Emulsifiers are ingredients used to bind two immiscible phases, such as oil and water, in food.
In addition, they are used to improve the texture and stability of a wide range of products, such as sauces, dairy products and baked goods.
Science in action
Behind the “magic of emulsifiers” lies the science of the oil-water interface.
Emulsifiers have a unique molecular structure that allows them to anchor at the interface between these two immiscible phases. In this way, they reduce surface tension and enable stable mixing of water and oil, creating a uniform emulsion.
This is particularly important in products such as sauces, where texture and consistency are key.
Emulsifiers at work
- Texture Improvement: The incorporation of emulsifiers into food can change the texture of the product. For example, in the bakery industry, emulsifiers improve the softness of bread and prolong its freshness. In dairy products such as ice cream, these compounds provide creaminess and prevent the formation of unwanted ice crystals.
- Guaranteed stability: They are also stabilizers in liquid products such as bottled beverages. They prevent the ingredients from separating over time, ensuring that the product maintains its quality throughout its shelf life. Furthermore, in confectionery products, emulsifiers help retain moisture, prolonging freshness and sensory quality.
The search for more effective and healthier emulsifiers is a constant in the food industry; food engineers work tirelessly to develop new emulsifiers that meet consumer demands and health regulations.
Furthermore, the current trend is aimed at finding natural and pure emulsifiers to replace artificial compounds.
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