Ingredients That Gel - From agar to xanthan gum, hydrocolloid gums play key roles in food and beverage formulations. New research looks at how controlling gum molecular weight through partial hydrolysis creates beneficial changes in gum properties. Read on...
Special Effects with Gums - This is a comprehensive article describing the various types of gums/hydrocolloids commonly used in food industry, their functional roles, factors to consider when selecting gums for specific application, etc. Worth reading!

Most processed foods need some sort of stabilization at some point during production, transportation, storage and serving. Luckily, all-natural stabilizers help formulators develop such meal-time masterpieces. Read this article (Stabilization from Nature ) about food stabilizers (gums/hydrocolloids) and look for the answer for the following questions:
  • What are stabilizers? Why are they called "natural stabilizers"?
  • Why there is a growing demand for natural stabilizers?
  • What is the typical usage level (amount) of gums in foods?
  • Proteins can also be used as food stabilizers. Give some examples.

Now, read this article "Maintaining Texture" and try to answer the questions based on the article.

4.jpgUnderstanding Texture -- This article focuses on the functionality and application of hydrocolloids to provide texture and mouthfeel for dairy products.

Gums that Improve on Nature - "Natural, native gums are highly functional ingredients that contribute to the texture, stability and other physical attributes of processed foods. However, sometimes, they need physical or chemical modifications to extend functionality, or enable them to overcome various processing and shelf-life challenges. For example, a few gums naturally have a small affinity for fat; however, modification improves this attribute, enabling them to function as emulsifiers by dispersing fat in aqueous solutions" (from Food Product Design). Read on...

When the product contains spices, herbs, certain flavorings, vegetables or fruit pieces, and the like, will these particulates sit uniformly throughout the product, or settle randomly and unappealingly on the bottom of the container? Learning how best to suspend these particulates is an essential element in many formulations. This article, "The Art of Suspending Particulates" describes the application of gums and balancing the viscosity to successfully suspend particulates in the product.

Formulation Tips on Hydrocolloids - Hydrocolloids have many functions in food products—flow control, cling, freeze-thaw stability, emulsion stabilization, crystal control, adhesion and binding water to control syneresis. This article describes some tips that you can use when formulating with gums/hydrocollloids.

126929785840p72n.jpgDesigning Sauces that Stand Up - "When designing a commercial sauce, control of this water is key to a successful product, and this requires careful selection of a stabilizer system. Stabilizer systems usually consist of starches and gums, but also include emulsifiers for sauces containing fats. While starch is the main viscosifier in sauce applications, gums are frequently used. They can be used alone or in combination, depending on the performance required and any cost constraints" (Food Product Design). This article describes the strategies for product developers in choosing the right stabilizers for sauces and similar products. Read on...

2095643406_1f22d7fec9.jpgGelatin in Desserts - "Brightly colored, fruit-flavored gels are perhaps the most familiar, and easily identifiable, examples of dessert products containing gelatine. But product designers know that instant gelatine is an indispensable ingredient for many high-quality dessert products, including cream puddings, mousses, cheesecakes and cream cakes (Food Product Design)". Read on...

Video on demand - These are collection of recorded presentation on Prepared Foods website; the presentation is given by industry application specialist on the subject of gums and stabilizers. This is the opportunity to listen to the experienced industry people because we cannot invite them to USM (no budget!). The speakers come from well know company in USA such as Kelco, National Starch and Danisco. Feel free to listen to any of the presentation. Some of the presentations can be downloaded using Real Player (download the free version). You can even convert it to 3GP format so that you can view it on your handphone!! Hmm...how nice to learn nowadays...learn anywhere, anytime, even when lying on the bed! This is what we call now as mobile learning.

I suggest at least listen to a few presentations below (and the rest I hope you can explore at your convenience):


The following is a corporate video entitled "The World of Pectin " by Herbstreith & Fox, a major producer of pectin. You can learn more about pectin from the International Pectin Produces Association . Feel free to add more links to useful resources on pectin.

Herbstreith & Fox, a major producer of pectin, provides some excellent informative literature on their website. Download and read all the literature on pectin. Imagine you are the lecturer for this course. Try to write a question based on the information given in each literature. I will start by writing the first question from this literature: "Jams 55oBrix".
  • What are the legal requirements for products such as jams, jellies, and marmalade with respect to soluble solid content? [KARIM]
  • Add more...(your turn]

The following video is a BBC documentary series highlighting the crisis that food industries have been facing due to worldwide shortage of gum arabic. You will also see how gum arabic is harvested from the plantation. After watching the video, try to find answers to the following questions:
  • What is gum arabic?
  • In what respect gum arabic is different (unique) compared to other gums?
  • Why gum arabic is very important for the food industry?
  • Why the food industry is very concern about shortage of supply for gum arabic?
  • Is it possible to substitute gum arabic with other gums?

The following articles are also useful:
Gum arabic

Picture credit - Saudi Aramco World​

Sudan Gum Arabic and Crisis - BBC Documentary Series

A recent article entitled "A comparison of the stability of beverage cloud emulsions formulated with different gum acacia and starch-based emulsifiers " was published in Journal of Food Science . Download the pdf file and study the article. Discuss this article with your group members. Prepare to answer a few questions based on this article during our lecture next week.formulation-tips-on-hydrocolloids