Emulsifiers and Stabilizers in Happy Ratio

Emulsifiers and Stabilizers in Happy Ratio

What are emulsifiers and stabilizers?

How many of you have tried putting water and oil together in a glass to see whether they mix? And, how mesmerised were you to see oil making its way back up to float on top of the water? This is because oil molecules are bigger than water molecules. Diving deeper into chemistry, water is a polar molecule, which means it is negatively charged on one end and positively charged on the other. Whereas, molecules that do not have such charge separation are non-polar such as oil. By the solubility principle “like dissolves like”, we know oil and water do not dissolve with each other because one is a polar solvent and the other is a non-polar solvent. Here is where emulsifiers play a role. [1] 

In plain and simple terms, emulsifiers are the additives that help two immiscible liquids mix. For instance, water and oil separate when put in a glass but emulsifiers help these liquids mix together in ice cream and salad dressing. Stabilizers, on the other hand, are additives that help preserve the structure of the food. For instance, they prevent water and oil emulsions from separating in ice cream and salad dressings. [2] [3]

Some examples of emulsifiers widely used in the food industry include soy and egg lecithin, mustard, Diacetyl Tartaric Acid Esters of Monoglycerides (DATEM), PolyGlycerol Ester (PGE), Sorbitan Ester (SOE) and PG Ester (PGME). And, some commonly used stabilizers in the food industry include sodium alginate, sodium carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC), guar gum, locust bean gum, carrageenan, gelatin, and pectin. [4] [5] [6]

What are food additives?

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has defined food additives as “any substance not normally consumed as a food by itself and not normally used as a typical ingredient of the food, whether or not it has nutritive value, the intentional addition of which to food for a technological purpose in the manufacture, processing, preparation, treatment, packing, packaging transport or holding of such food results, or maybe reasonably expected to result (directly or indirectly) in it or its byproducts becoming a component or otherwise affecting the characteristics of such foods.” Food additives are added to food intentionally for the “purpose of maintaining or improving the keeping quality, texture, consistency, appearance, and other technological requirements.” 

Apart from emulsifiers and stabilizers, other food additives include preservatives, colour, artificial sweeteners, anticaking agents, and flavour enhancers amongst others. Happy Ratio does not use these other food additives.

Applications of emulsifiers and stabilizers

Emulsifiers and stabilizers are required together because stabilizers play a role in confirming the long-term stability of the emulsified state that has been achieved with the use of emulsifiers. Their practical use in the food industry is for:

  • Shelf-stability: Emulsifier lecithins have antioxidant properties which help with shelf stability by decreasing oxidation in foods. Oxidation refers to a process where chemical substances break down due to the addition of oxygen. For example, when food is left open it comes in contact with oxygen causing a change in its chemical composition, thereby deteriorating the quality of food including its colours and flavours. So, by decreasing oxidation, emulsifiers are keeping the food fresh for a longer time. Bread for example uses emulsifiers to ensure that by the time you eat bread, they are not stale. Adding dough-softening emulsifiers such as mono- and di-glycerides of fatty acids (INS 471) is a proven and healthy way to increase storage life while maintaining the healthy properties of the foods we consume. [9] [10] [11]
  • Texture, volume and consistency: Dough-strengthening emulsifiers such as diacetyl tartaric acid esters (INS 472e) and sodium or calcium stearoyl-2-lactylate (INS 481, INS 482) make the dough stronger and thereby improve the volume and texture of the bread. Stabilizers are then used as thickening agents since they help food retain its emulsified state and thus provide a smoother texture to foods. Bread, ice creams, margarine, salad dressings and mayonnaise, all use emulsifiers and stabilizers. Even jams, desserts, and yogurts use pectin, agar, and gums to provide thickness. [10] [11]
  • Freeze-thaw stability: Emulsifiers like mono and diglycerides of fatty acids (INS 471), lecithin (INS 322) and polysorbates (INS 432, INS 436) improve the freeze-thaw stability by ensuring that desserts like ice cream, sorbet, milkshake, frozen mousse and frozen yogurt do not melt rapidly after serving. [10]
  • Processed meat: The main components of processed meat are meat proteins, fats and water. Stabilizers have the ability to bind these three components together to form stable processed meat. This is especially required for ground meat, poultry or meat to make sausages and nuggets so that they remain intact and do not separate when cooked. [10] [12]

So, which emulsifiers and stabilizers do Happy Ratio use and why?

Happy Ratio only uses well researched, studied and approved emulsifiers and stabilizers to ensure that its secret blend of 39 essential nutrients, which includes every macro and micronutrient, is healthy and tasty. Out of each serving, only 1.62% make up CMC, Xanthan Gum and Sunflower Lecithin. They help ensure that the healthy vegetable oils in Happy Ratio’s composition do not separate when they are blended with water or milk.

The three ingredients that are all approved by FSSAI for their use as food additives under the Food Safety and Standards (Food Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011 have the following properties:

  • CMC (INS 466) - INS 466 is commonly known as cellulose gum or carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC). Due to the weak solubility of cellulose gum, it is usually made into its sodium salt - sodium carboxymethyl cellulose. This food additive can be used as an emulsifier, stabilizer, thickener and binder in food. Cellulose gum is used to make foods and beverages thick and creamy by retaining moisture, ensuring water and oil don’t separate and producing a consistent texture. Further, cellulose gum contributes to improving the shelf life of foods. Cellulose gum is a fibrous food additive and therefore also gives you the feeling of satiety. High dietary fiber consumption has been associated with a 30% reduction in the risk of developing obesity or gaining weight. [13] [14] [15]
  • Xanthan Gum (INS 415) - INS 415 is popularly known as xanthan gum. Xanthan gum finds its use as a thickener to increase the viscosity of a liquid without causing any change in its properties. Informally, viscosity means the thickness of a liquid. For instance, honey has a higher viscosity than water [16]. It is also used as an emulsifier to help prevent oil and water separation. Xanthan gum is commonly used with carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) to improve the mouthfeel of a beverage. Studies have shown that xanthan gum causes no adverse dietary or physiological effects. Xanthan gum is also known to prolong shelf life and is frequently used in gluten-free baking as it can provide the elasticity that gluten provides. In baking, xanthan gum can also be used as a substitute for eggs. This food additive can also improve the taste of plant-based protein beverages. [17]
  • Lecithin (INS 322) - INS 322 is commonly known as lecithin. It is used in food products as an emulsifier, instantiser and flavour protector. Lecithin is also an acidity regulator and has antioxidant properties. It is usually added to food products to derive a smooth texture and can be used both in liquid and granular form. This emulsifier is derived from soybeans, egg yolks, peanuts and sunflower seeds. Sunflower lecithin is widely used in the food industry, especially in bakeries and confectionery. It is rich in choline, which is associated with increased cognitive functions such as memory, learning, reasoning and decision making. [18] 

Conclusion

As seen in the blog, the properties of emulsifiers and stabilizers are manifold. While these food additives are used to give the food products the right form, structure, volume and texture by mutually working with each other, they also happen to contribute to benefit us in more ways than one. Not to forget, they are safe to consume otherwise the regulatory authorities all over the world, including the FSSAI, would not permit their use.

Note: While Happy Ratio uses FSSAI-approved emulsifiers and stabilizers to give you a rich, creamy and healthy shake with each serving, it avoids using any preservatives - a type of food additive - or artificial colours. You can grab your favourite Happy Ratio flavour and get a Try-It-All Sampler Pack free here. Use code TRYITALL10 to avail this offer. 

References:

[1] https://psiberg.com/polar-vs-nonpolar-solvents/ 

[2] https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emulsifier

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stabiliser_(food) 

[4] https://foodandnutrition.org/november-december-2017/food-additives-emulsifiers/ 

[5] https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/stabilizing-agent 

[6] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Numbering_System_for_Food_Additives 

[7] https://www.britannica.com/science/emulsifier 

[8] https://www.afsuter.com/application/emulsifiers-stabilisers-thickeners-gelling-agents/ 

[9] https://www.foodingredientfacts.org/shelf-stability-more-important-now-than-ever/ 

[10] https://www.eufic.org/en/whats-in-food/article/common-uses-of-emulsifiers-in-food 

[11] https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/pharmacology-toxicology-and-pharmaceutical-science/food-emulsifiers  

[12] https://foodsafetyhelpline.com/what-are-stabilizing-agents-what-does-fssai-say/ 

[13] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352364621000055 

[14] https://foodadditives.net/thickeners/cellulose-gum/ 

[15] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4415970/ 

[16] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viscosity 

[17] https://foodadditives.net/thickeners/xanthan-gum/ 

[18] https://cleanfoodmovement.in/e471-e322-e442-and-e476-are-they-safe/ 

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