Glucono-delta-Lactone in silken tofu

Tofu comes in many different forms and textures, and is a good source of protein containing all nine essential amino acids, in addition to other health benefits like iron, calcium and the minerals manganese. Johanna Kurrat, senior project manager application technology, Jungbunzlauer Ladenburg; and Lena Perkins, technical service manager at Jungbunzlauer International, highlight how best to use Jungbunzlauer’s Glucono-delta-Lactone to obtain a high yield of silken tofu characterised by a pleasant firmness and increased breaking strength.

Long gone are the days when soy products like tofu and bean curd were consumed only in Asia. They have also been finding their way onto the shelves of Western food outlets for decades now. And as health and sustainability awareness continue to grow alongside concerns about animal welfare, soy products are gaining significantly in market share and shelf prominence.

Tofu comes in many different forms. Silken tofu has the softest texture, and is characterised by a very smooth mouthfeel, almost like yoghurt. Its mild taste makes it suitable for both savoury and sweet dishes. The texture of silken tofu is achieved by adding coagulants such as Glucono-delta-Lactone or calcium sulphate.

Glucono-delta-Lactone – A fermentation-based mild acidifier
Glucono-delta-Lactone (GdL) is a neutral cyclic ester of gluconic acid formed by the removal of water. Gluconic acid is an organic acid occurring naturally in plants, fruits and other foodstuffs such as wine and honey.

Jungbunzlauer gluconic acid is produced by aerobic oxidative fermentation of glucose syrup from non-GMO maize. GdL is obtained by direct crystallisation from the aqueous solution of gluconic acid, resulting in a fine, white, crystalline powder. GdL is practically odourless, and has a slight sweet taste. Being non-toxic, it is metabolised completely in the body, like a carbohydrate.

When added to an aqueous solution, GdL dissolves rapidly. It hydrolyses slowly to gluconic acid to provide mild acidification. The decrease in pH is progressive and continuous until equilibrium, which makes it an outstanding acidifier compared to other acidulants, which tend to provide instantaneous acidification.

Find out more about the production of tofu using GdL and how best to achieve the best texture and stability of silken tofu with GdL in the latest Food & Beverage Asia Aug/Sep 2020 issue. Click here to read the full article.