Humectant agent in food

Humectants are ingredients that attract and bind water. Humectants are hygroscopic substances. They bind the moisture that is contained in the food and, in addition, absorb moisture from the air.

Humectant is a class of food additives used to stabilize the food products and increase the shelf life through moisture control. The available moisture determines microbial activity, physical properties, sensory properties and the rate of chemical changes, that if not controlled, are the cause of reduced shelf life.

Humectants have the characteristic ability to bind with water or moisture available in the food and thus prevent the moisture loss, keeping the food ideally moist.

The ability of a humectant to lower water activity depends on its chemical composition and right dose. Humectant compounds have hydrophilic groups attached to their structures which create ready tendency for binding water molecules, consequently prevents foods from drying out and stops the sugar contained in confectionery from crystallising. Thus, they have a moisture control effect.

Some common humectants used in food are honey and glucose syrup both for their water absorption and sweet flavor. Glucose syrup also helps to retain the shape of the product better than other alternatives, for a longer period of time. Dry cereal with raisins, candy with liquid centers, cheese, coconut, marshmallows and baked goods are a few examples of foods that rely on humectants.
Humectant agent in food

Recent Posts

The Most Popular Articles

RSS Food Processing

Hypertension and Diet

Processing of Food

Food Science and Human Nutrition

  © Blogger templates Newspaper by 2008

Back to TOP