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Stabilization


Definition
Stabilization is the technology of systematically maintaining a product’s integrity. Examples of stabilization include preventing phase or oil separation, minimizing water migration, providing suspension of particulates and preventing ice-crystal development. Moisture stabilization can occur at many temperatures: during freeze/thaw cycles, cook-up, boilout during baking, subsequent storage, retherm, and extended warm-holding periods (e.g. meat or sauce on steam table).


Explanation
Hydrocolloids are excellent viscosity-builders that perform without the need for flavour-masking.  The stabilization of the water phase via high rest viscosity is important in stabilizing oil emulsions (e.g. dressings, spreads).  The pseudoplasticity of xanthan gum, exhibited as high rest viscosity, is effective in stabilizing such systems, providing cling and suspension of spices or other particulates in a salad dressing while minimizing mouthfeel impact during swallowing.  In acid or neutral pH dairy, soy or other protein beverages, hydrocolloids such as pectin, cellulose gum, gellan or carrageenan combine to prevent protein precipitation and offer particulate suspension.  This can happen below, at or above the isoelectric point due to either its ionic nature or its tendency to form fluid-gels.

 

 


Applications

 

High Protein and Fortified Beverages
Beverages are increasingly being used as a delivery system for protein, vitamins, minerals and other nutraceuticals.  Depending on the protein source and level of heat treatment and temperature storage, stabilizers and texturants such as hydrocolloids play important functions in ensuring system homogeneity and palletability.
 

Mayonnaise (Reduced Fat)
Typical mayonnaise formulations contain an excess of 50% oil.  Reduced fat mayonnaise with oil levels of 20% can be achieved without compromising sensory properties by the use of xanthan in conjunction with carrageenan.  The result is mayonnaise that has excellent flavour release and spreadability, and one that is creamy and shelf-stable at the same time.
 

Baked Fruit Pie Fillings
During bake, fruit pie fillings can thin and boil out as temperatures exceed the boiling point of the filling solution.  Appropriate use of hydrocolloid combinations will minimize the boilout while achieving a smoother texture and better flavor release over high starch pie fillings.  There is also additional syneresis control during storage.