It’s time that you met the alternative emulsifier alpha-cyclodextrin. It’s a water-soluble, sugar ring molecule, made from starch. It has a hydrophilic surface and hydrophobic center hole. It’s this unique shape that gives it the ability of complexing nonpolar substances. Just picture a kid using a life saver in the pool: their legs would be the oil-loving part of the molecule and their head would be the water-loving part. This is what this new emulsifier looks like.
What functions does alpha-cyclodextrin have?
This is a versatile, stabilizing emulsifier. A few uses include:
Stabilizing oil-in-water emulsions
Egg free or gluten-free baking
Controlling the solubility and dispersibility of un-mixable liquids
Masking odors and unwanted flavors
Stabilizing and protecting compounds from light, heat and oxidation
Encapsulation of oils, probiotics, food colors and flavors
Entrapment of cholesterol
The main function of alpha-cyclodextrin in food products is the stabilization of emulsions as an alternative to common emulsifiers. It can act as surfactants in food, allowing water-and-fat dispersions to be evenly mixed.
If using it in:
Formulations containing amylase: alpha-amylase can hydrolyze α-1,4-glycosidic bonds of alpha-cyclodextrin. Recipes that contain amylase for dough conditioning and crumb softening could impact the function of alpha-cyclodextrin.
Formulations rich in acids: a proper balance should be established between the total titratable acidity (TTA) and alpha-cyclodextrin to avoid hydrolysis. As a result, the cyclodextrin’s functionality could be hurt.
Dr. Lin is the baking industry’s influencer who has had a love affair with baking for 30 years. Starting with a BSc degree in Food Science & Technology at the Ohio State University, a MSc and PhD from the Department of Grain Science at Kansas State University. While working at Wendy’s and Dave’s Killer Bread, her technical teams experienced the lack of technical baking information on the internet. Seeing that this was not freely shared, Dr. Lin decided to launch BAKERpedia to cover this gap. With over 2 million pages read annually, BAKERpedia is the world’s only FREE and comprehensive online technical resource for the baking industry. Catch Dr. Lin at our BAKER Academy solving baking problems, subscribe to the BAKERpedia YouTube Channel & follow her on LinkedIn.
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