As an ingredient class, hydrocolloids prove themselves exceedingly useful in a range of applications. Both established ingredient workhorses and new market entries provide needed technical attributes in formulations from beverages to baked goods, and frozen desserts to new plant-based alternatives. As technical strategies offset hydrocolloids supply challenges, this presentation provides an update on the current availability of several key hydrocolloids. It then delves into technical and rheological properties to explain why they are hard to replace, but also offers strategies to consider when alternatives must be considered.
Nesha Zalesny, MBA, Technical Consultant, IMR International, Understanding Hydrocolloid Properties to Tackle Supply Chain Instability [Slightly Redacted Version]
Extract from Summary of this Presentation titled: Understanding Hydrocolloid Properties to Tackle Supply Chain Instability
Zalesny offered the following advice for formulators: source material as they develop the product and pick the right tool for the job. If formulators work with purchasing agents to determine availability, they may eliminate problems in the long run. To choose the right tool, formulators should ask themselves what functionality is needed to bring the desired texture and stability to the product. Hydrocolloids can be loosely grouped as viscosifiers, or gelling agents. Viscosifiers can be further broken into hydrocolloids that can suspend, stabilize emulsions, protect proteins and stabilize foam. (See chart “Examples of Viscosifier Functionalities”)
Most gelling hydrocolloids require a gelling cation, such as calcium, to be fully functional. Ensure that the proper amount of cations is added for full functionality of the hydrocolloid, advised Zalesny. Gelling hydrocolloids also have multiple functionalities. The gels themselves can be shear-reversible, thermal-reversible and thermal-gelling, and can also stabilize foam.