Gum Guru Blog

Bakers have the difficult task of making sure their products taste good and look good at the same time. Consumers like their food to be both beautiful and delicious so the appearance of bakery items goes a long way. In many baked goods, fresh or frozen fruit is used to add sweet, seasonal flavors to a starchy, bread-base. With the additional element of fruit comes the task of controlling the juices that leak out of colorful berries.

Anyone who works with frozen berries and fruits in dessert applications understands the delicate nature of such ingredients, whether they are mixed in a batter, set atop a pastry or blended in a fruit topping. To compensate for moisture challenges commonly associated with many types of berries and fruits, manufacturers often add stabilizers to control weeping and stabilize the finished bakery product.

preventing weeping in four plus one strawberries

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The 4-H Health and Food Science Camp welcomed 17 students to Michigan State University’s campus this August for a one-day intensive youth development program for teens. This camp aimed to help students develop interests and explore careers in the health and science industries while engaging in hands-on learning activities.

MSU alginate gel experiment

As part of the interactive undertakings of the day, TIC Gums provided a lab experiment that demonstrated how alginate reacts with calcium chloride in solution to form different textures. When the green-colored alginate solution is dispensed through a dropper into the calcium chloride solution, a bouncy, rubbery strand or droplet is created. This simple demonstration is also part of TIC Gums’ “Gums 101” course, an introduction to food hydrocolloids workshop required of all new employees.

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Videos in the Basics of Food Gums Series

Transcript

In this episode, we’ll be looking at the category of Food Gums known as Plant Derivatives. In our first video, we provided a little background on food gums as a whole. If you’d like to watch that video for a quick introduction, click the link in this video or in the description below to check it out.

Plant derivatives is another category of gums which, like some of the other gums we’ve discussed, also has extensive history. Two specific examples from this category are Pectin and Cellulose. These gums are extracted from various natural plant sources like trees, fruit, cotton and even vegetables like sugar beets. Their main uses tend to be for improving viscosity, creating gels and adding or improving stabilization.

Common food gums chart

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You can find hot sauce almost anywhere in today’s culinary landscape. It embellishes dishes of every origin in large restaurant chains and privately owned dining establishments alike and is one of the more popular condiments in most household kitchens across the country. Recently, the hot sauce craze has reached a fever pitch due to the versatility and extensive available selection of this adaptable condiment.

paprika green red vegetables 68170 600

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Hot sauce sales have increased by 150% since 2000, more than all other condiments combined. A market that once saw little variation is now a billion dollar industry, helping Americans add a spectrum of multicultural flavors to their regular meals. Hot sauce has produced a flurry of fanfare in recent years, acquiring a cult following of courageous palates that are willing to travel across the country to find and collect different varieties. There is a little something for everyone, with hot sauces ranging in flavor from the white hot Carolina Reaper to the milder jalapeno. And with such a diverse assortment still growing every day, there is no denying that the hot sauce business is heating up.

formulating hot sauce

How is Hot Sauce Made?

The hot sauce manufacturing process starts with choosing peppers based on the manufacturer’s preferred flavor, spiciness and ability to source. Once selected, these peppers are then salted before sitting in batches to ferment for months without air exposure. The added salt acts as a preservative to protect from microbial growth as the peppers ripen over time. The resulting mash is strained, the salt content is diluted to about 6% by adding water, and the pH is adjusted to about 3.0 by adding vinegar. Once individual flavorings and seasonings have been added, the product is jarred or bottled for consumers.

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