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Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 1987;26(1):1-25.

Gelling agents.

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Division of Food Research, CSIRO, North Ryde, N.S.W., Australia.


The characteristic physical properties of food gels result from the ability of certain proteins and polysaccharides to form continuous three-dimensional molecular networks. Development of new products based on gels, and improvements to existing ones, require a basic understanding of the intermolecular forces by which network cross-linkages are formed and stabilized. In this review new methods for studying food gels are described. The mechanisms by which molecular networks are formed by the gelling agents most frequently used by the food industry are discussed, with emphasis on the role of the solvent (water) and added solutes such as salts and sugars. More complex mixed gelling systems are discussed in some detail because of their practical importance and recent significant developments in this area.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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