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Commercial thickeners used by patients with dysphagia: rheological and structural behaviour in different food matrices

Moret-Tatay, A., Rodriguez Garcia, J., Marti-Bonmati, E., Hernando, I. and Hernandez, M. J. (2015) Commercial thickeners used by patients with dysphagia: rheological and structural behaviour in different food matrices. Food Hydrocolloids, 51. pp. 318-326. ISSN 0268-005X

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.foodhyd.2015.05.019


In order to achieve a safe swallowing in patients with dysphagia, liquids must be thickened. In this work, two commercial starch based thickeners dissolved in water, whole milk, apple juice and tomato juice were studied. The thickeners were Resource®, composed of modified maize starch and Nutilis®, composed of modified maize starch and gums. They were formulated at two different concentrations corresponding to nectar- and pudding-like consistencies. Influence of composition, concentration and food matrix on rheological properties and structure of the resulting pastes were analysed. Viscoelastic measurements and microscopic observations of the thickeners dissolved in water revealed structural differences due to the presence of gums. When the thickeners were dissolved in the other food matrices significant statistical interactions were found between the matrix and the thickener-type in both the viscoelastic and flow parameters. The most relevant differences were observed for the nectar-like consistency with Nutilis® thickener in milk and apple juice. These samples had lower zero viscosity values and higher loss tangent values, that corresponded to weaker structured systems. Light microscopy images showed that the matrix formed by swollen starch granules was interrupted by the presence of gums. The structure of the matrices in pudding-like formulations became more continuous irrespectively of the matrix employed, and also differences in viscoelasticity among samples diminished. Although differences were observed in zero shear viscosity values among samples, the viscosity of the beverages at 50 s−1 – commonly used as a reference for swallowing – was similar for all samples regardless of the matrix used.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences > Food Research Group
ID Code:41220

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