Konjac may be used to provide fat replacement properties in fat-free and low-fat meat products. USDA recently accepted the use of konjac as a binder in meat and poultry products. Konjac is suitable for thickening, gelling, texturing, and water-binding. It is especially effective in emulsified meat products such as hot dogs and bologna, pepperoni, and summer sausage.

Konjac Flour in Breadmaking

Czuchajowska, and Y. Pomeranz; Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-6376.

The effect of uniformly ground (to pass a sieve with 0.25 mm openings) Nutricol® Konjac flour on bread baked by a fixed formula in a baking machine and by an optimized formula (pup loaf by the AACC method) was investigated. Preliminary investigations have shown that adding 0.4% Konjac flour increases water absorption (1.0% or more) without affecting adversely bread crumb characteristics and without lowering loaf volume. The addition of Konjac flour improves dough handling properties and is most beneficial in weak, highly extensible doughs and can be considered as a potential dough strengthener. The elevated water absorption likely slows rate ofstaling.



Interpretive Summary:
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has mandated that foods purchased by USDA for programs such as the National School Lunch Program must undergo fat reduction. Our earlier work showed that younger-age school children found low-fat nuggets manufactured from ground pork with gums and food starches to be acceptable. Older-age individuals, however, did not like the crumbly texture. A decade ago, with high-fat products, researchers found thin-flaking of frozen meat prior to manufacturing restructured products provided unique ways to control meat texture. In the case of pork,added ingredients such as salt were not necessary. This present study investigated the combined effects of using salt and gels and gums for low-fat pork nuggets made from flaked muscle. Use of salt improved cooking yields and provided a more "chewy" texture. Gels and gums did not provide the improvements in eating quality and cooking yields observed in our earlier work using ground pork. It is possible that the flaking and forming process does not permit the full benefits from using these fat replacers. Processors may need to use very rigid control on meat particle reduction systems, fat content and amount and type of fat replacers to achieve the desired eating quality in low-fat "finger-food" meat products.



P. Fitzpatrick, P.A. Williams and J. Meadows

Centre for Water Soluble Polymers, The North East Wales Institute, Plas Coch, Mold Road,

Wrexham, Clwyd, LL11 2AW U.K.

Xanthan gum is a naturally occurring polysaccharide and has been shown to undergo a thermoreversible order to disorder transition on increasing the temperature and at low ionic strengths. Although xanthan does not form gels independently it forms strong thermoreversible gels when mixed with galacto- and gluco- mannans. Most workers argue that gelation occurs as a consequence of the association of the polymer chains1. We have studied the effect of mixing ratio and ionic strength on the rheological and thermal properties of xanthan - konjac glucomannan (KM) gels and found that the peak maximum of the plot of gel strength against mixing ratio decreased in value and shifted from ~ 1:1 xanthan - KM in water to ~ 9:1 in the presence of electrolytes. Interestingly the storage modulus (G') of mixtures containing 9:1 xanthan - KM at150oC determined by small deformation oscillation experiments increased in the order water <M+ <M2+ while at a 1:1 ratio the reverse trend was observed. The conformational transition of xanthan alone and xanthan in admixture has been followed using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). For xanthan alone the mid point transition temprature, Tm, was found to increase with increasing ionic strength and the plot of total counterion concentration against reciprocal temperature was linear in accordance with Manning theory. For xanthan - KM mixtures in water Tm occurred about 5oC higher than for xanthan alone and corresponded to gelation. At low electrolyte concentration (10 mM) three peaks were observed in the OSC cooling curves one corresponding to that in water and two at much lower concentrations. At higher ionic strengths only the two lower temperature peaks were observed. The results will be discussed in the light of current models of the association proces.


P.A. Willilams and G.O. Phillips "Interactions in mixed polymer systems" in ' Food

Polysaccharides' ed A.M. Stephen Marcel Dekker New York 463-500 (1995)




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