Most spreads and sauces are dispersions of an insoluble solid or liquid phase most commonly in water. Examples include mayonnaise, margarine and ketchup. Such products have complex rheological properties, and contain a number of formulation ingredients including oils/fats, emulsifiers, thickening agents (usually gums) as well as salt, sugar, colorants and flavorings. These must be formulated in such a way as to obtain a stable product with the required sensory and nutritional properties.

Malvern’s range of analytical instruments and application solutions can assist this process by helping to:

  • Reduce formulation time.
  • Ensure formulation stability.
  • Verify product properties and consumer acceptance.
  • Optimize manufacturing conditions.
  • Monitor quality.
  • Ensure compliance with regulatory standards.
  • Benchmark products.
  • Develop appropriate packaging.

Whether a product is a suspension of tomato fibers (ketchup) or an oil/water emulsion (margarine and mayonnaise), particle size, shape, surface charge, chemical composition and rheological properties can all have a significant impact on final product quality including visual perception , taste, flow behavior and stability. While some of these measurable physical properties may be critical for a specific application, it is often their interplay which is responsible for defining the complex behavior required for market acceptance in many food stuffs.

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