Pulverization is a potentially powerful solution for the resource management of surplus- and non-standard agricultural products, maintaining their nutritional values for long and ensuring their homogeneity, whereas their original textures could disappear to narrow the application ranges. Therefore, new technologies should be developed for reconstructing the powders to provide them with new physical characteristics. Herein, we developed a novel food material, nata puree (NP), by nata de coco (bacterial cellulose gel) disintegration with a water-soluble polysaccharide using a household blender. The process worked well with (1,3)(1,4)-β-glucan (BGL) as the polysaccharide, which could be substituted with barley extract. Lichenase treatment of the NP dramatically modified its physical properties, suggesting the importance of the BGL polymeric forms. NP exhibited distinct potato powder and starch binding activities, which would be attributed to its interactions with the cell wall components and a physical capture of powders by the NP network, respectively. NP supplementation into the potato paste improved its firmness and enabled its printable range shift for 3D food printing to a lower powder-concentration. NP also promoted the dispersion of powders in its suspension, and designed gelation could also be successfully performed by the laser irradiation of an NP suspension containing dispersed curdlan and turmeric powders. Therefore, NP could be applied as a powder modifier to a wide range of products in both conventional cooking, food manufacturing, and next generation processes such as 3D food printing.
Wheat flour-based batter containing 0% to 20% trehalose was deep-fried, dried and held in various water activity (αw) conditions. The effects of trehalose content and αw on oil content, water sorption, isothermal mechanical relaxation, and fracture properties were investigated. For comparison, the fracture properties of freeze-dried porous waxy corn starch solids were also investigated. The 10% trehalose sample had the lowest oil content, water content, and αw. A force-reduction value (ΔF) of the samples was evaluated as a typical mechanical relaxation parameter. ΔF gradually increased with increasing αw and sharply increased above a specific αw presumed to be associated with the glass to rubber transition. Compared to ΔF values among the glassy samples, 10% and 20% trehalose samples had higher ΔF values (were more rigid) than 0% and 5% trehalose samples. From the fracture measurements of the glassy samples, the first fracture force increased linearly and the number of fracture peaks decreased linearly with increasing αw. At each αw, 10% trehalose had the lowest first fracture force and the highest the number of fracture peaks. Freeze-dried porous waxy corn starch solids showed similar fracture properties to deep-fried samples. These findings suggest that around 10% trehalose content is optimal for producing deep-fried foods with a brittle texture.