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Chapter 1

Food Rheology: Scientific

Development and Importance
to Food Industry
J. Ahmed*, P. Ptaszek**, S. Basu
*Environment and Life Sciences Research Center, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Kuwait
City, Kuwait; **Department of Engineering and Machinery for Food Industry, Agricultural
University of Crakow, Krakow, Poland; Dr. S.S. Bhatnagar University, Institute of Chemical
Engineering and Technology, Panjab University, Chandigarh, Panjab, India

Food is a very complex structured material, which is made up of water, proteins,

carbohydrates, fats, and significant amount of fibers. All these constituents in-
fluence flow and structural behavior of foods significantly, and therefore, rheo-
logical properties of food are very dissimilar from the conventional polymeric
materials. There are various factors that affect the stability of structured fluids.
The viscosity of the liquid phase in dispersions mostly plays a major role in the
flow properties of the material. Food rheology is no longer a measurement of
apparent viscosity only. With time and advancement in instrumentation, food
rheology today provides more in-depth information on microstructure and flu-
idity of a food. A transformation of measurement from a rotational viscometry
to either controlled stress/strain rheometer or more advanced optimal Fourier
transformation rheometry brought the accuracy, sophistication, and reliability
on rheological data. There is a growing interest to understand the food micro-
structure and its correlation with the food textural and rheological attributes in
food product development in academia and food industry. This knowledge on
food rheology and microstructure helps in minimizing textural defects in the
processed foods and improving consumer satisfaction.
Our book Advances in Food Rheology and Applications is thematically
divided into two broad areas: theoretical concepts and applications in the areas
of food rheology. Chapters110 contribute mainly in the selected theoretical
aspects of food rheology, whereas Chapters1121 focus on practical applica-
tions of rheological concepts in gums, gels, emulsion, and selected commer-
cial food products. Fluid and semisolid food products (eg, mayonnaise, peanut
Advances in Food Rheology and Its Applications.
Copyright 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. 1
2 Food Rheology: Scientific Development and Importance to Food Industry

butter, chocolate, ketch up) are regularly monitored by rheological testing for
the quality maintenance. Both steady and oscillatory rheological tests are used
to evaluate these materials regularly. Earlier, measurement and calculation of
yield stress for low viscous and slippery food materials was tedious and erro-
neous; however, with the advent of Vane rheometry, the measurement of yield
stress has become convenient and repetitive. Measurement of yield stress of
chocolate by various techniques has been discussed in one chapter (Chapter18).
Time dependence of fluid foods can be measured by thixotropy. Thixotropy is
a continuous decrease in viscosity with time when flow is applied to a sample
that has previously been at rest and the subsequent recovery of viscosity in time
when the flow is discontinued. Thixotropic behavior of food is covered in a
separate chapter (Chapter3).
Food rheology mostly focuses on steady-state flow tests, and later it shifts to
oscillatory and creep measurement. Oscillatory shear tests can be divided into
two regimes: (1) small amplitude oscillatory shear (SAOS) and (2) large ampli-
tude oscillatory shear (LAOS) (it measures nonlinear material response). Break
down of food structure is the major limitation of the steady-state measurement
especially at higher shear rate. To overcome those limitations, SAOSa nonde-
structive rheological technique has been used extensively for the characterization
of food materials. SAOS tests are considered the canonical method for probing
the linear viscoelastic properties of foods because of its solid theoretical back-
ground and the ease of implementing suitable test protocols (Hyun etal.,2011).
However, the deformations can be large and rapid for most of the food processing
operations, and therefore, the nonlinear material properties that control the system
response should be studied. In the linear regime the strain amplitude is very small
so that both viscoelastic moduli are independent of strain amplitude and the oscil-
latory stress response is sinusoidal whereas at significantly large strain amplitude
(LAOS), the material response becomes nonlinear and the material functions used
to quantify the linear behavior in SAOS tests are no longer valid. Additionally,
another reason for the growing interest in LAOS tests is their usefulness in de-
scribing the elastic and viscous properties of complex fluids at large deformations
(outside the linear viscoelastic domain), which are closer to real processing and
application conditions (Carmona etal.,2014). Again, it has been reported that
LAOS measurements are related to the sensory and textural properties of food,
which is a topic of great interest (Melito etal.,2013). LAOS measurements of
food have been presented in one chapter (Chapter5).
Creep tests are used for viscoelastic food materials (eg, dough, cheese) to ascer-
tain the texture stability. A creep test depicts the time dependence of a viscoelastic
food material. It records a possible structural break down of the test material during
creep and recovery phases by applying and removing an instantaneous shear stress
for a defined time period. Such test measures rigidity/flexibility of a food product,
and it plays a significant role in food product development. Creep and recovery
are elaborately discussed in various chapters (Chapters9,11 and15) of this book.
Rheological properties of food and biopolymers are significantly influ-
enced by temperature and duration of the measurement. Timetemperature
Food Rheology: Scientific Development and Importance to Food Industry Chapter | 1 3

superposition (TTS) is an eminent technique which is used to enlarge the fre-

quency regime significantly at a reference temperature at which the material
is tested. In TTS, isothermal data obtained by frequency sweeps at selected
temperatures are shifted along the frequency axis and superimposed to obtain a
single master curve at the reference temperature. Shift factors achieved dur-
ing the transformation can be employed to verify whether the temperature de-
pendence of the physical changes follows either Arrhenius or Williams Landel
and Ferry (WLF) equations. Materials following the TTS principle are termed
as thermo-rheologically simple. One chapter is devoted to TTS of food and
biopolymers (Chapter9).
Gel plays an important role in food and biopolymers with significant tech-
nological interest. Mostly, proteins, starch, and polysaccharides form gel by ap-
plying temperature or pressure. Gels are found in various applications ranging
from foods to pharmaceuticals. By controlling the gels microstructure, a wide
variety of physical properties can be attained ranging from hard rubbery plastics
to soft hydrogels. Rheologically, gel formation is detected by a gel point. The
detection of gel point involves measurements of the complex shear modulus
over a range of frequencies, in oscillatory shear. At the gel point, both the elastic
and viscous moduli cross each other (G=G) at a particular frequency. Various
gels have been described in the book including fruit gels (made from sugar-free
artificial sweeteners) (Chapter13), cheese (an important milk gel derived from
enzymatic coagulation) (Chapter10), and basil seed gum (a new source of hy-
drocolloid) (Chapter16).
Among various types of flows, extensional flow has industrial significance.
Measurements of extensional viscosity of liquid foods are important in structur-
al characterization, process and quality control of products, and process model-
ing and design. One chapter has been devoted for measuring the extensional
viscosity of fluids with low and high viscosities. Additionally, typical results
of extensional flow measurements of polymer solutions, emulsions, and other
fluids are also discussed (Chapter6).
Food texture has recently been correlated with oral sensory perception. The
basic assumptions of this approach are that an eating process is a destructive
process involving deformation, flow, fracturing and breaking of the food, and
that texture is brain interpretation of the oral sensation of materials responses
and resistances against such deformations. A new area of rheology correlating
food texture and rheology has emerged known as tribology. Tribology is about
the friction, wear, and lubrication of interacting surfaces which are in relative
motion. A limited study has been carried out on oral tribology and oral lubri-
cation in relation to food texture and oral sensation. Details are available in a
complete chapter (Chapter4).
Particle size is a decisive parameter that influences inherent food properties,
and eventually the quality of the finished food product (Ahmed etal., 2016)
Particle size controls the rheological behavior of food either in dispersion or in
dough. It has been seen and well documented that a finest particle size slurry/
dough behaved completely different from coarse particle enriched dough.
4 Food Rheology: Scientific Development and Importance to Food Industry

Furthermore, the properties of the insoluble fiber network in a food matrix are
dependent on the amount of water insoluble solids, the area of the large particles
and in the concentrated region also on the hardness of the particles. One chapter
(Chapter8) has been included in the book, which deals with the rheology of di-
etary fiber (DF) suspensions and how the microstructural properties influence it.
Most of the rheology books do not deal with practical applications in food
product developments. There is hardly any singular book where attempts are
made to show theoretical concepts of rheology and practical applications in
food systems in detail. An impressive development has been observed in the
area of food rheology measurement in last two decades and some fields are
coming up with huge potential. Areas like tribology, extensional rheology,
LAOS measurement, nanoemulsion, gluten-free dough rheology, food gelation
have created interest among professionals and food/biopolymer industries. This
book provides a comprehensive overview of these most prominent areas of re-
search in food rheology. All these topics are compiled in this book, and we do
believe the book will be helpful to professionals and students who are interested
in the advancement in food rheology.

Ahmed, J., Taher, A., Mulla, M., Arfat, Y.A., Luciano, G., 2016. Effect of sieve particle size on
functional, thermal, rheological and pasting properties of Indian and Turkish lentil flour.
J.Food Eng. 186, 3441.
Carmona, J.A., Ramrez, P., Calero, N., Muoz, J., 2014. Large amplitude oscillatory shear of
xanthan gum solutions. Effect of sodium chloride (NaCl) concentration. J. Food Eng. 126,
Hyun, K., Wilhelm, M., Klein, C.O., Cho, K.S., Nam, J.G., Ahn, K.H., Lee, S.J., Ewoldt, R.H.,
McKinley, G.H., 2011. A review of nonlinear oscillatory shear tests: analysis and application
oflarge amplitude oscillatory shear (LAOS). Prog. Polym. Sci. 36, 16971753.
Melito, H., Daubert, C., Foegeding, E., 2013. Relationships between nonlinear viscoelastic behavior
and rheological, sensory and oral processing behavior of commercial cheese. J. Texture Stud.
44 (2013), 253288.