The gel network formed with Avicel colloidal MCC offers the following properties:
Thixotropy –gels made with Avicel colloidal MCC readily break down with shear; when the shear is removed, the gel will reform over time with minimal loss to viscosity. Avicel MCC is due to the properties imparted by these particles when properly dispersed in water or a liquid medium.
Foam Stability –Avicel MCC is a premier foam stabilizer. The microcrystalline network thickens the water phase between air cells and acts as a physical barrier to maintain the air cells in suspension. Although Avicel MCC does not have significant film forming properties, it does work to increase the film strength ( Figures 5A & B ).
Stabilize Emulsions – Avicel® MCC forms a colloidal network of particles when properly dispersed in water. This colloidal network sets up at the oil-water interface to physically prevent the oil globules from coalescing ( Figures 6 and 7 ). Hence the Avicel acts to stabilize the emulsion as well as thicken the water phase to improve cling properties.
Heat Stability –temperature changes have little or no effect on the functionality and viscosity of Avicel dispersions. This property is extremely important in the preparation of heat stable products, particularly when acids are present. Avicel MCC will hold up during heat processing, including baking, retorting, UHT processing and microwave heating with minimal loss in viscosity.
Shorten Texture –Avicel MCC can be used to modify textures– it can shorten textures or add body without creating a gummy or pasty texture. In food systems this quality results in a cleaner mouthfeel and excellent flavor release.
Suspend Particles – the stability and thixotropic rheology of Avicel MCC makes it a useful suspension aid. In an aqueous system, the 3-dimensional matrix sets-up at low use levels to effectively suspend particulates.
Replace Fats and Oils – Avicel MCC can be used to replace some or all of the oil in emulsion type products. The Avicel mimics many of the rheological properties associated with full oil emulsions (Figures 8 and 9 ).
Control Ice Crystal Growth – the 3-dimensional matrix created with dispersed Avicel colloidal MCC and the surface area of the microcrystals create a stabilizing system that maintains a homogeneous state during freeze/thaw cycles. Avicel helps prevent moisture migration and inhibits the aggregation of protein and other solids. The 3-dimensional network formed with Avicel is extremely effective in maintaining the three phase system of water/fat/air.
Extend Starches – using a ratio of 4 parts starch/1 part Avicel® MCC allows processors to reduce the amount of starch thickener required by as much as 25%.The MCC will also improve heat and shear stability over prolonged process cycles. ( Figures 10 and 11 )
Opacity – insoluble cellulose crystallites act as opacifiers and can add whiteness to products.