Meringues are characterized by a predominant air phase and their overall quality is intimately related with microstructure. The formation of meringues microstructure relies on the capacity of egg white (EW) proteins to form voluminous and stable foams and it is ultimately related with the chemical properties of proteins and with the addition of ingredients such as sugars, salts, acids and surfactants. The study aimed at assessing the influence of sugar/EW ratio, citric acid and EW type on the microstructural and mechanical properties of meringues. Meringues prepared with different sugar/EW, citric acid level and different EW type were subjected to microstructural analysis by X-ray microtomography and to mechanical assessment by compression tests. Results demonstrate the ability of X-ray microtomography to reconstruct the 3D microstructure of meringues allowing the measurement of porosity, size, shape and distribution of pores. Citric acid, sugar concentration and EW type play a fundamental role on meringues microstructural parameters and mechanical properties. Low sugar/EW ratios as well as increasing citric acid levels increase the air phase and result in a softer texture of meringues. Moreover, low sugar/EW ratios and increasing citric acid in the meringue result in a reduction of pore size and also influence the shape of pores. Meringues microstructural and mechanical properties are affected by the EW quality: fresh and pasteurized EWs and EWs stored at refrigerated temperatures scored the highest structural and mechanical performances, while powdered and frozen EWs and albumens from old eggs showed the worst results. Not only the balance among ingredients but also the choice of raw materials can strongly affect the final quality of meringues.
|Titolo:||Effect of sugar, citric acid and egg white type on the microstructural and mechanical properties of meringues|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2012|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|