Food | Rotational Viscosity Testing of Plant-based Dairy Alternatives and Thickening Agents with ViscoQC

How do thickening agents change the flow behavior and stability of food products? This application report shows rotational viscosity tests with ViscoQC for developing new products as well as simple quality control tests of plant-based dairy alternatives.

Thickening agents are hydrocolloids which are used to increase the viscosity of products without significantly changing their other properties like taste and flavor. Hydrocolloids are a group of polysaccharides which have a thickening or gelling effect when mixed with water. Depending on the type of polysaccharide they are either extracted from plants, seaweeds, or produced by microbials synthesis. Typical examples are xanthan gum, guar gum, carrageen, pectin, gum arabic, etc.

Thickening agents are commonly used in the food industry to thicken sauces, soups, puddings, etc. Apart from in the food industry, thickening agents are also required in the production of personal-care products, pharmaceuticals, and paints and inks.

A growing sector in the food industry are plant-based dairy alternatives. In order to reach consumer acceptance of those products, they need to replicate the textural properties of the animal-based products. Among others hydrocolloids are used as food additives to improve the texture of e.g. plant-based milk, yoghurt, cheese or meat. In order to control the texture of the plant-based product, viscosity testing of the end-product with a rotational viscometer is required.

The application report shows example measurements of xanthan gum for research and development of food products as well as quality control measurements of plant-based milk with the rotational viscometer ViscoQC 100/300.

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