Food Fundamentals

Experiment 1.1: Egg White Foams

Introduction

Egg white foams are used in food preparation to provide volume and structure to a food. They are formed when egg whites are whipped rapidly which causes their proteins to unfold, creating large protein structures. Air bubbles are trapped within these structures which leads to increased volume.

The stability of the foam is important because less stable foams lose their volume over time. Many factors influence egg white foam stability including whipping duration and additives. Therefore, it is important to assess the factors that influence stability to develop optimal egg white foams.

Aim

To determine the effect of Cream of tartar on egg white foam stability and sensory properties in the manufacturing of meringues.

Methods

  1. Why were the egg whites beaten to stiff peak in this experiment?

Beating white eggs to stiff peak helps in rising of the egg and allowing it to set. This also causes their proteins to unwrap increasing the size of the structures of the protein and it results to larger quantity of the egg. Beating the white egg also traps air bubbles which help in increasing the size of the cream of tartar[i]. 

Results

  1. How did the physical qualities (bite strength, chewiness and stability) of your group’s variation compare with the other groups?

When comparing the physical qualities of our group’s variation with other groups, we noted that there was a difference in texture and stability. The texture was found to be softer making biting to be easy, stability was lost even after sitting for a short time and chewiness was soft and mouthful.

Discussion

  1. Why did your group’s additive affect egg white stability in the way that it did?

The stability of white egg is measured by the bonds and structure of the proteins it contains, adding additives to the white egg, especially sugar, sucked water from the protein reducing its stability. Water has hydrogen bonds that tend to form stronger covalent bonds making the physical state of a substance to be hard, it was invers in our group[ii].

  1. Do you think the sensory qualities of your group’s meringue were acceptable? Why/why not?

The sensory qualities of our group’s meringue was found to be acceptable as it met all the qualities of a better meringue, it had a good texture, it’s stability was within the required range even its physical appearance was appealing. Its sensory qualities met the requirements of a better meringue; a reduced level of sucrose improves the sensory qualities in respect to texture, flavour and general acceptability. [iii]

Recommendation

  1. Can you recommend the use of your group’s variation to a food company that manufactures meringues? If not, what would you recommend instead?

I would recommend the use of our group’s variation to any food company that manufactures meringue due to the fact that we made the best meringues compared to other groups in every aspect, our meringue had the best sensory qualities by obtaining high protein meringues and reduced levels of sucrose that improved its texture even flavour, the trick is found in the levels of sugar as it is found to reduce stability but increase the quantity.

Experiment 1.2: Emulsions in Mayonnaise

Introduction

A food emulsion is the heterogenous mixture of oil globules in a water phase (oil-in-water emulsion) or water globules in an oil phase (water-in-oil emulsion). There are many types of compounds that can form emulsions. Proteins and glycerophospholipids (lecithin) are good emulsifying agents as they are amphiphilic, which means they bind to water and oil. Carbohydrates can also be used as emulsifying agents as their thickening properties allows oil to suspend in water.

The ability of an emulsifier to form stable emulsions depends on its emulsifying capacity. Emulsifiers will have varying degrees of emulsifying capacity based on their chemical structure and mechanism of action. Therefore, it is important to compare the emulsifying capacity of emulsifiers to develop optimal products that rely on stable emulsions, such as mayonnaise.

Aim

To understand the role of eggs and non-eggs alternatives as an emulsifying agent in mayonnaise.

Methods

  1. Why is viscosity a good measure for emulsion capacity?

Viscosity increases the level of emulsion in that the more a compound is viscous, the more it can form emulsion. Many compounds that are viscous are found to be hydrophilic, a good quality in formation of emulsion in any stage such as oil-in-water emulsion and water-in-oil emulsion. Viscosity also affects the stability of an emulsion in that the more a substance is viscous, the more its stability and vice versa[iv].

Results

  1. How did the physical qualities (colour and viscosity) of your group’s variation compare with the other groups?

In our experiment, the physical qualities of our variations were slightly different from other groups in that, our experiment yielded a more stable emulsion by the use of a high viscous compound than other groups. The colour of our variation was found to be the same with other groups.

Discussion

  1. Why did your group’s variation affect the final mayonnaise emulsion in the way that it did?

The final product of mayonnaise was found to be more viscous than when it was a raw product. This is because when adding the variations to mayonnaise, we increased its viscosity hence increased its emulsion and stability. By adding eggs as a viscous material, it bonds the mayonnaise molecules with both oil and water making it more stable by dissolving half of phospholipid lecithin in water and the other half in oil[v].

  1. Do you think the sensory qualities of your group’s mayonnaise were acceptable? Why/why not?

I think the sensory quality of our group’s mayonnaise were acceptable as we made the most stable emulsion compared to other groups. We increased the stability of our mayonnaise making it more stable while maintaining its original taste and its original colour. The sensory qualities of the mayonnaise were improved by adding eggs to it increasing the value of physico-chemical parameters.

Recommendation

  1. Can you recommend the use of your group’s variation to a food company that manufactures mayonnaise? If not, what would you recommend instead?

I would recommend our group’s variation to any food company that manufactures mayonnaise and recommend that they should improve the stability of the current mayonnaise. I would recommend that in order to improve the sensory qualities of a mayonnaise, calculated interactions suggest that the storage time and temperature influence the rheological and the flavour qualities which can be made better by increasing the physico-chemical parameters by increasing the viscosity of mayonnaise.

References for Food Fundamentals

[i] Yüceer M, Asik H. Texture, rheology, storage stability, and sensory evaluation of meringue's prepared from lipase enzyme‐modified liquid egg white. Journal of Food Processing and Preservation. 2020 Jun 23:e14667

[ii] Vega C, Sanghvi A. Cooking literacy: meringues as culinary scaffoldings. Food Biophysics. 2012 Jun 1;7(2):103-13.

[iii] Brown AC. Understanding food: principles and preparation. Cengage learning; 2018.

[iv] Ye F, Miao M, Jiang B, Campanella OH, Jin Z, Zhang T. Elucidation of stabilizing oil-in-water Pickering emulsion with different modified maize starch-based nanoparticles. Food chemistry. 2017 Aug 15;229:152-8.

[v] Håkansson A, Chaudhry Z, Innings F. Model emulsions to study the mechanism of industrial mayonnaise emulsification. Food and Bioproducts Processing. 2016 Apr 1;98:189-95.

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