Edible CMC has a variety of functions such as thickening, emulsifying, forming, puffing, and fresh-keeping, which can be used as a substitute for food glues such as gelatin, agar, and sodium alginate. The addition of CMC can reduce food production costs, increase food grade, improve the taste, and extend the shelf life, which is a frequent choice of food additives for food developers. CMC is now widely used in a variety of solid foods, liquid beverages, lactic acid beverages, cans, candies, pastries, meat products, biscuits, instant noodles, rolled noodles, quick-cooking food, frozen snacks and soy milk, yoghurt, peanut milk, fruit tea, juice and so on.
The use of CMC for ice cream:
Ice cream is a kind of frozen food processed with the raw materials of water, and dairy products such as milk, white sugar, maltose, maltodextrin, edible fats, fresh eggs, compound emulsion stabilizers, edible flavours, and so on. It has a delicate and smooth taste and high nutritional value. Since water is the main ingredient in the production of ice cream, while an excessive amount of water would reduce production costs, it can also harm the quality of the product, which leads to more rough ice crystals in the ice cream, thus affecting the taste. In the ice-cream production industry, there are several measures to address this problem:
(1) To increase the content of solids in ice cream production materials, usually, increase the number of dairy products, granulated sugar, maltodextrin, edible fats, and other solid materials to achieve this purpose. The addition of these solids acts as a filler and blocks the formation of large ice crystals. However, excessive increases in the use of solid feedstock can increase production costs and reduce the market competitiveness of this product.
(2) Improve the ageing production process of freezing. However, its high demand for equipment will increase the purchase cost and operation cost of the equipment.
(3) Add a certain amount of emulsion stabilizer. This method of suppressing coarse ice crystals is more economical and beneficial for controlling production costs. An emulsion stabilizer is a compound food additive, which is composed of raw materials such as thickening stabilizers, emulsifiers, and buffers. When used in ice cream products, CMC powder used in ice cream can improve the organization and taste of ice cream and reduce production costs. As a thickening stabilizer, CMC is also used in the compounding of various emulsion stabilizers. The compounding of CMC, guar gum, and carrageenan, it can make the ice cream material get high viscosity and improve the emulsification ability of the protein in the material. So the organisational structure of the ice cream becomes fine and soft, the taste is smooth and moist, and the texture is thick and bites, with the good anti-melt property. CMC stabilizer for ice cream can reduce the production of large ice crystals in ice cream, develop the ice cream's melting resistance and fine lubrication taste, enhance the colour of white ice cream, and increase the volume of ice cream. At the same time, the use of CMC in ice cream can also reduce the number of solid ingredients use and the production cost of ice cream.