Emulsifiers vital for chocolate coating, says Palsgaard

By Anthony Fletcher

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Chocolate Liquid E number Water

Palsgaard, which has launched a range of ingredients designed to
ensure the stable production of low-fat and cost-effective ice
cream coatings, explains why emulsifiers are so important.

The purpose of the ingredient range is to help food makers overcome significant difficulties in production in order to save both money and time.

Take chocolate for example. Chocolate and compound coatings are widely used to add extra value to ready-to-eat products. But Palsgaard says that in many ways, chocolate is by nature incompatible with ice cream.

This can create problems at the production stage. During the manufacture of chocolate for example, high water content can increase the product's viscosity, making it unsuitable for production.

But ice cream of course typically holds 65 per cent water, which is mainly frozen in the final stage. The contact between the frozen surface of the ice cream and the warm chocolate can thaw some of this water, which can migrate into the chocolate.

This causes an increase in viscosity and yield value, resulting in increased layer thickness and crystallisation time.

There are of course some solutions to this problem. Emulsifiers like lecithin but especially PGPR (polyglycerol polyricinoleate) - are known to improve the flow properties of the liquid chocolate mass and to a certain extend counteract this negative effect of water.

Palsgaard argues therefore that the ice-cream industry should take food emulsifiers into consideration when working with liquid chocolate or coatings.

Emulsifiers work in the chocolate by improving the flow properties of the liquid chocolate mass. Some emulsifiers lower the plastic viscosity whereas other emulsifiers influence the so-called yield value.

The yield value can be defined as the energy input needed to initiate flow of the chocolate. As an added benefit for the ice cream manufactures, the emulsifiers also have the ability to absorb a limited amount of water, which is destined to be transferred from the ice cream to the chocolate during dipping or enrobing of the ice cream sticks or bars.

Soya lecithin (E 322) is the most abundantly used emulsifier in chocolate. The emulsifier has the ability to lower the plastic viscosity in the chocolate, but when added at dosages above 0.5 per cent, the yield value of the chocolate will increase making flow more difficult.

Palsgaard has developed some alternatives. Ammonium phosphatide (E 442) for example is an alternative to soy lecithin, and is widely used by the chocolate industry. Being a non-soy based emulsifier, the ammonium phosphatide PALSGAARD 4448 - has non-GM status and is not considered to be an allergen.

Furthermore, dosages above 0.5 per cent will not increase the yield value of the chocolate noticeably. Palsgaard says that its 4448 product has a very neutral flavour profile and will therefore not have any negative impact on the chocolate flavour in the ice-cream chocolate.

Palsgaard's citric acid esters product - PALSGAARD 4201 - is a fairly new emulsifier for the chocolate industry, but its functionality as a full alternative to soy lecithin is generally recognised in the chocolate industry. PALSGAARD 4201 is also a non-soy based emulsifier and thereby carries a non-GM and non-allergen status.

Palsgaard claims that its ability to lower the plastic viscosity as well as the yield value of the chocolate is also unique.

Polyglycerol olyricinoleate (E 476) - PALSGAARD 4125 - is a highly effective water-binding emulsifier, which also will reduce the yield value dramatically even at dosages down to 0.2 per cent. The strong effect on the yield value makes it possible for the ice cream manufacturer to reduce the pick up of chocolate per ice cream stick/bar.

Also, the strong effect of PALSGAARD 4125 can be utilised in lowering the total fat content of the chocolate with up to 5 per cent and in this way make room for a considerably cost saving.

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