This paper describes the effect of serum release on sweetness intensity in mixed whey protein isolate/gellan gum gels. The impact of gellan gum and sugar concentration on microstructure, permeability, serum release and large deformation properties of the gels was determined. With increasing gellan gum concentration the size of the pores present in the protein network, the permeability and the serum release increased, as well as the Young's modulus, the fracture stress and the fracture strain. Increasing the sugar concentration induced an increase of the pore size, but resulted in a decrease of permeability and serum release. The addition of sugar resulted in gels with a higher Young's modulus and a lower fracture strain. This effect was more evident at higher gellan gum concentrations. By changing the protein concentration of the gels, a set of samples was prepared exhibiting constant large deformation properties but varying in serum release and sugar concentration. Serum release significantly boosted sweetness intensity. For example, the sweetness scores for gels with 12% serum release were the same as for gels with 2% serum release but 30% higher sugar concentration. The results indicate that serum release is a tool to compensate for the loss taste intensity related to the reduction of sugar and salt in gelled foods.
- mixed gels
- sensory perception