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ARS Home » Plains Area » Houston, Texas » Children's Nutrition Research Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #334031

Research Project: Pediatric Clinical Nutrition

Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center

Title: Effect of emulsifier and viscosity on oil separation in ready-to-use therapeutic food

item ORDIZ, M - Washington University
item RYAN, KELSEY - Washington University
item CIMO, ELIZABETH - Washington University
item STONER, MARGO - Project Peanut Butter
item LOEHNIG, MARGARET - Project Peanut Butter
item MANARY, MARK - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)

Submitted to: International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/27/2015
Publication Date: 8/21/2015
Citation: Ordiz, M.I., Ryan, K.N., Cimo, E.D., Stoner, M.E., Loehnig, M.E., Manary, M.J. 2015. Effect of emulsifier and viscosity on oil separation in ready-to-use therapeutic food. International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition. 66(6):642-648.

Interpretive Summary: Oil separation in peanut butter-based foods can reduce shelf life and the addition of food emulsifiers can reduce oil separation. A study was done with ready-to-use therapeutic food with different emulsifiers added and oil separation was measured. A mixture of high and low monoacylglycerol resulted in the least oil separation. These findings help prevent a common food quality problem.

Technical Abstract: Oil separation is a common food quality problem in ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF), the shelf-stable, peanut-based food used to treat severe acute malnutrition in home settings. Our objective was to evaluate the effect on oil separation of three emulsifiers at different concentrations in RUTF. We also assessed two viscosity measurements. A scale-up experiment was carried out during full-scale RUTF production in Malawi. Results indicate that viscosity is inversely correlated with oil separation, and that the Bostwick consistometer is a simple, useful tool to predict viscosity. Oil separation in RUTF may be mitigated by use of an emulsifier, which increases the viscosity of the product. The emulsifier that reduced oil separation to the greatest extent was a mixture of high and low monoacylglycerol (MAG) emulsifiers. Proper raw material quality control to achieve consistent ingredient fat level and fat type, and production temperature and shearing control should be a focus in RUTF manufacturing.