Viscoelasticity in the food industry refers to the ability of a material, such as food, to exhibit both viscous and elastic properties. In food, viscoelasticity refers to the properties of a food system, such as its ability to resist deformation and flow in response to applied stress and to recover its original shape after deformation. Viscoelastic properties of food systems are important for determining the texture and mouthfeel of food products.
The viscoelasticity of food products can be improved by adding ingredients that modify their texture, such as modified starches, gums, proteins, or emulsifiers. The choice of ingredient and its concentration depends on the desired texture and the type of food product.
Modified starch can act as a viscoelasticity agent in the food industry by changing the physical properties of food products, such as texture and consistency. This can be achieved through various methods, including cross-linking, esterification, and acetylation. The resulting modified starches have improved viscoelastic properties, making them suitable for use in applications that require these properties, such as bakery products, sauces, and soups.
A common example of modified starch that acts as a viscoelasticity agent in the food industry is modified waxy maize starch. This type of modified starch can help improve the viscoelastic properties of food products such as sauces, gravies, and soups, giving them a more desirable texture and mouthfeel.