Powder Instantization

22 Sep 2005 ---  Texturant Systems of Degussa Food Ingredients introduces Metarin EWD NGM, a powerful instantizing aid for highly concentrated protein powders.

Degussa Food Ingredients is noting that the sale of its businesses to Cargill is not blocking its innovation capabilities. The company’s Instantizing Technology group is proposing a new lecithin specialty for powder instantization.

Proteins are widely used in a large number of food preparations, for example as an emulsifier, as a texturizing agent or as a nutritional supplement. The wide variety of powdered protein products and their different performances in food systems are a real challenge for anyone involved in food and feed production processes.

End users particularly, expect powder goods to be immediately dispersible in a liquid like e.g. water or milk without trouble. Quick and efficient dispersibility is essential in the reconstitution process which also requires good wetting and sinking properties in order to obtain a high quality instant product.

Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC) and Whey Protein Isolate (WPI) are the most commonly used sources of proteins in sports nutrition and dietary supplements world-wide. Their protein contents are typically in the range of 60% to 90%, a concentration which strongly influences the reconstitution characteristics. The higher the protein level, the worse is the behavior of the protein powder in a liquid because the powder is more hydrophilic and rewets too quickly on the surface. As a result, a gelatinous layer is formed at the interface of the powder and water. This barrier prevents the water from penetrating the powder particles. Consequently, the powder remains on the surface of the liquid and shows a poor dispersibility which is visible by lump formation during stirring. For that reason, manufacturers of protein powder products use different technologies to facilitate the subsequent reconstitution.

Several technologies can be used in order to produce instantized whey protein powders :

1) Agglomeration, which results in an increased particle size and a more porous powder structure that improves the penetration of the liquid ;

2) Use of a surface-active agent, which compensates the inconvenient powder surface behavior ;

3) Combination of both agglomeration + surface-active agent, giving a really excellent instantization of the protein powder.

Typical surface-active ingredients are polysorbate, ethoxylated mono-diglycerides, propylene glycol and lecithins. They may be used alone, or in combination ; in some cases however, those ingredients need to be used at fairly high concentrations. One essential point to be checked when using synthetic emulsifiers are country specific regulations. For instance, ethoxylated mono-diglycerides and propylene glycol are not allowed in Europe for this application but may be used in the United States.

Contrary to the synthetic materials mentioned above, lecithin is the only 100% natural emulsifier ; it is already well known in the dairy industry because lecithin has for decades been the traditional emulsifier used for instantizing whole milk powder.

A rising demand for perfectly instantized protein powders has prompted Degussa Food Ingredients/Texturant Systems to develop and launch on the market a new highly performing lecithin specialty, Metarin EWD NGM.

Metarin EWD  NGM is a specially enzymatically hydrolyzed, liquid soybean lecithin of guaranteed non-GM origin which has been specifically designed for the use in highly concentrated protein products. It is the ideal emulsifier for improving the wettability and dispersibility of powdered protein products in liquids.

Thanks to its excellent hydrophilicity, Metarin EWD NGM is a powerful wetting promoter which enables the protein powder to disperse very quickly. Metarin EWD NGM by itself is both easily dispersible in water and soluble in oil,  thus allowing a multitude of functions :

- when diluted in oil, Metarin EWD NGM can be homogeneously sprayed onto the powder ;

-  when bigger powder particles are required, Metarin EWD NGM can be dispersed in water and used for a combined one?step agglomeration and lecithination process.


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