A method to create stratified structures with static mixing elements initially developed for the plastic polymer industry is investigated here as a new route for structuring food dispersions. Food dispersions of different viscosities were structured with static mixing elements to investigate the potential of the method for foods. Differently coloured chocolates were used as the model products. The viscosity of the chocolate was controlled through the addition of pea fibre. The first step was the formation of 2–8 layers, with the two differently coloured chocolates. Then, the chocolate dispersions were layered into 256 layers with an approximate layer thickness of 60 μm. Layer formation was facilitated when using similar paste viscosity and when slip was induced through wall coating with vegetable oil. Uniaxial cutting tests of the layered chocolate indicated that layering resulted in different mechanical properties, parallel and perpendicular to the layers. Fibre orientation in the direction of flow was observed, resulting in the potential to induce anisotropy, additional to the layers. The higher viscous dispersions, wheat dough and melt cheese, could also be structured into layers, although the force constraints of the experimental set-up were reached. Mid-stream additions were added to produce strand structures instead of layers, resulting in higher hierarchy structures but less uniformity.
- Food structure