Ever wondered what ingredients are used by the food industry to give that exemplary taste and texture to baked goods, confectioneries, frozen desserts and some oils?
Emulsifier (An emulsifier is an additive that helps to mix two liquids together and form a homogenous mixture) E471 is a common food additive that can be found in these packaged food items. Also known as Permitted Emulsifier & Stabilizer, INS 471 is made up of mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids. Mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids refers to a naturally occurring class of food additives.
How is INS471 obtained
It is manufactured from glycerin and fatty acids and usually obtained from plant oils like coconut oil, soybean oil, palm oil, rapeseed oil, sunflower oil, cottonseed oil, corn oil, olive oil or animal fats like tallow(beef fat) or lard(pig fat).
A multipurpose emulsifier?
It is used as a thickening, emulsifying, anti-caking, and preservative agent in food products.
Where can you find it?
Permitted Emulsifier & Stabilizer (INS 471) may be available as flaked, powdered, or in small beads.
It helps in improving the softness of bread and retards starch retrogradation (the process where starch is broken down into its constituents: amylose and amylopectin) which further helps in extending its shelf life.
E471 is also added in ice creams as it prevents the formation of large ice crystals, stabilizes the structure, improves mouth feels, and provides a creamy texture.
It is also used in caramels, toffees, and chocolates to reduce stickiness and prevent sugar crystallization.
It acts as a fat replacer(link about what is fat replacer (fat replacers are non-fat substances in food that can be used in place of fats) as well and helps to hold water.
It is used as a foam-promoting emulsifier in the cake to stabilize air bubbles in the batter and reduce the fat content in cakes.
Watch out !
Permitted Emulsifier & Stabilizer (INS 471) can sometimes be obtained from animal sources that are not suitable for vegetarians, vegans, or for those who are following a halal diet (halal diet consists of all domestic birds, cattle, sheep, goats, camels, buck, rabbits, fish, locusts, fruits and vegetables, dairy eggs, pulses and legumes). It is therefore very vital to check the food packaging. A vegetarian product will have a special stamp indicating it is so.
Permitted Emulsifier & Stabilizer (INS 471) can sometimes be obtained from animal sources that are not suitable for vegetarians, vegans, or for those who are following a halal diet. It is vital to check the food packaging. A vegetarian product will have a special stamp indicating it is so.(1)
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