Effect of pH on Rheological Properties of Dysphagia-Oriented Thickened Water

  • Yoon, Seung-No (Department of Food Science and Biotechnology, Dongguk University) ;
  • Yoo, Byoungseung (Department of Food Science and Biotechnology, Dongguk University)
  • Received : 2015.10.07
  • Accepted : 2016.01.04
  • Published : 2016.03.31


Flow and dynamic rheological properties of thickened waters prepared with commercial food thickeners were investigated at different pH levels (3, 4, 5, 6, and 7). The commercial xanthan gum (XG)-based thickener (thickener A) and starch-based thickener (thickener B), which have been commonly used in a domestic hospital and nursing home for patients with swallowing difficulty (dysphagia) in Korea, were selected in this study. Thickened samples with both thickeners at different pH levels showed high shear-thinning flow behaviors (n=0.08~0.22). Thickened samples at pH 3 showed higher n values and lower consistency index (K) values when compared to those at other pH levels. The K values of thickener A increased with an increase in pH level, while the n values decreased, showing that the flow properties greatly depended on pH. There were no noticeable changes in the K values of thickener B between pH 4 and 7. At pH 3, the thickened water with thickener A showed a higher storage modulus (G') value, while that with thickener B showed a lower G'. These rheological parameters exhibited differences in rheological behaviors between XG-based and starch-based thickeners, indicating that the rheological properties of thickened waters appear to be greatly influenced by the acidic condition and the type of food thickener. Appropriately selecting a commercial food thickener seems to be greatly important for the preparation of thickened acidic fluids with desirable rheological properties for safe swallowing.


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