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Thickeners in food industry

Thickeners in food industry2016.11.21

Thickeners has an extensive use both in food and in the industry. In food industry, food grade thickeners is applied to yogurt, jelly, ice cream and instant soya milk, sesame paste, etc; in industry, it is added to printing paste, paint, glue and so on.

At present, the application of additive is already a combination of technology and art of food production. It offers a variety of choices to food industry. The combination of all kinds of glue has became one of many specialty products processing secrets. Food styling, taste and cost is related to proper selection of thickeners and the best combination.


Thickening effect can improve the consistency of the food. This makes material easier extruded from the container or sticks to food better, as well as keep food silky texture. For example, cellulose type of thickener used in ice cream to increase the degree of its expansion, improve melting rate, add texture and shaping capability; when used in bread it adjusts uniform cellular, reduces dregs, and increases the volume; it functions as adhesive in the processing of fish, meat, etc.

The stability makes processed food system becomes stable and reduces deterioration or damage, such as prevent aging of starch foods, prevent ice crystals in the ice cream, increase the stability and persistence of foam in beer, carbonated drinks.

Add thickeners to jelly, flavouring syrup, fudge, etc can improve gelation. Add some hydrophilic good thickener to meat products, bread, pastries, pasta and other foods not only can play a role in water retention, but also enhance or improve food texture.

Commonly used thickening agent are cellulose ethers and their derivatives, associating alkali swelling thickener and polyurethane thickeners.

1 Cellulose ethers and their derivatives: this kind of thickeners are mainly hydroxyethyl cellulose, methyl hydroxyethyl cellulose, ethyl hydroxyethyl cellulose, hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose, etc.

2 alkaline swelling of thickeners: including non-associative alkali swelling thickeners and associating alkali swelling thickeners.

3 Urethane thickeners and hydrophobically modified non-polyurethane thickeners: polyurethane ones is a hydrophobic groups modified ethoxy-polyurethane water soluble polymers, it belongs to nonionic associative thickener. The development of environment-friendly polyurethane thickener has received attention. More about food thickeners will be add next time, If you have interest, please follow our linkedin page or website, thanks!

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