The fat-free chocolate milk treated with high-pressure jet technology showed improved viscosity, stabilizing cocoa beans particles in the liquid. This significantly eliminates the need for additional carrageenan, according to a team of researchers at Penn State in the United States.
Due to new trends, many consumers do not want to food supplement Widely used seaweed-based to help keep liquids smooth and well-mixed even after sitting on store shelves for days, especially in organic chocolate milk.
Federico Harte, professor of food science, explained that the team initially did not expect casein proteins to have such a strong stabilizing effect in chocolate milk. “We knew that breaking down casein micelles, a type of milk protein, would increase viscosity. However, the stabilization effect cannot be explained by the viscosity effect alone,” he indicated.
Carrageenan under a magnifying glass
although US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of carrageenan, concerns remain about its safety. Harte said some scientists believe the additive can cause inflammation and digestive problems such as bloating and irritable bowel disease.
“This research is not against carrageenan, it’s about consumers wanting it clean label food only with ingredients they recognize. And carrageenan is not something they want in chocolate milk. We know the USDA has considered a ban on organic chocolate milk. Our results show that this would be possible,” commented Harte.
The chocolate milk without carrageenan showed immediate phase separation of cocoa powder, while carrageenan-containing formulations were stable for 14 days, and cocoa particles did not leave the suspension. However, the researchers observed greater stability with increasing jet processing pressure, with maximum stability achieved when chocolate milk was processed at 500 megapascals.
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