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Sources and classification of food thickeners

Views: 80     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2023-07-14      Origin: Site


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Food thickeners are not only widely distributed in nature, but we often come into contact with them in our lives, such as the jelly we eat, the drinks we drink, etc. What is a food thickener?

Food thickeners can be defined as large molecules that dissolve in water and are fully hydrated under certain conditions to form a viscous, creamy solution. The majority of food thickeners are derived or processed from natural plants and animals, and their chemical composition is mostly natural polysaccharides or their derivatives.

After understanding the sources of food thickeners and their definitions, let's talk about the classification of food thickeners. Depending on the source of the extract and the processing method, we classify food thickeners into synthetic thickeners and natural thickeners, and each category can be divided into different sub-categories.

food thickener

Synthetic thickeners, i.e. food thickeners that are synthesised artificially using chemical methods. For example: propylene glycol alginate, calcium hydroxymethyl cellulose, sodium hydroxymethyl cellulose, sodium starch phosphate, sodium starch glycolate. Pure chemical synthesis, such as sodium polyacrylate, sodium carboxymethyl cellulose, etc., most of them are made of cellulose, starch as raw materials, under the action of acid, alkali, salt and other chemical raw materials, after hydrolysis, condensation, purification and other processes. There is another widely used category of food thickeners produced through the action of starch fungi or bacteria (especially the enzymes produced by them) with starchy substances.

Natural thickeners, i.e. thickeners made from natural plant and animal extracts, such as alginic acid, agar, red algae gum, carrageenan, etc., made from gum and its salts produced by seaweeds; or gum arabic, yarrow gum, Indian tree gum, sycamore gum, peach gum, etc., made from tree exudates; or gum made from plant seeds, such as guar gum, carrageenan, acacia bean gum, tamarind gum, tara gum, cassia seed gum, sarragon seed gum.

The gums are made from the seeds of plants such as guar gum, carrageenan, acacia bean gum, tamarind gum, tara gum, cassia seed gum, artemisia seed gum, flaxseed gum, sesame seed gum, sesame seed gum, plantain gum, seed sunflower gum, etc.; or from certain tissues of plants such as pectin, konjac gum, marshmallow gum, aloe vera extract gum, arabinogalactan, microcrystalline cellulose, microfibrillated cellulose, okra root gum, etc.; or from raw materials such as skin, bone, tendon and milk of animals or their tissues, such as gelatin, dried coolin, chitin, chitosan, etc.; and Or from microbial reproduction and secretion made of xanthan gum, gellan gum, aeromonas gum, thuringian polysaccharide, nitrogen-fixing bacteria gum, tempeh gum, coagulation polysaccharide, hemimicrobial gum, mycorrhizal gum, etc.

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