Writing in the journal Food Chemistry, researchers from the National Technical University of Athens report that fibres from different sources could be formulated into frozen dairy products with promising results.
Of all the fibres tested, the researchers, led by Christos Soukoulis, report that oat, wheat, and apple fibres, and inulin can be formulated into model sucrose-polysaccharides solutions and ice cream mixes. All the fibres tested produced increases in the viscosity of the
“The enrichment of ice cream with dietary fibres is an effective way to enhance nutritional and physiological aspects and to promote functionality by influencing rheological and thermal properties of the final product,” wrote Soukoulis.
The Athens-bases researchers state that very little data is available about the used dietary fibres in ice creams. A previous report supported citrus fibre’s ability to improve the melting quality of ice cream, but this fibre did not improve the viscosity of the product.
In an attempt to fill in the knowledge gaps Soukoulis and his co-workers formulated ice creams with the four fibres. Fibres with a high insoluble fraction, like oat and wheat fibre, were found to significantly increase the viscosity of the ice cream systems. This was related to the formation of networks comprised of hemicellulose and hydrated cellulose, they said.
Fibres wit a high soluble fraction, like inulin, did not affect the rheology of the samples, said the researchers, but there was an indication of a potential cryoprotective action.
Apple fibre was found to greatly increase the viscosity and also offered the cryprotective effect.
“Our results suggest the potential use of dietary fibres as crystallisation and recrystallisation phenomena controllers in frozen dairy products,” they concluded.
Ice cream market
Ice cream is leading growth in the global market for innovative dairy products as consumers increasingly associate the segment as being more of an everyday, year-round household grocery, according to Global Industry Analysts.
The report expects that the global ice cream market will witness a growing number of flavour introductions as part of a shift towards premium products.
Opportunities are also expected for niche segments like lower-fat ice creams, as well as advances in processing methods involving low-temperature freezing and product blending.
Source: Food Chemistry
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2008.12.070
"Enrichment of ice cream with dietary fibre: Effects on rheological properties, ice crystallisation and glass transition phenomena"
Authors: C. Soukoulis, D. Lebesi, C. Tzia