Emulsifiers in the Food Industry

19. November 2020

The Perfect Mix
Emulsifiers in the Food Industry

Whether smooth, creamy ice cream in a crisp and airy waffle cone on a summer’s day or hearty, spicy liver sausage on bread at your morning break with your favourite colleagues. When it comes to the texture of culinary delights, the team in the Nutrition Business Unit with its know-how and years of experience plays a significant role.

Basically, it is all about the problem of binding oils and water. In their original form, these two liquids would not mix with each other. But this is precisely the secret of how emulsions are created with the aid of emulsifiers, and rheological and textural characteristics are influenced in such a way that smooth and creamy or spreadable products are formed.

For most food products and also for the production process, the perfect mixture is decisive and is easily achieved with our emulsifiers. Emulsifiers blend the immiscible liquids with one another, make them smooth and, in addition, stabilise the then homogeneous mass. This principle also applies to gaseous materials and solid components of a formula.

Nature itself gives us a classic example for a good emulsion: Milk! Finely dispersed oil droplets are suspended in an aqueous solution. Emulsifiers master this important task through their natural composition: They have a hydrophilic and a hydrophobic end. The latter stems from Ancient Greek and means “water-avoiding”, while hydrophilic means “water-loving”. As we know, opposites attract …

Our broad range of emulsifiers, mainly monoglycerides and diglycerides of fatty acids and their esters with acetic acid, citric acid or lactic acid, is produced in our plants in Witten and Wittenberge. We ensure that only purely vegetable raw materials are used for the production. Here, every emulsifier is the star of its very individual area of application.

Missing the warm rays of the summer sun? On the beach, at the water’s edge or at the park − with a delicious ice cream? This enjoyable experience would not be possible without our emulsifiers. IMWITOR®️ 900 (F) P, for example, does not only distribute fat and water evenly in the ice cream (it makes no difference whether strawberry or vanilla), it also helps to make it airy. Thus, the desired texture can be achieved through the ice crystals and the unfrozen water. IMWITOR®️ 900 (F) P is the reason why your ice cream is so unbelievably creamy and smooth.

Other emulsifiers, such as our IMWITOR®️ 2020, ensure that bread is light and fluffy. It strengthens the cross-linking capacity of the flour, which binds more air and leads to a finer crumb.

But our tour of culinary delights is also about sausages. For the production of pasties, liver sausage and sausages in general, a creamy, soft consistency is achieved with even small input quantities of our IMWITOR®️ 372 P; it ensures optimal binding of oil and water in spicy meat products. Special emulsifiers can be used as defoaming or separating agents. DYNACET®️ 285, for example, is an excellent lubricant for the production of collagen sausage casings. Our WITARIX® MCT oils can be used as release agents in numerous areas, while WITAFROL®️ defoamers are used as additives to facilitate the processing of foodstuffs containing starch, sugar or proteins.

IOI Oleo GmbH is also a constant companion in daily life, ensuring with its stars among the emulsifiers that plain foods are transformed into culinary dreams. For further information – perhaps also on hard fats like our SOFTISAN®️ 100, which can be used to produce hollow chocolate casings – please contact our Nutrition Business Unit. We look forward to your enquiry and offer you our advice and support.

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Ulrike Stegger

Ulrike Stegger is Product Manager Nutrition at IOI Oleo GmbH. She joined the company in 2012 following positions in consulting and sales in well-known medium-sized and international firms. She has gained a wealth of experience with the most diverse raw materials – from lecithins and phospholipids to starches and hydrocolloids right through to monodiglycerides and MCT oils – and their modes of action in the production of food and nutritional supplements. Ulrike is the mother of a son and is interested in sports.