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Easy to use but still comprehensive guide to food emulsifier technology

Yes – I am probably biased.

When I started in my current role, I was given ”Emulsifiers in Food Technology” edited by Viggo Norn to ”remember the fundamentals – and also learn the deep insights” as it was expressed by my predecessor: Viggo Norn !  

Emulsifiers in Food Technology 2nd ed. edited by Viggo Norn.
Published by Wiley Blackwell 2015.

Viggo has worked with emulsifiers and emulsifier technology for more than forty years, and he has managed to put together an extremely useful reference book with excellent contributions from numerous leading figures within the field.  

Even though the book is quite comprehensive, it is still very manageable and easy-to-use.

A dedicated chapter is allocated to each ”family” of industrial emulsifiers. One thing that makes the book very successfull is the fact that each chapter is crafted quite strictly around a common, logical  and also educational template. Thus, it is easy to compare between chapters and to find specific information in a hurry. Altogether this actually also makes the book appear like a real book and not ”just” a monograph with a selection of more or less structured chapters with different formats, styles and ambition levels.

Most importantly, all chapters feature extensive references to the original literature. This is an almost invaluable assistance in further uncovering specific areas of interest since identification of the original work is key to finding other publications that cite this work simply by using the conventional search engines for scientific and technical literature.  Moreover, it also ensures that all the insights and know-how presented by leading emulsifier experts from Kerry, DuPont, BASF, Palsgaard etc. are scientifically founded.

Each chapter includes detailed descriptions of production methods, physical and chemical properties, and thoroughly explained examples of applications for all important food emulsifiers. Especially the latter is highly valuable since it carefully describes the roles of various emulsifier ingredients during different stages in food applications. For example from oil and water to low-fat margarine and other spreads. From flour to dough to high-quality bread. From cocoa butter to chocolate coatings. And from milk protein and milk fat (or vegetable fat) to heat chock resistant ice cream. With these insights, based on the current understanding of different emulsifiers functionalities and their scientific explanations, it is possible for application technologists to rationalize experimental findings, fine tune recipes and propose completely new approaches.     

Finally, two chapters about Regulation of Food Emulsifiers and Analysis of Emulsifiers, respectively, concludes the book to provide a single source hand-book useful for all practitioners. As a former university professor, I am also convinced that the book would be an excellent teaching resource for emulsifier technology due to the educational structure and approach.

”Emulsifiers in Food technology” is on my table almost every day. By now, I have had the time to read also a couple of other related books. They are spending most of their time in my book shelf. And that is not just because I am biased.

About the author

Claus Hviid Christensen

In addition to serving as Editor of Emulsifiers for Good, Claus Hviid Christensen is the CEO of Nexus A/S, which is the R&D company for Palsgaard A/S. He graduated from the University of Copenhagen in 1992. During his research career, he has published more than 175 scientific papers, which have been cited more than 20,000 times. He was the founder and director of the Danish national research center of excellence on ”Sustainable Chemistry” established in 2005 when he was a full professor at the Danish Technical University. Later, he has worked as senior executive within engineering, renewable energy, infrastructure construction, and food innovation businesses. Claus Hviid Christensen has also served as non-executive board member and government adviser in several countries, e.g. as the Chairman of the Danish Council for Research Policy. He can be reached via chc@palsgaard.dk.