The function of emulsifiers in food

- Mar 18, 2021-

A substance that can cause two immiscible liquids (such as oil and water) to form a stable emulsion is called an emulsifier. After adding food, it can significantly reduce the interfacial tension of oil and water, so that immiscible oil (hydrophobic substance) and water (hydrophilic substance) form a stable emulsified food additive.

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  1. Emulsification

The most widely used in the food industry is emulsification. Most foods contain ingredients with different solubility characteristics. Emulsifiers help them to be distributed evenly and stably, thereby preventing oil-water separation, sugar and fat blooming, and protein aggregation or precipitation. In addition, emulsifiers can improve the stability of edible salt, acid, heat and anti-freeze preservation, and the emulsified nutrients are more easily absorbed and absorbed by the body.

2. Reduce viscosity
Emulsifier has the effect of reducing viscosity, can be used as a release agent for biscuits, chewing gum, etc., and makes the surface of the product smooth. In chocolate, it can reduce cost and viscosity, and improve the fluidity of the material; chewing gum makes the product non-sticky and has plasticity and softness; in the sugar industry, emulsifiers can reduce the viscosity of molasses and increase the recovery rate of sugar.
3. Foaming, demulsification and defoaming effects
The foam is generated by dispersing the gas in the liquid, and the saturated fatty acid chain in the emulsifier can stabilize the liquid foam. Therefore, an emulsifier can be added to foam. Emulsifiers with unsaturated fatty chains can inhibit foam, so emulsifiers can be added to the emulsion to achieve demulsification and defoaming.
4. Lubrication
It can be effectively used in food processing and can reduce adhesion to knives, packaging and consumers' teeth.

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5. Wetting effect
Emulsifiers also have wetting properties. The use of emulsifiers in foods such as milk powder, cocoa powder, malt extract, instant coffee, powdered beverages and soups can improve its dispersibility, suspension and solubility, and help convenience foods to be instant in cold or hot water Dissolve and rehydrate.