What are food texturising agents?

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Food texturising agents in gastronomy, both in catering and pastry making, are nowadays essential to ensure that the preparations we make have the result we want and are pleasant and surprising in the mouth. In this article we are going to explain exactly what they are, where they come from and what types can be used to create the best recipes.

What are texturising agents?

But what are these products and what are they used for? We understand the term texturiser to mean an element that helps to modify a specific texture and that is flavourless and colourless so that it does not affect the final result of the recipe.

They must respect as much as possible the organoleptic characteristics of the different ingredients they are intended to modify. Food texturizing agents can be derived from numerous sources, some of the common sources are plants, animals, and seaweeds.

Nowadays, chefs and pastry chefs are looking for and researching the best textures to play with the customer’s consumption experience and ensure that tasting a dish or dessert is not just that, but that it becomes a complete gastronomic experience. These products meet certain basic principles that we will explain below:

  • They must not be flavoured so as not to affect the recipe as a whole.
  • They must offer maximum respect for taste and texture.
  • Provide optimum efficiency in order to achieve the desired texture.

Where do these ingredients come from?

These ingredients began to be used at the end of the 19th century in order to change the world of the food industry with different textures. Thanks to them, the way of stabilising, preserving and creating new textures has been a revolution.

Types of texturizers in gastronomy and their uses

There are different textures both in pastry making and in catering that we can achieve with the right products. Thanks to them, we can make the most complicated elaborations. With the products in the Sosa range, there are no limits when it comes to creating recipes.

Emulsifiers and aerators:

An emulsion is the more or less stable union of fatty and aqueous molecules. It consists of the dispersion of one phase, divided into small droplets, in another with which it is not miscible, obtaining a homogeneous mixture. An emulsion is initially unstable, and over time the two phases separate. This is what happens, for example, when a previously agitated mixture of oil and water is left to stand. To prevent this separation from occurring, it is necessary to incorporate an emulsifier which, in its own molecule, has a water-soluble part and an oil-soluble part, which is located in the boundary layer between the two phases and holds them together for a longer period of time.

The emulsion technique is highly important in gastronomy. From a sauce to a mousse, to creams, ice creams, sponge cakes or ganache, etc.

Today we have a very wide range of “new” emulsifiers which, thanks to their greater efficiency and neutrality, allow us to develop one of the obsessions of modern cuisine: purity of flavour.

They also allow new applications in gastronomy, such as airs and foams or texturising fats.

For more information on airs, see our post:

Leavening agents and effervescent agents:

Leavening agents are substances capable of producing or incorporating gases into products to be baked in order to increase their volume and produce a certain shape and texture in the final dough.

Whipping proteins:

Proteins are made up of long chains of amino acids. Depending on the conditions of the medium (temperature, acidity, agitation, etc.), they adopt different forms and also generate reactions such as browning when high temperatures are applied (Maillard reaction). When we make elaborations containing them, their dynamic nature allows us to create different textures.

We currently offer a variety of protein powders from different origins that fulfil various technical functions such as whipping, emulsifying, coagulating or aerating. We have also been able to develop protein-based blends adapted to specific applications

Thickeners:

The need for thickening has always been present in gastronomy since its beginnings and in all cultures, using different ingredients and techniques adapted to each geographical area. The ingredients and thickening methods have evolved during the development of cooking and pastry making, improving the techniques for obtaining cereal flours, extracting starches, roots, etc. At Sosa we have a wide range of thickeners that adapt to every need, making it possible to increase the stability of preparations and achieving different textures without modifying the flavour, colour or smell.

Gelling agents:

Gelling agents are a group of texturizers that allow the production of jellies (gels in the strict sense of the word). They are products that, due to their structure, have the capacity to absorb water, generating a three-dimensional network that converts the liquid into a solid or semi-solid.

The basic difference between gelling agents is as follows:

  • Origin: animal or vegetable.
  • Texture: soft, hard, creamy, crumbly, brittle, elastic, etc.
  • Temperature: activation, gellification and melting point temperatures.

The range of Sosa gelling agents ranges from pure gelling agents to gelling mixtures formulated to facilitate their incorporation or for specific uses.

Stabilizers:

Stabilisers developed especially for ice cream or sorbets are complex mixtures of thickeners, emulsifiers, gelling agents and aerators that provide perfect ice cream or sorbet textures with great ease of application. Always with the maximum respect for the flavour to be texturised.

Preservatives:

Preservatives are substances that prolong the shelf life of food by protecting it from spoilage caused by microorganisms or the growth of pathogenic microorganisms. They are applied to food to ensure their stability during their shelf life.

Bulking agents:

Bulking agents are substances that increase the volume of a food product without contributing significantly to its energy value. They are used for various purposes such as adding solids to modify the structure of a mixture or reduce or replace sugars and/or fats. Different bulking agents have different purposes and characteristics. Some offer a feel much like fat, some are sweeter than others, and some help to absorb fats to create dry or crunchy textures.

Acidulants, antioxidants and acidity regulators:

This range of products makes food acidic by lowering its pH. A food’s pH measures its acidity or alkalinity. They can also serve purposes such as preventing oxidation and increasing shelf life. They also help to improve the flavourof food.

Regulating acidity also improves the characteristics of certain products such as gelling agents, enhancing or reducing their gelling capacity. They are used particularly often in confectionery, soft drinks, juices and other beverages, dairy products, canned products and bakery products.

Enzymes:

Enzymes are active proteins which are naturally present in animals and plants. They have the ability to build or break molecular structures depending on their type and the ingredient with which they come into contact. They can do things that would be difficult to achieve using physical methods, for example breaking down pectin to soften plant parts such as skins or stems that are normally discarded.

Products for Rehydration:

These are dry products that can be hydrated hot or cold with any type of sweet or savory
liquid. For example, with infusions, culinary bases, purées, juices and so on, they take on the
flavour of the added liquid and create different textures.

Technical Fats:

These fats have had their flavour neutralized while maintaining their structure, functionality, melting point and so on. As a result, they can be used to provide fat in numerous applications, without influencing flavour.

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