Anticaking agent

Anticaking agent is the food additive that prevents agglomeration in certain solids, permitting a free-flowing condition and to prevent the formation of lumps and for easing packaging, transport, and consumption. Anticaking agent reduces the tendency of components of food to adhere to one another.

The flowability is improved and caking is inhibited by acting as surface physical barriers between particles and on its surface. Anticaking compounds have been demonstrated to combat humidity, function as a vapor barrier, reduce surface resistance, and prevent crystal lattice shape development or alteration.

Anticaking agents keep powders or granulated materials such as milk powder, powdered sugar, tea and coffee powders used in vending machines, table salt etc. They also are used in nonfood applications, such as cosmetics, detergents, pharmaceuticals, and tobacco.

Low molecular weight sugars are known to cause caking during storage. These sugars are very hygroscopic and tend to be sticky. They also create high agglomerates upon exposure to moisture.

Anticaking agents function either by adsorbing excess moisture, or by coating particles and making them water repellent. Some anticaking agents are soluble in water; others are soluble in alcohols or other organic solvents.

Caking is a phenomenon in which lump formation in a powdered product occurs, usually after exposure to high temperature and can occur in silos, big bags and even in small packages. In addition to lump formation and flowability reduction, caking may also lead to poor rehydration and dispersibility of products, increase in lipid oxidation, loss of flavor and crispiness, deterioration of organoleptic quality and shelf life, and hence reduction of process efficiency and yield.

Most anticaking agents are made from synthetic substances such as silicon dioxide, magnesium carbonate and iron ammonium citrate. Calcium silicate, commonly added to table salt, absorbs both oil and water. Natural anticaking agents include magnesium silicate and corn starch.

Common anti-caking agents such as calcium stearate, silicon dioxide, calcium phosphate, calcium silicate, and corn starch are effective at low concentrations and are generally used in concentrations up to 3%, as their legal allowable concentration is restricted to a limited level, which in practice is generally within 1% or less
Anticaking agent

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