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The Kitchen as LaboratoryReflections on the Science of Food and Cooking$
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César Vega, Job Ubbink, and Erik van der Linden

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231153454

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231153454.001.0001

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Taste and Mouthfeel of Soups and Sauces

Taste and Mouthfeel of Soups and Sauces

(p.148) Twenty Taste and Mouthfeel of Soups and Sauces
The Kitchen as Laboratory

John R. Mitchell

Columbia University Press

In traditional cuisine, soups and sauces are thickened with starch-based ingredients, such as wheat flour. Although it is possible to obtain a similar degree of thickening in soups and sauces with nonstarch polysaccharides—such as guar gum, xanthan gum, locust bean gum, and carboxymethylcellulose—the mouthfeel and flavor are often not as good as traditional starch-based ingredients. This chapter explains why this is so. Solutions of nonstarch polysaccharides have poor mixing behavior which results in the following: taste molecules, particularly salt and sugars, will remain in the poorly mixed solution and be swallowed before their concentration equilibrates with saliva in the mouth, resulting in inhibited saltiness or sweetness. If a viscous solution mixes poorly with saliva, it will dilute very slowly, giving an undesirable mouthfeel, which can be described, depending on the polysaccharide, as slimy, mouth coating, clingy, and the like.

Keywords:   soups, sauces, thickening, mouthfeel, starch, nonstarch polysaccharides, food thickeners, viscosity

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