Konjac gum (E425), of which the main component is konjac glucomannan, is called KGM for short. Konjac gum(E425) is a kind of non-ionic water-soluble polysaccharide distracted from tuber of the amorphophallus konjac plant. Besides it has strong intersolubility, cooperativity and synergism with most cationic, anionic and non-ionic food gum.
As a natural and healthy food ingredient, it has been widely used in the manufacturing of jelly, soft sweets, cold drinks, dairy products, meat products, flour products and so on. With the increased demand in safety, natural and low fat food, konjac gum brings out the broad application space relying on its unique functional characteristics.
Functional Characteristics of KGM(E425)
Konjac gum(E425) is non-ionic water-soluble polysaccharide, contains rich -OH. It possess the rheological character of non-newtonian fluids and expands about 80-100 times of its original weight after soaking in water.
KGM has been discovered so far possessing the highest viscosity in plant-based water-soluble food gum. This product is better at improving the physical properties of food, increasing the viscosity of food and has the ability to stable emulsion compares to xanthan and guar gums.
KGM has the functions of thickening, emulsifying, condensing and water-absorbing, which can prevent meat products’ performance of separating water. We can get konjac gum solution at PH 5-7 with property of pseudo-plastic fluid by heating and cooling KGM dispersion. Konjac gum solution can form thermostable elastic gel under alkaline conditions. Konjac gum and xanthan gum have the strong synergism; their mixtures can form thermal reversible gel in the neutral condition. The strength of the gel strengthened as the gelation time and concentration increased, but it weakened as metal ion concentration increased.
KGM has been founded so far one of the finest soluble dietary fiber. It possesses the physiological function of weight loss, defecation, hypolipidemic and antihypertensive effect. It plays an important effect of prevention and auxiliary therapy on obesity, bowel cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and so on.
Application in Meat Products
Application in low-fat meat products
Traditional meat are high in fat and cholesterol. With the improvement of people's living standard and the changing concept of diet, low-fat meat products are becoming popular. Adding moderate amount of konjac gum in meat products like sausage, ham, and fish ball can help to reduce fat. Therefore, konjac gum is one of the most often used additives in meat manufacturing.
Application in bionic meat products
Konjac gum can be used of making the bionic food with high fat and cholesterol due to its expansibility, viscoelasticity, gelling function and water binding capacity. For instance, using KGM to make bionic meat products like bionic meat ball, bionic shrimp, etc., by machine makes people eat meats daringly.
Application in meat preservation
Because of rich nutrient and water, meat products are so easily prone to go bad during processing, storage, transportation, distribution, retail. Therefore, meat preservation becomes one of the research hotpots. KGM becomes a new environment-friendly material due to its high viscosity, good stability, strong absorbability, good film forming property.