Commercial Exploitation of Homo-exopolysaccharides in Non-dairy Food Systems
Florian Waldherr and Rudi F. Vogel
from: Bacterial Polysaccharides: Current Innovations and Future Trends (Edited by: Matthias Ullrich). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2009)
Lactic acid bacteria play a crucial role in various food fermentations. Several strains can produce long chain sugar polymers called exopolysaccharides (EPS). These can be classified due to different criteria e.g. the composition of different or just one kind of sugar monomer in hetero- and homopolysaccharides. While heteropolysaccharides are intensively used as additives in milk products, homopolysaccharides can be introduced in sourdough products influencing structural quality, baking ability and reducing bread staling factors. Additionally, beneficial effects on enteral health are discussed. An example for industrial use of EPS in bakery products is the application of dextran in panettone and other breads. Also the addition of non-bacterial hydrocolloids is well established in industrial baking. Several investigations concerning the replacement of these additives by bacterial EPS have been made and provide data of dough and bread parameters such as textural factors, water retention and moisture and specific bread volume. Practically no information is available on the effects of bacterial EPS in other fermented foods as fermented meat products, sauerkraut or vinegar. EPSs can be as defined additives or alternatively via in situ production by starter cultures. The addition of purified EPS has to be labelled on the end product, which is a disadvantage since consumers demand for fewer additives in foods. On the other hand, in situ production appears to be less effective in traditional wheat and rye dough systems due to strain-dependent acid formation, which may be required but counteracts positive EPS effects. Forthcoming chances of EPS applications may therefore lie within special applications as in gluten free breads where both, reduced pH and EPS should have synergistic positive effects on structure read more ...