Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Chelating agents

Chelating agents have acquired greater importance in food processing. Their ability to bind metal ions has contributed significantly to stabilization of food color, aroma and texture.

Trace elements such as iron, cobalt, and copper often accelerate the deterioration of foods. They can act as catalysts for fat or oil oxidation. For instance, ascorbic acid, vitamin E, thiamine and folic acid are affected by copper and both copper and iron led to the destruction of natural and added vitamin A.

Trace metal ions in foods can produce undesirable effects such as discoloration, turbidity, and oxidation.

Pink discoloration in canned pears, blue green in shellfish and arthropods, grey bean in canned maize, clouding of soft drinks, and chill haze in beer are caused by trace minerals.

Their binding by chelating agents increases antioxidants efficiency and inhibits oxidation of ascorbic acid and fat soluble vitamins.

The binding of a hydrogen or metal atom between two atoms of a single molecule is called chelation from the Greek word ‘chele’ (or crab’s claw).

Chelating agent is a molecule that can form several coordinate bonds with a single metal ion.

The most important chelating agent in the food industry is EDTA. There are other two important chelating agents are ethylenediamine and dimercaprol.

EDTA or Ethylenediametetraacetic acid used as a stabilizing agent in the food industry. It promotes color retention on dried bananas, bans, chick peas, canned clams, pecan pie filling, frozen potatoes and canned shrimp.
Chelating agents

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