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Rheological Behaviors of Thickened Infant Formula Prepared with Xanthan Gum-Based Food Thickeners for Dysphagic Infants

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Abstract

Thickened infant formula (TIF) prepared with commercial xanthan gum (XG)-based food thickeners are commonly used to care for infants with swallowing difficulties or regurgitation. In this study, the rheological properties of TIF prepared with four commercial food thickeners (coded A–D) were determined as a function of thickener concentration, thickener type, and setting time because the selection of an appropriate food thickener for TIF preparation is necessary for managing dysphagia in infants. The flow and dynamic rheological properties of TIF were investigated at three different concentrations (1.0, 2.0, and 3.0% w/w) of XG-based thickener. The flow properties of TIF were described by the power law and Casson models. All TIF samples demonstrated high shear-thinning (n = 0.12–0.33) behavior at all concentrations (1.0–3.0%). Their apparent viscosity (η a,50), consistency index (K), yield stress (σ oc), storage modulus (G′), and loss modulus (G″) increased with an increase in thickener concentration. In general, TIF with thickener A had much higher values for all flow parameters at each thickener concentration when compared to TIF with other thickeners (B, C, and D). However, the n values of TIF samples with thickener A were much lower, indicating that they are less slimy and have better mouthfeel than those of TIF samples with other thickeners. All TIF samples with different thickeners produced different thickening patterns over a setting time. The flow and dynamic rheological parameters demonstrated differences in the rheological behaviors between XG-based thickeners, indicating that their rheological properties are related to the concentration and type of thickener as well as the setting time. These results suggest the importance of considering not only the concentration and type of thickeners but also the time being administered after its addition to effectively treat dysphagic infants. In addition, selecting an appropriate commercial food thickener appears to be of great importance for the safe and easy swallowing of dysphagic infants.

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Acknowledgements

This work (2016R1A2B4010803) was supported by Mid-career Researcher Program through NRF grant funded by the MEST. This work was partially supported by the research program of Dongguk University, 2016. We would like to thank Rheosfood Inc. for providing technical assistance and the free food thickener A (Visco-up) sample.

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Correspondence to Byoungseung Yoo.

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Yoon, SN., Yoo, B. Rheological Behaviors of Thickened Infant Formula Prepared with Xanthan Gum-Based Food Thickeners for Dysphagic Infants. Dysphagia 32, 454–462 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00455-017-9786-2

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00455-017-9786-2

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