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Corn cob hemicelluloses as stabilizer for ice recrystallization inhibition in ice cream

Food stabilizers, such as guar gum and locust bean gum (LBG), are often added to ice cream to improve its texture and to combat its main shelf-life concern-ice recrystallization. Recently these gums have become increasingly expensive due to the limited supplies. 

In an US study published in Carbohydrate Polymers journal, holocellulose nanocrystals (holoCNCs) and hemicelluloses (hemiCs) were prepared from readily available corn cobs and tested for ice recrystallization inhibition (IRI) activities in the 25.0 % sucrose solution and ice cream mixes (ICMs). In the sucrose solution, holoCNCs were not IRI active at a concentration of 0.5 %, but hemiCs demonstrated a good IRI activity, even at 0.1 %. In the ICMs, the IRI activity of hemiCs was better than those of guar gum and LBG at a concentration of 0.2 %. Adding 0.2-0.5 % hemiCs had no negative influences on the physicochemical properties of ICMs and ice cream, including viscosity profile, particle size distribution, overrun, hardness, and meltdown rate. 

These research findings demonstrated corn cob hemiCs’ potential as a more sustainable ice cream stabilizer. 

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