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Edible Adhesives - It's Time for a New Innovation

Posted on 1/11/2019 12:09:29 PM By Deb Bhattacharjee
  

With the increase in dietary concerns, there is a need for a new edible material which can be used for adhering spices to foods, particularly snack foods, which is easy to apply, keeps the spice adhered to the food product, provides a desirable oily-type appearance without introducing extraneous tastes, colors, odors or undesirable visual effects to the coated product.

Natural organic adhesives have been around for a long time.  These are easy to obtain, relatively inexpensive, easy to apply and are known to have a base of sugar, starch or dextrin, mainly used in paste paper products.  Several of these can be edible, especially the majority of sugar-based glue. Starch based glues are generally derived fromthe cooking of seeds with a high starch content (as for example oats, rice, etc.) in water, often in the presence of acid or base to obtain a paste of varying viscosities.  When aqueous acids are used at around 50⁰C, the formed pulp is neutralized with a base. In the basic treatment, the starch is heated in an alkaline solution in combination with additives such as borax.

An improved adhesive formulation comprising a bonding agent (including lipids, medium chain triglyceride oils, emulsifiers and mixtures thereof) and a powdered ingredient (including edible acid, edible base, vitamins, minerals, etc.) has been described.

Edible adhesive coatings for multi-component food products,  where one of the functions for the edible adhesive coating is to facilitate adhesion of particulate components, such as grains or granola pieces, to a base component, such as a food-based center has also been investigated.  The adhesive coating composition contains a source of edible fat (e.g. chocolate), a hygroscopic food powder such as, polydextrose and optionally an emulsifier, like lecithin.

Recent improvements in edible glue formulation comprises a solution of starches, a solution of organic acids and a solution of preservatives.

Biodegradable and edible composites for use as feed packaging containers could be formed from a mixture comprising fiber mixed with a non-petroleum based, biodegradable adhesive formed by modifying a starch, protein, or protein-rich flour.

In addition to its adhesive properties, the edible glue formulation should have a shelf life of at least six months and it should not represent any risk to the consumer's health.

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