Rheology and microstructure of ready-to-eat retorted egg product
Damodarasamy, Jegan S.
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Breakfast eggs are an important item in the military ration program. An improved formula consisting of pasteurized liquid egg, liquid margarine, xanthan gum, pre-gelatinized starch, calcium caseinate, and water was developed which did not exhibit syneresis and a rubbery texture when the ingredients were adequately blended before thermal processing. To test the effectiveness of different blending procedures, the microstructure of the liquid before retorting and the retorted product was evaluated using a Confocal Laser Scanning Microscope (CLSM) and a cryo-stage scanning electron microscope (C-SEM). Preliminary test showed the dramatic change of texture as result of re-heating the eggs. This phenomenon was studied using a controlled stress Rheometer. The conditions of the Rheometer testing were also simulated on a Sterilmatic retort simulator and the texture of the resulting product was examined using the TAX-T2 texture analyzer. The microstructure evaluation showed that Megatron, a high speed homogenizer yielded the best homogeneity for both fat distribution and hydrocolloids. The textural and rheological studied showed that the hardness and visco-elastic properties of the product increased as result of re-heating