Rhamnolipid Companies, Inc. markets and sells rhamnolipids for the use in the food processing industry. Rhamnolipid Companies, Inc. supports research into new uses of rhamnolipids and supplies rhamnolipids for such research.
The Use of Rhamnolipids In Food Processing
Rhamnolipids have many applications in food processing and many more are in development. Since they are a natural, “green”, and organic product they can meet the standards for natural organic foods. Rhamnolipids can replace other chemicals in food processing and food storage. The rhamnolipids will function as emulsifiers and stabilizers in a number of food processing applications. Small amount of rhamnolipids naturally occur in the soil, and therefore are present on many rare food ingredients.
Rhamolipid Mechanisms for Food Applications Surfactant, Emulsifier, and Solubilizer
As a surfactant, rhamnolipids help in the general mixing of ingredients. Rhamnolipids will emulsify polar (water and alcohols) and non-polar (fats and oils) fluids so that they will stay mixed. They also keep mixtures of oils and fats stable and consistent.
Although the mechanisms are not completely understood rhamnolipids strengthen and control the texture of dough.
Empirically, rhamnolipids have been shown to slow the growth of molds and some bacteria. They also cause lysis in spores to inhibit spreading of fungi and oomycetes.
Potential Applications for Rhamnolipids in Food Processing Bakery Goods
Rhamnolipids added to dough function as an emulsifier to mix the ingredients. This emulsification helps control the porosity of the dough, the strength of the dough and the texture of the dough and resultant baked product. It will also control the consistency of cakes and how they crumb or break apart, an important factor in the sensual enjoyment.
Since rhamnolipids slow the growth of molds and mildews, etc. rhamnolipids act to extend the shelf life of the baked goods containing them.
Rhamnolipid surfactants can be used to form stable emulsions of the fats and oils which will lengthen storage time for these products and inhibit separation. This is very important in ice cream, where the smooth texture is an important sensual property during consumption. The rhamnolipids should be able to replace the expensive carrageenan found in high quality ice creams. Rhamnolipids will stabilize whipped cream, making it practical to use for applications where whipped cream typically breaks down.
Rhamnolipids will also improve the consistency of butter and margarines as well as improve their long-term storage.
Rhamnolipids will keep salad dressings properly mixed. They also will stabilize shortenings, peanut butter, toppings, and icing.
Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Preservative
Because of rhamnolipids ability to control molds, rhamnolipids applied on fruits and vegetables will contribute to extending the storage life of these products. Rhamnolipids can be consumed so therefore their presence on the surface of these items is not harmful. Since rhamnolipids are a surfactant, they are easily washed off and will help in the removal of surface oils and other contaminants, aiding in the cleaning of the produce.
Cleanliness is important in all phases of food processing, as a non-toxic, natural surfactant rhamnolipids have application as a cleaning agent in all phases of food processing. For instance, rhamnolipids can be used in the butchering of meat and fish to remove surface fats and oils.