Application of Tamarind Gum in Foods

Application of Tamarind Gum in Foods

Tamarind gum is a multifunctional food additive and has good chemical properties and thermal stability compared with other animal and vegetable gums. Its application in the food industry is as below.


1. Thickening and Stabilizing Agents

Tamarind gum belongs to water-soluble polysaccharides and has strong hydrophilicity. When soluble in water, it can make hydration with many water molecules and show stickiness. Although the viscosity of tamarind gum is not very high compared with some kinds of galactomannan (GM) like locust bean gum and guar gum, the addition of sugar into the colloidal solution helps to increase the viscosity. With the increase of sugar concentration, the viscosity of colloidal solution will rapidly become high and it will even form gel when the sugar concentration is 40%-50%.


2. Stabilizing Agent of Ice Crystals

Tamarind gum is a favorable stabilizing agent of ice crystals. As the stabilizing agent in frozen pastry products, it has the following characteristics. It is not ropy or viscous but easily soluble in the mouth; it has good resistance to acids and stable effects; it can form fine and smooth ice crystals; it has favorable shape preserving property as well as good compatibility with other stabilizing agents. Tamarind gum can be used in the production of ice cream to achieve successful filling, sticky-free and good taste. It is optimal for the production of low fat ice cream, ice cream with delicate taste and good solubility in the mouth and delicate ice sucker or water ice, and the usage amount is 0.2%-1.0%. In general, tamarind gum has no synergistic effect with other colloids, but the respective advantages of each polysaccharide won’t offset each other. For example, when the combination of tamarind gum and guar gum is used in the frozen pastry products, it not only has favorable shape preserving property, but also helps to decrease the viscosity of mixed liquor, increase the stability of ice crystals as well as show the refreshing taste.


3. Gelling Agent

The gel-forming mechanism of tamarind gum is the same as that of pectin and it has lower requirements for acids than pectin. In other words, it can form gel in a wide range of pH value. Since it has low sugar content, favorable gelling property and excellent taste, elasticity as well as water-holding capacity, it can act as gelling and water retaining agents. For example, it can replace pectin to make high-quality fruit jelly and low sugar jam. Furthermore, With the property of forming gel by reaction with alcohol, tamarind gum can be processed to make various kinds of liquor jelly with special flavors.


4. Application in Health Food

The polysaccharide in tamarind gum is xyloglucan, an ideal source of dietary fiber with the function of preventing hypertension. In addition, it also helps to increase the thickness of undisturbed layer, reduce the ability to absorb carbohydrates and thus prevent diabetes.


Development Situation of Tamarind Gum

Tamarind gum is an important seed gum. In many developed countries all over the world, it is more and more widely used in food, medicine, textile, latex, construction, lumber, adhesive, explosive, paper making, grease and household chemical industries. As far back as the 1950s, the US, Japan, Spain and some other developed countries began the application study of tamarind gum, of which Japan gained the most of researches and application. In the 1960s, Japan first started the industrial production and sales of tamarind gum as a food additive. As far as the worldwide distribution of tamarind gum is concerned, Japan isn’t rich in tamarind but so far, Japan has produced a series of tamarind seed polysaccharide products. The US, France, Britain and many other countries have also successively produced tamarind gum goods.


People pay more and more attention to tamarind gum as a food additive with high performance. Japan has imported tamarind seed powder form India and has been used for the production of edible tamarind gum since 1964. As thickening, stabilizing and gelling agents, tamarind gum is widely used abroad for the production of food such as ice cream, water ice, sauces, cooking products, canned food, instant curry seasonings, fruit beverages, whipping cream, jam, jelly and cakes.


Thickening Function of Tamarind Gum in Milk


The addition of about 0.5% tamarind gum into milk helps to enhance the thick state and sweet taste of products, without the sticky taste in the mouth meanwhile. In low-fat or skim milk, it enables to have a taste similar to full milk. In coffee or juice milk, it can also be used to enhance the thick state and sweet taste. For juice beverage and soup, it has the same thickening effect. In the production of high-sweetness and low-calorie dessert or drinks, since the concentration of solid contents in the products will decrease and the taste will get bad with the reduction of sugar amount, adding a small amount of tamarind gum can lead to the good compensation function. Furthermore, it is very suitable to be used in such products for tamarind gum itself cannot be digested and produce no calorie.


On August 7th, 2013, posted in: Products and Techniques, thickeners by Tags: , ,

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