Industrial Applications of Selected JFS Articles

Several papers in this issue concentrate on sensory characteristics of foods: The complexities of many food systems make the individual characteristics harder to understand: the effect of fat aggregations in ice cream changes with the handling of ice cream and the kinds of stabilizer systems in the formulation. The flavor, color, and texture of raspberries vary with berry varieties. Pizza-world's most popular undergraduate food comes in for some study of the healthiness of its toppings. For formulators, these papers present opportunities: how to eliminate the problems with pizza toppings, how to improve the low ratings of fat-less puddings, how to best use stabilizer systems for the best ice cream.

The Complexities of Ice Cream Systems

Ice creams are complicated – they have sugar systems that cause changes in the melting temperatures and on osmotic pressures, lipid systems that vary the aggregation of fat globules, protein systems, and effects of just about all kinds of inclusions. In “Effects of Locust Bean Gum and Mono- and Diglyceride Concentrations on Particle Size and Melting Rates of Ice Cream”, researchers studied how the concentrations of locust bean gum and emulsifiers affected fat aggregation and melting characteristics of ice creams. The research team found that, under certain conditions, stabilizers actually destabilized the fat globules. The conclusions were “fat agglomeration was occurring as the mix was frozen into ice cream. Ice creams at higher concentrations grouped individually by MDG and LBG, respectively, showed significant differences in particle size and melting rate values which suggests an increase in fat aggregation. The ice creams containing higher concentrations of both MDG + LBG showed higher particle size values than the control. Emulsifiers did not act alone in promoting partial coalescence, but, rather, LBG at different levels participated in creating the fat structure by promoting fat aggregation in ice cream. Prior to this study, only emulsifiers had been evaluated as a promoter for fat aggregation in ice cream, while these results suggest that stabilizers also play a role. This point is important to understand when determining the amount of stabilizer or emulsifier to use in an ice cream formula because both ingredients can work together to develop the texture and produce a better overall product at optimal levels of each ingredient.” C811–C816

Honey Isn't a Simple System

With just 3 ingredients, honey appears to be a simple system. However, glucose, fructose, and water can occur in several forms, and can drive the manufacturer of set or creamed honey to minor forms of mayhem, if crystallization occurs rapidly, or refuses to occur at all. Researchers studied ways to determine when and whether crystallization will occur, and report their findings in “Development of Novel Methods to Determine Crystalline Glucose Content of Honey Based on DSC, HPLC, and Viscosity Measurements, and Their Use to Examine the Setting Propensity of Honey” Two independent offline methods were developed to measure the crystal content in honey based on differential– these were based on scanning calorimetry and high-performance liquid chromatography. They provided highly consistent results on the basis of paired t-test involving 143 experimental points, and correlated with the relative viscosity, defined as the ratio of the viscosity of crystal-containing honey to that of the same honey when all crystals are dissolved. The work not only should assist those working with honey, but also offers more information about the characteristics of these two sugars, and what happens when they get together. E845–E852

Frozen Pizza Toppings Studied

Pizza toppings such as ham, salami, and similar toppings were found to form heterocyclic amines in post-baked frozen pizzas, especially if they were heated longer than specified by the manufacturer's label. The results are reported in the paper titled “Formation of Heterocyclic Amines in Salami and Ham Pizza Toppings During Baking of Frozen Pizza”. Salami produced fewer types of amines, and in both cases, longer baking times (which were preferred by sensory testers) produced more heterocyclic amines. The amount of “cupping” of salami slices on the surface of the frozen pizza seems to increase the amounts of heterocyclic amines during over baking. The authors noted that manufacturers should specify clearly how long the products should be baked, and at what temperature, and to discourage overcooking, in order to avoid producing heterocyclic amines. U.S. regulations have not identified maximum levels for HA's, and have not clearly associated HAs with cancer in humans, although some studies suggest that there is a connection. HCAs are formed when amino acids, sugars, and creatine react at high temperatures. C832–C838

Using Common Yeast Strains to Ferment Sweet Wine Has Some Challenges

In “Sweet Wine Production by Two Osmotolerant Saccharomyces cerevisiae Strains”, researchers described some of the difficulties of using these common yeasts to make sweet wine. Saccharomyces cerevisiae has a tough time doing its job because of the stress of working in a high sugar concentration. Two such strains have been co-immobilized in capsules, and this technique appears to permit the yeasts to ferment the sugar-rich musts effectively. Partially-fermented sweet wines showed higher concentration of the volatile compounds than traditionally-produced wines. The cells reached minor concentrations of major alcohols better than wines by free cells. A principal component analysis shows that the compounds related to the response to osmotic stress (glycerol, acetaldehyde, acetoin, and butanediol) clearly differentiate the wines obtained with free yeasts but not the wines obtained with immobilized yeasts. M874–M879

Raspberry Preference for Frozen, Fresh Berries Are Different

Why do people like raspberries? Flavor is a main thrust, but it depends somewhat on whether the berries are fresh or frozen. In “Preference Mapping of Frozen and Fresh Raspberries”, scientists looked for the sensory attributes that make this premium berry likeable. The aim was to help guide breeders in designing the flavor, texture, and so on that make raspberries most liked. Based on overall hedonic ratings, cluster analysis identified 3 clusters of frozen raspberry consumers from day 1 (41% “nondistinguishers,” 34% “likers,” and 25% “nonlikers”) and day 2 (41% “group 1 likers,” 26% “nonlikers,” and 33% “group 2 likers”). For fresh raspberry consumers, 2 clusters were detected from day 1 (54% “likers” and 46% nondistinguishers”) and day 2 (54% “group 1 likers” and 46% “group 2 likers”). Consumers liked frozen raspberries when they had high levels of raspberry flavor, were firm, and sweet. The testers didn't like sour berries, and weren't impressed by high levels of aftertaste. In the case of fresh raspberries, the favorite fruits were uniform in color, had good raspberry aroma followed by flavor. High color intensity and green aroma got thumbs down. Not only will the information help breeders design “liked” raspberries, the comments in the paper should be helpful to buyers and users of raspberries in commercial products. S911–S919

Black Walnut Flavors Are Described

In “Descriptive Analysis of Flavor Characteristics for Black Walnut Cultivars” researchers worked with sensory panelists to develop a lexicon for black walnut flavor attributes. Seven cultivars were described, and 22 flavor attributes were described. One of the cultivars (Emma K) was significantly different than the other 6, but all cultivars were different for 13 attributes. A couple of cultivars of English walnuts were ranked as well and found to be blander, as is suggested by the lighter colored kernels, but were similar for 20 of the 22 characteristics. Considering that there are 750 different cultivars, flavor selection may become important in determining which variety to grow, and which to purchase for best flavor. Because the tree has other uses (lumber, oils, and so on) other attributes can cause growers to make choices independent of flavor, especially if preferences are not well known. S887–S893

Consumers Rate Fat Contents of Vanilla Custard

Too little is not enough, just right is just right, and too much is too much. Consumers, in the study reported in the paper “Quantitative and Qualitative Variation of Fat in Model Vanilla Custard Desserts: Effects on Sensory Properties and Consumer Acceptance,” liked the texture and flavor of vanilla custards with medium amounts of fat, and described the characteristics that they found pleasing. Low fat found no champions in this test, and high fat flavors and textures turned some consumers off. The panels (one trained descriptive panel and one untrained consumer panel) concluded: “Custards with medium fat contents (1.5% to 8.6%) showed best acceptability results. Pudding-like flavor attributes, vegetable fat flavor, and fat-related properties were intrinsic factors that drove liking of all consumers. S894–S901

Garlic Oil Effects against Cancer Therapies Found

One of the hardest parts of dealing with cancer therapies is the reduction in white cells that prevents moving ahead with the therapy. Researchers who report their results in “Garlic Oil Suppressed the Hematological Disorders Induced by Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy in Tumor-Bearing Mice” used a mouse study to identify what happened during radiation when the animals were given a dose of radiation alone or with garlic oil. The garlic oil addition appeared to reduce the amount of suppression of the white cells, allowing the mice to tolerate the radiation better. There were other positive signs that the garlic oil provided some ways to fight the problems with radiation, although garlic oil doesn't appear to increase tumor inhibition. How much garlic oil would be required to provide these pluses isn't clear yet. H936–H942