Which stabiliser base is better for creaminess?
Palsgaard can accommodate regional preferences because it is just a case of choosing the right emulsifier and stabiliser system, according to Thomas, but there are some technical challenges for manufacturers to be aware of which might affect the creaminess of the mouthfeel.
Thomas says: “Chocolate milk can be produced in different ways. The stabiliser base, for example, is usually carrageenan or Microcrystalline cellulose (MCC)”
Carrageenan, which is extracted from seaweed, is by far the most commonly used stabiliser in chocolate milk.
Thomas says: “Carrageenan in general works well with dairy products because there is a synergy between the casein proteins in the milk and the carrageenan, that prevent the insoluble cocoa particles from sedimenting, additionally, it provides the creaminess in the chocolate milk.”
“So, although carrageenan in itself is a little bit of an expensive product, the strong synergy tends to result in a very powerful effect, even in a low dosage of these systems.”
Meanwhile, with an MCC-base there are different things to consider.
MCC is derived from plant fibres from which the crystalline part of the cellulose is extracted.
Below 80°C a change in temperature only has a limited effect on the functional properties of MCC, meaning that cooling and storage temperature is less critical when MCC is used. Consequently, MCC-based products are recommended when cooling below 25°C is not applicable, or if the storage temperature is higher than 30°C, which is often the case for example in Southeast Asia and the Middle East.