At Food Ingredients (FI) Europe 2011, WACKER is unveiling a novel solution for stabilizing oil-in-water emulsions with the help of alpha-cyclodextrin. The ring-shaped molecules, bioengineered from starch, are ideally suited as emulsifiers for foods containing a mixed oil-and-water phase. In addition, alpha-cyclodextrin adds texture, allowing “mouth-feel” to be adjusted as required. Since emulsions produced with alpha-cyclodextrin remain stable even at high temperatures, this product is ideal as an emulsifier in salad dressings, mayon-naises, dessert creams and margarine, for example. A particular advantage is that purely vegetarian-grade cyclodextrins are cho-lesterol-free, non-allergenic and manufactured from renewable raw materials. Furthermore, alpha-cyclodextrin is ideal as a soluble fiber and has a demonstrably beneficial effect on blood cholesterol and the glycemic index. At FI Europe, WACKER is also presenting its vegetarian-grade cysteine. The company is the world’s only manufacturer of this product, which serves as a raw material for flavorings and bakery goods. Food Ingredients Europe takes place in Paris, France, from November 29 to December 1, 2011.
At Food Ingredients Europe 2011, WACKER is unveiling a completely novel application for the food and beverage industry – alpha-cyclo-dextrin as an emulsifier for stabilizing oil-in-water emulsions.
In the food industry, oil-in-water emulsions are the order of the day. Many foods, such as salad dressings, mayonnaises, dessert creams and margarine contain both water and oil phases, which only form a stable mixture if emulsifiers are added. Traditional emulsifiers are proteins, the mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids or the lecithins found in egg yolk. Animal-derived emulsifiers, however, have some critical disadvantages – they are sensitive to heat and acids, do not have a long shelf life, may contain cholesterol, and are potentially allergenic.
A new approach to stabilizing oil-in-water emulsions is to use alpha-cyclodextrin. The interior of this doughnut-shaped cyclodextrin is lipophilic (i.e. fat loving), while its exterior is hydrophilic (water loving). Fatty acid groups can “slip” into the interior of the alpha-cyclodextrin and form a surfactant structure, suitable as an emulsifier. This complex permanently stabilizes the otherwise incompatible oil/water phase interfaces of the emulsion – even at higher processing temperatures.
Depending on requirements, alpha-cyclodextrin can adjust an emulsion’s viscosity and thus its “mouthfeel” – from a fluidity similar to ketchup through to a firm texture resembling sugar frosting. As a result, there is no need for additional hydrocolloids.
WACKER produces its alpha-cyclodextrin – a natural degradation product of starch – from renewable raw materials, such as corn or potatoes, using bioengineering techniques. Thus, alpha-cyclodextrin offers an alternative stabilizer for oil-in-water emulsions that is not only free of cholesterol and allergens, but is also plant-based.
Using alpha-Cyclodextrin as Dietary Fiber
While nutritionists recommend to consume about 25 to 30 grams of fiber daily, most people in advanced Western economies eat much less. Adding dietary fiber to food, though, often has disadvantages, given the fiber’s poor solubility and the risk of food discoloration.
Now, alpha-cyclodextrin provides the answer. As a water-soluble fiber, it is characterized by low viscosity, low pH stability and good stability even at high temperatures. Irrespective of the pH, no unde-sirable browning reactions or discolorations occur – even in complex food systems. Additionally, alpha-cyclodextrin’s clear solubility means it can be used in beverages. As a dietary fiber, it has a demonstrably beneficial effect on blood cholesterol and the glycemic index, too. An ideal additive to beverages, alpha-cyclodextrin is highly suitable in other traditional applications for fibers, such as dairy products, bakery products and breakfast cereals.
Vegetarian-Grade Cysteine for Flavorings and Bakery Goods
Vegetarian-grade cysteine from WACKER is the ideal intermediate for flavorings, particularly meat flavors, and for bakery products. Traditionally, the amino acid cysteine is extracted from human or animal sources (such as hair, feathers and pig bristles) using hydrochloric acid. Replacing this method with biotechnology, WACKER produces vegetarian-grade cysteine using a fermentation process of extremely low environmental impact. Since it is manufactured from purely plant-based and inorganic starting materials, WACKER’s cysteine is halal, kosher and purely vegetarian-grade, making it ideal for food products.
WACKER is the only manufacturer in the world to produce vegetarian-grade cysteine by a patented biotech process.
Visit WACKER at Food Ingredients Europe 2011: Booth 3B98.