Bulking Agents and their useful applications

According to Bulking Agent Definition, food bulking agent is a food additive that increases food volume or weight of food keeping its utility or functionality intact. Bulking agent only increases the bulk of food and does not affect its nutritional value. These are non caloric additives which are applied to food to impart volume and mass. Some common bulking agents are soluble fibres like guar gum and psyllium husk. The other examples of bulking agents are Carnuba Wax, Glycerin, Beta Glucan, Mannitol, Maltitol, Polydextrose, Methylcellulose and Pectin. Bulking agents are widely used in low calorie foods, meal replacements, pastries, breads, cereals and most processed foods. Studies have revealed that bulking agent can be used as weight loss aid for their ability of delivering fullness and decreased appetite. Bulking Agent like soluble fiber glucomannan helps in losing weight.

Bulking Agent Applications:

  • In slimming foods: Food bulking agent is a food additive that adds little or no food value to food. And they add very few calories to food materials. They increase the volume or weight of foods but do not impart any extra functionality or utility. Using this property food bulking agent is used in producing slimming foods.
  • Using bulking agents in food there can be significant increase in the volume of food while there will not be very significant contribution to the available energy. For instance, sugar is used to increase the volume of lollies; using bulking agents the same bulk can be obtained and at the same time the product can be healthy and low in calor
  • In food and beverage applications: Using bulking agents in various food and beverage applications their weight can be increased and at the same time texture can be altered without making any modifications to its flavour.
  • Bulking agents in bakery products: Bulking agents are used in a variety of foods. In various kinds of bakery products, confectionary products, seasonings, condiments, sauces and soups bulking agents are commonly present. There are also widely used in oils, fats and sweet spreads, salad dressings and mayonnaise. These can also be used in processed meat and convenience foods. In dairy products including various desserts and ice creams bulking agents are used. Today these are also being used in pet foods.
  • Bulking agents in vitamins are used as 'fillers' to build up the vitamin tablets as pill-sized because vitamins are very small.

Bulking agents are dietary fibres with no calories. They pass through the intestine without getting digested and therefore, they are common ingredients of various slimming foods. The use of bulking agents in tablets is commonly found in slimming pills. Many slimming tablets and pills contain bulking agent like guar gum. It is derived from the seeds of a tropical Indian plant belonging to pea family. Guar gum, if taken before meal, depresses the appetite and makes you feel full. But this should be taken in moderate amount.

Bulking Agents food is chemically inert material and their main usage is increasing the product volume. These can be formulated by the chemical and medical experts, as per the industry standards.