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Gums in Noodles

Ingredients that have been used in noodle formulations include starches, gums, emulsifiers, enzymes, and colorings. For frozen noodles, non-wheat starches are frequently included in formulations. Modified starches designed to enhance stability or slow retrogradation rates can improve the texture of the final cooked product through a softer but more elastic texture. In instant noodles, Guar gum, Xanthan, starch or other modified starches can be used to alter noodle texture and to increase the rate of rehydration on final preparation.

There are many types of gums available that currently or potentially have applications in noodles. These include; guar and locust bean gums, alginates, including propylene glycol alginate (PGA), carrageenans, xanthan, guar, and cellulosic gums. Gums are added in low amounts (often between 0.5% and 1.5% of flour weight) and are commonly used to make noodles firmer, increase water-holding capacity in pre-boiled noodles, increase freeze thaw stability and reduce ice crystal formation in frozen noodles, and to reduce fat uptake in fried noodles. In choosing a gum,one needs to consider the type of gum, the viscosity of the gum, its ease of hydration, and its mesh, or particle size. Hydration and particle size are crucial factors in some noodle formulations because of the low water additions used. As a rule, gums should be fully hydrated prior to addition to the flour.