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                  Glyconutrients/Phycocolloids

Small amounts of essential glyconutrients are needed for your body to function properly. They are the basis of communication between cells, delivering the messages that enable cells to work together to keep your body healthy and balanced. The most important different glyconutrients are fucose, galactose, glucose, mannose and xylose. Only two of these glyconutrients... glucose and galactose... are found abundantly in the typical modern-day diet.

 Phycocolloids extracted from seaweed are mainly used in food products for human consumption, although  they are also used in the production of pet food, mainly for dogs and cat, and the production of fodder, for fur-producing mammals and fish in aquaculture. They are employed in human food to optimise organoleptic factors (body, texture, flavour enhancement, mouth feel, chewyness, smell and taste), and their application is very broad. Their broad application is a function of their effect as viscosifiers, stabilisers and gel formers. The viscosity of a solution of macromoleculesdepends primarily on the effective volume occupied by the macromolecules. In aqueous systems, this is a property that is closely related to their ability to bind water. Phycocolloids are therefore used in a huge number of food products to give the proper thickening. The stabilising properties of phycocolloids areintimately related to their viscosity. Many food products are not homogeneous.Water-soluble phycocolloids act as stabilisers in complex systems, such as fruit juices with fruit cells, to keep particles or small droplets evenly distributed in the water phase, mainly by increasing the viscosity of the water phase. This will prevent both precipitation and separation. Furthermore, the addition of charged polymers such as alginate may produce charged films at the interface, so that individual particles or droplets will repel each other. The stabilising and binding functions of phycocolloids may also be important for the retention of food structure during processing, such as heat sterilisation of canned food. In uch cases, the phycocolloids are referred to as protective or preservative agents. The mechanism of gel formation is different for each phycocolloid. Consequently, each has found its application in different types of products

 

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