Alginate based fillings

5 June 2023
Alginate based fillings | Bakery Academy

Alginate based fillings 

Alginates are extracted from seaweed and more specifically brown algae. It is what gives the structure and flexibility to the algae when we find it in the sea. The structure of alginate consists of a linear combination of 2 acids: mannuronic and guluronic acid; depending on the type and region of the seaweed the ratios are different.

Alginate gelling methods:

       Diffusion setting: restructured foods
Calcium ions (in a different solution) diffuses into an alginate solution

       Internal setting: bakery cream alginates
Alginate is hydrate first and then comes in contact with calcium source by controlled release of Calcium ions or by adding an acid to dissolve the calcium salt

       Setting by cooling: bake stable fruit fillings
Mixing at high temperature followed by cooling. Setting by cooling means that both calcium and alginate solutions are high temperature when added, so not cross linking is possible : results in soft textures

Alginate, reasons to use:

       Rapid gelling (high setting temperature, fast reaction with Ca)

       Cold gelling (Ca-salts+Ca-binders needed)

       Heat stable gels

       Alginate is the only hydrocolloid that can give heat stable gels made without heating

       Sodiumalginate dissolves well in tapwater and is the most common one used

       Higher concentrations make paste in stead of gel

A challenge can be the complete solubilisation of the alginate before reacting with a potential salt interaction: this will result in lumps, also known as fisheyes. Phosphates are used therefore to bind the available Calcium ions.

Tips and Tricks

       Off-taste, dosages >0.6%

       Hidden Calcium sources

ü  Milk powder

ü  Maple syrup

ü  Condensed Milk

       Most effective with late setting


ü  Hot/ cold water

ü  Mix with sugar

ü  Disperse in syrup/ glycerol (max 6,1%)

ü  Then in solution

       Wrong dissolved alginates (‘fish eyes’)

       Alginate loses structure @ pH<4

       With processing, type of Ca course and pH a range of textures can be developed

       Combinations give

ü  hydrocolloid synergies

ü  better taste

ü  mouthfeel and

ü  flavour release.

       Known combinations:

ü  Starch

ü  Pectin

Need to know more? Feel free to contact us!

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