Gelatin alternatives for the food industry
The issue of gelatin replacement has been around for many years for the vegetarian, halal and kosher markets, but has recently gained increased interest especially within Europe with the emergence of the bovine spongiform encephalopathy virus. The total gelatin market in western Europe alone is 60,000 tonnes per annum, of which 80% is in foods. The textural and rheological properties of gelatin when utilised in various food applications is discussed. Various gelatin alternatives are proposed, and the mechanism to alter the functional properties of mixed or single polysaccharide systems is discussed. One possible gelatin alternative for the food industry is gellan gum. Recent studies have shown that both the levels of glycerate and acetate substituents in gellan gum can be controlled independently. A range of gellan gums with varying structural and functional properties are studied. Changes in the glycerate parameters have a profound effect on the structural and rheological characteristics of gellan gum gels. These new gellan gum products have unique properties and will lead to a range of functionality in food systems with one versatile hydrocolloid ingredient.
Key wordsGellan Gelatin
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