Hydrocolloids have traditionally been used to add texture, thicken or function as a water binder in foods. But many of these ingredients also have excellent nutritional value and are more often being considered for the functionality they can bring to the table. This is due, in part, to more technologically advanced modes of processing that keep the textural and nutritional components of hydrocolloids in tact.
This infographic, based on a recent article from the American Oil Chemists’ Society, illustrates different hydrocolloid ingredients, their uses and their potential health benefits.
Click the graphic to the left for a larger view.
Highlights from the infographic:
- Hydrocolloids are also called gums.
- Sources of polysaccharide food hydrocolloids include trees, which yield gum arabic, carob locust bean gum and guar gum; plants, which yield pectin, cellulose derivatives and konjac; seaweeds, which yield agar, alginate and carrageenan; and microorganisms, which yield gellan gum and xanthan.
- These gums can be used to reduce and replace sugar, fat and salt in food products.
- Some low-molecular-weight agars have demonstrated prebiotic potential in vivo, as well as antioxidant and hepatoprotective effects.
- LMW alginates have demonstrated prebiotic effects and evidence of cytotoxic activity.
- LMW pectins have immunomodulatory properties and potential anti-cancer activity.
- Hydrocolloids may provide both insoluble and soluble fiber and contain 60-90% dietary fiber.
Read “Food texture and nutrition: the changing roles of hydrocolloids and food fibers” for more details now…
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