Friday, July 9, 2010

Hydrocolloids- Gellan Gum

Gellan Gum is a man made polysacharide made by fermentation. There is a variety of different variations of this gelling agent. The two most popular variations that I have come across in the food industry are categorized by their alcohol precipitation content used in manufacturing (low acyl, high acyl). These two variations of the gum can help to produce a wide variety of textures. Low acyl gellan gum is characterized by forming firmer gels with a more brittle texture, similar to the gels formed by agar and/or Kappa Carrageenan. On the other hand high acyl gellan gum is characterized by forming gels that are softer and more elastic. Another major difference between the two varietals is that the low acyl gels are thermoirreversible meaning that once the gel is dispersed, hydrated, and set it will not melt. High acyl gellan gum is thermoreversible meaning it can be melted and re gelled after the gel has been set. Gellan gum is a fairly young hydrocolloid in the food industry. I am sure further advances in studies of this hydrocolloid will provide the food industry with continued usages for the product.

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