Hydrocolloids / Gum

Hydrocolloids have a wide array of functional properties in foods. These include thickening, gelling, emulsifying, stabilization, and controlling the crystal growth of ice and sugar though the basic properties for which hydrocolloids find extensive use are thickening and gelling. Hydrocolloids disperse in water to give a thickening or viscosity producing effect. This water-thickening property is common to all hydrocolloids and is the prime reason for their overall use. The extent of thickening varies with the type and nature of hydrocolloids, with a few giving low viscosities at a fairly high concentration but most of them giving high viscosities at concentration, below 1%.