Food Texture Testing of Gels and Hydrocolloids

In the food industry, gels are frequently used as a binding agent, whipping agent, thickener, stabilizer, and adhesive, amongst many other functions (Figure 1). These ingredients are used in many products because they are highly versatile and effectively processed. Bloom strength tests are standardized tests performed to grade and qualify the gelling characteristics of gelatin. Other agents, like hydrocolloids, can be evaluated in a similar manner.

 

Figure 1. Various products using gel ingredients

The cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries also use gelling agents to create required textural properties. Standard gel products that are tested include pectin, agar, alginates, mixed polysaccharides, gelatin, carrageenan, starch gels, xanthan gum, Tara gum, and surimi.

Benefits of Gel Texture Testing

Gel texture testing offers several benefits. For instance, it can be used to improve the functions of ingredients, as well as the blend properties of edible gelatins for both commercial and industrial markets; it can be used to control raw materials and ensure quality payment between processors, producers, and consumers; and it can be used for formulation and development of products to obtain the highest functionality from the gelatin.

Test Methods for Gels and Hydrocolloids Sector

The functional characteristics of hydrocolloid gels, such as elasticity and firmness, are often determined through instrumental measurements (Figure 2). This is done by compression, or sometimes by penetration of a sample’s surface. The determination of strength in gelatins and other gelling agents forms an important part of their grading and quality evaluation.

Figure 2. Gel testing images in Bloom bottle and product container.

The way that the sample and the test conditions are prepared is vitally important as they can directly influence the way that the sample responds to testing. As most hydrocolloid systems are marketed on the strength of their functional properties, accuracy, and reproducibility of results are vital.

The Bloom Strength Test

The industry standard Bloom strength test is a long-established method and is a key example of standardized gel testing. This testing method was initially established in the British Standards Method (B.S. 757:1975), and since then has been changed by the Gelatine Manufacturers of Europe (GME). It clearly defines the sample preparation, test conditions (such as test probe, trigger point, speed, and deformation distance), and the instrument specification to be used for performing the test. The test involves a controlled compression of the sample‘s surface, leading to an experiential test technique that applies the basic rules for control and standardization.

Gelatin manufacturers have established a standardized method because gelatins are graded by their Bloom value, where higher values pertain to higher costs. As a result, quantified uniformity is important in a global commercial market. The Bloom strength corresponds to the force needed for gel deformation, with values usually in the range of 50 to 300. Values that are above 200 are graded as high; those that are less than 120 are graded as low, and those in between are graded as medium strength.

Gel Testing Fixtures

In Bloom strength testing, certain fixtures and accessories need to be used. The probes and gel sample bottles have accurate specifications with regard to materials and dimensions. Gel industry fixtures supplied by Mecmesin meet ISO 9665, BS757, AOAC 1985, and GME standards.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Mecmesin.

For more information on this source, please visit Mecmesin.

Citations

Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Mecmesin. (2023, December 09). Food Texture Testing of Gels and Hydrocolloids. AZoM. Retrieved on April 14, 2024 from https://www.azom.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=12480.

  • MLA

    Mecmesin. "Food Texture Testing of Gels and Hydrocolloids". AZoM. 14 April 2024. <https://www.azom.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=12480>.

  • Chicago

    Mecmesin. "Food Texture Testing of Gels and Hydrocolloids". AZoM. https://www.azom.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=12480. (accessed April 14, 2024).

  • Harvard

    Mecmesin. 2023. Food Texture Testing of Gels and Hydrocolloids. AZoM, viewed 14 April 2024, https://www.azom.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=12480.

Ask A Question

Do you have a question you'd like to ask regarding this article?

Leave your feedback
Your comment type
Submit

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.