Structuring Water by Gelation
Gels are of central importance for most semisolid food products. A gel can contain more than 99% water and still retain the characteristics of a solid. The network structure will determine whether the water will be firmly held or whether the gel will behave more like a sponge, where water is easily squeezed out. The gel structure will also have a major impact on the texture as well as diffusion of water and soluble compounds. Many food matrixes are based on colloidal gels such as yoghurts, cheeses, many desserts, sausages etc (see also Chapters 19 and 20). In whole foods, there is often a combination of colloidal structures and fragments of biological tissues or gel structures in combination with particles, emulsion and foam structures. This level of complexity of composite food structures will not be dealt with here.
KeywordsWhey Protein Food Hydrocolloid Bicontinuous Structure Dynamic Arrest Associative Phase Separation
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