Durian Seed Extract: A Natural Food Stabilizer
The glue extracted by the researchers from durian seeds not only contains essential elements as food stabilizers, but also helps promote probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that help people maintain a healthy digestive system. Professor William Chen, director of the NTU Food Science and Technology Program, said that durian-derived colloids have two main uses in food applications:
1.Replace the gum arabic currently used as a food stabilizer/emulsifier.
2.As a nutritional support for probiotics, it prolongs the survival of probiotics in beverages.
Compared to conventional powdered probiotics in commercial food stabilizers，Durian-derived gels increase the efficiency of probiotic life by 20%.
In an environment of 4 degrees Celsius, the number of probiotics using existing commercial stabilizer products decreased significantly after 5 weeks, while the use of products containing durian seed stabilizers decreased significantly after two months.
Potential applications for this product are probiotic beverages and natural food stabilizers. Durian-derived food stabilizers are vegetative, so they are also suitable for vegetarians and consumers who do not eat animal food stabilizers, such as gelatin.
Low cost probiotic medium.
People often ignore the seeds when they eat durian, which can be used to produce 100% natural food stabilizers and even promote intestinal health.
This colloid can also be used directly as a cheap medium to promote the growth of probiotics, thereby reducing the production cost of probiotic beverages.
The total cost of traditional industrial production of probiotic compounds is about 60 Singapore dollars ($44) per liter of medium. In contrast, the study found that the use of durian seed-derived colloids as a medium requires a production cost of about 13 Singapore dollars (US$9.5) per liter, and the cost-effectiveness is about 4.5 times.
Sustainable raw materials
The study was based on the challenges that climate change poses for future food production systems and the need to sustainably overcome these challenges by upgrading food by-products. Currently, most natural stabilizers are obtained from acacia gum, but as climate change affects seasonal harvests, humans need to constantly explore other sustainable sources.
In the first half of 2018, Singaporeans spent an average of 6 million durians (Source Asia One article, July 20, 2018). If each durian contains about 300 grams of seeds, then 3,600 tons of seeds will be thrown away in a year. The re-extraction of these durian seeds not only demonstrates the cost-effective recycling of food by-products, but also demonstrates its industrial and social benefits.
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