Structure formation in food materials is influenced by the ingredient properties and processing conditions. Until now, small structural elements, such as fibrils and crystals, have been formed using self-assembly, while processing was applied to create relatively large structures. The effect of self-assembly under flow is rarely studied for food materials, but it is widely studied for non-food systems. The use of well-defined flow, often simple shear, turned out to be essential to study and control the structure formation process in foods as well. This observation encouraged us to develop a number of different shearing devices that allowed processing of biopolymer systems under simple shear flow. This paper reviews our main findings. In the case of protein fibrillization, the shear rate was found to control the growth rate as well as the properties of the fibrils formed. In the case of dough processing, simple shear flow made the product more process tolerant and induced gluten migration. The use of shear flow for dense caseinate dispersions led to hierarchically structured and fibrous material. Based on the presented results, we conclude that introducing simple shear flow in food structuring processes can lead to a much broader range of structures, thereby better utilizing the full potential of food ingredients.
- calcium caseinate dispersions
- fibrous materials