Challenges Faced in Physical Stabilization of Food and Beverages

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The chemical and physical destabilization of food and beverages cannot be avoided, with many similar factors combining to change the long-term thermodynamic behavior of food emulsions, suspensions and foams. This can have considerable consequences for product shelf-life, mouthfeel, texture and even flavor.

Consequently, improving the stability of colloidal systems utilized in food goods and beverages is an important step in maintaining the quality of products over time and guaranteeing the best customer perception.

The principal issue of food and beverage stability is the complicated nature of colloidal instability mechanics. Different destabilization phenomena can affect colloids based on the interacting raw materials in the dispersion, its environmental or storage climate, and the type of application or delivery.

In this article, Formulaction explains some of the key issues facing food and beverage stability in more detail.

Ring Formation in Beverages

Ring formation is a frequently occurring deterioration process which impacts concentrated beverages. It is a type of creaming that happens in the menisci of dispersions where surface tension makes the concentrated phase of this fluid to fix to the inside of the container, creating a ring.

This can take up to six months before becoming apparent to the naked eye. However, products must be tested in a time-frame much shorter than this.

Weighing agents are often said to limit the effects of density variations between dispersive oil droplets and the aqueous phase to increase colloidal stability but most commonly used (eg. BVO ) are thought to be bad for health. The formulation of such beverages is becoming more  focused on developing novel ingredients to stabilize these drinks and replace agents such as BVO.

Dairy Product Creaming and Flocculation

Creaming is a highly complex instability action that is impacted by a range of material characteristics and mechanical influences.

It is a critical phenomenon which affects the shelf-life of various milk products; the rate and extent of which will differ based on fat content, the homogeneity of fat globules in the aqueous phase, and the existence of additional minerals such as calcium (Ca), or extra additives for example proteins and bacteria.

Distinctive products can also make stability testing more complex. Dairy products that are fat- and sugar-free will have extensively different instability mechanics to common products.

Creaming will therefore happen at various rates in the same conditions for homogenized and non-homogenized milk products, with the quicker formation of thicker creaming layers occurring in both semi skimmed and full fat non-homogenized milk.

Reconstitution of Food Powder

In the past, the dairy industry has mitigated the challenge of colloidal instability by dehydrating milk products into a powder that can be rehydrated when needed. Powder is cost-efficient and saves space, along with contributing to green initiatives, making it an ideal solution.

On the other hand, dehydration creates a host of other challenges from the perspective of stability. The properties of the reconstituted product must be analyzed to distinguish its similarity to the native form. Differences in the global stability of rehydrated milk powders may suggest a relatively poor-quality product or sub-optimal rehydration methods.

Food powder stability is often understood by its dissolution kinetics, which can be distinguished by parameters as varied as dispersibility, wettability, and sinkability.

Evaluating the quality of dry powders to be used in the reconstitution of liquids means that a full understanding of how well a powder layer penetrates water volume (wettability) is needed, along with knowing how efficiently it can resist liquid surface tension to sink into the fluid (sinkability), and the rate at which a sediment layer dissolves in the fluid (dispersibility).

Emulsifying Properties of Vegetable Proteins

Market challenges also present critical obstacles to food and beverage stability. This is because the cost and availability of important ingredients can significantly affect returns on investment (ROIs) from end products.

By assessing the potential emulsifying characteristics of plant proteins like pea and soybean extracts, researchers are attempting to reduce the use of animal proteins. As it has become a concern of ethical, commercial, and ecological importance. Plant proteins are a waste product at the moment, with a very low obvious value.

Utilizing this waste for emulsification will have considerable benefits to the planet, taking away our dependence on animal products in line with the environmentally-friendly trend towards veganism.

This demands a thorough understanding of the global stability of sample colloid, along with the droplet size and protein concentration.

Food and Beverage Stability Testing with Formulaction

Formulaction specializes in formulation engineering and stability testing, with a range of advanced instrumentation manufactured with the unique challenges of food and beverage markets in mind.

The Turbiscan® range of instruments boasts increased analysis times with dependable detection and quantification of any destabilization mechanic. There is no requirement for dilution,  allowing for precise forecasting of the native product’s shelf life.

The Turbiscan® range has already helped in the evaluation of plant proteins efficiency as emulsifiers in food, the creation of methods to estimate reconstitution of food powder in liquid, and many more.

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

For more information on this source, please visit Formulaction.


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