbing polysaccharides and is found in a variety of dairy products.

Agar Agar is a thickening made from algae that is frequently used in cuisine. Gum might also be a naturally occurring polysaccharide derived from the seeds of the legume Cyamopsis tetragonal (L.), which has a backbone of 1, 4-ß-D-mannose and a side chain of 1, 6-a-D-galactose, with a galactose: mannose ratio of 1:2.

It's utilised as a thickening and stabilising ingredient in acidic goods like yoghurt because of its very viscous colloidal dispersion characteristic.

The polysaccharide hydrocolloid compound of ß-1-4-glucose polymers with broad food applicability might also have Carboxymethylcellulose (CMC). Gelatine may also be a collagen-derived natural stabiliser produced extensively from pigskin, cow hide or cattle bones (called ossein).

It is the finest yogurt-related gelling/thickening agent and provides strong resistance to syneresis. Pectin (C6H10O7), a refined water-soluble colloidal carbohydrate product, is an injection of aqueous extraction of the edible material (typically citrus fruit or apples). It is used in dairy products as stabilisers.

These stabilisers work wonders in keeping fortified components from reacting unintentionally with nutrients and other substances. They retain the nutrients in suspension by preventing them from sediment.

Stabilisers help cocoa stay suspended, give it a uniform look and texture, and help it release its flavour. In brief, high-rheology products with outstanding texture and body, appearance, consistency, mouthfeel, and a longer shelf life are frequently made using stabilisers or thickeners.

Furthermore, a comprehensive knowledge of these stabilisers' chemical and physical interactions with proteins, caseins, lipids, and water is required.

In the production of yoghurt and many other products, a single stabiliser or a combination/blend of stabilisers is employed. The goal of combining stabilisers is to better understand a certain function, or, in most cases, to overcome one of the compound's limiting characteristics.

A single stabiliser may be suitable for the production of fruit-flavoured yoghurt, but it will not be ideal for the production of other high-rheology products. Thus, the choice of a certain type of stabiliser for a given type of product is influenced by a number of criteria, including the stabiliser's impact or mode of action, functional characteristics, and the optimal concentration of the stabilisers to be employed.

Milk fortification with micronutrients is effective in resolving nutritional deficiency issues in people. It can boost the product's palatability and sensory appeal. The studies show that widespread usage of fortified milk products improves people's health in geographically defined locations across the world.

To date, iron, iodine, all sorts of vitamins, fish oil, probiotics, conjugated linoleic acid, caseinate, and fibre have been added to milk and milk products to improve the quality of life to some extent.

Because it became more evident that calcium intakes were poor in many populations, the number of calcium-fortified foods has gradually increased throughout time. Calcium salts that are more soluble, such as citrate malate or gluconate, are commonly used to strengthen juices and other drinks.

To fortify milk, tribasic phosphate is utilised, as well as carbonate or lactate, and gums (e.g. carrageenan, guar gum) must be added to prevent the calcium salt from sediment. These calcium compounds can also be added to yoghurt and cottage cheese.

Soya drinks are sold as a substitute for cow's milk in developed countries and certain Asian countries, and they should be fortified with calcium as well. Soya drinks supplemented with calcium gluconate or lactogluconate can benefit from stabilisers like sodium hexametaphosphate or potassium citrate.

Calcium salts can produce unpleasant colour, texture, and stability changes in some foods by enhancing the cross-linking of proteins, pectin, and gums. Calcium fortifiers can also make chocolate drinks darker in colour.

(The author is founder of Moksa)
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