CBG (LBG), have no restricted ADI-values, they increase the viscosity of aqueous systems very efficiently, thereby controlling the mobilisation of water. By this, they influence the consistency, body and shelf-live of aqueous food systems as well as the stability of O/W and W/O emulsions. These gums make it possible together with minor amounts of carrageenan to produce ice-cream with shelf-life of at least 18 months at -18°C without significant quality changes. Additional advantages are the shape retention and prevention of melting down of frozen products in case of heat shock.
By mixing the mentioned gums with carrageenans and other biopolymers, their properties can be exactly adjusted for a great number of applications (pet-food and dairy products).
CBG (LBG) is used in a great variety of food products whenever a thickening, stabilising or gelling effect is required. Depending on the desired texture and the food product, CBG (LBG) is used alone or, more often, in combination (i.e. “compounds”) with other hydrocolloids and food additive (e.g. emulsifier). The functional properties of CBG (LBG) are shown in Table 1.
Dairy products (yoghurt, fresh cheese, ice-cream), salad dressings and gravies, soups and gelled foods (in combination with other hydrocolloids) are just a few of the major food categories where CBG (LBG) is incorporated. Emulsifying properties can be obtained by mixing these gums with starches and/or modified starches, as well as with proteins like sodium caseinate, skim milk and whey powder (convenience food).
The INEC-Technical Committee has prepared a number of “Technological Justification Sheets” for the application of CBG (LBG) in soft drinks, frozen breaded fish products, bread and pasta products, in order to demonstrate the effect of CBG (LBG) on the quality of these food products.
CBG (LBG) is now also being sold on a small scale as such in the retail trade for use in cooking as a thickener for sauces, gravies or sweet dishes; this represents a “low caloric” replacement for wheat flour and starch (trade names: Nesvital, Binde-fix; both produced by Nestlé).
In recent years canned pet foods have become probably the most important single outlet for CBG (LBG) where it is used mainly in combination with carrageenan to texturise the meat sauce.