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(11)Patent Number: KE 327
(45)Date of grant: 03/07/2009
  
(12) PATENT
(51)Int.C1.8: A 23L    1/00,1/40

(21)Application  Number:    KE/P/    2007/    000628

(22) Filing Date: 25/01/2006
(31)Priority Number: 05075384.7,
      05075391.2, 05075392.0 and 05075393.8   
(84) WO No.    W02006/087092 A2    24/08/2006
(32) Date: 17/02/2005
(33) Country:    EP

(73) Owner(s): Unilever PLC of Unilever House, Blackfriars, London EC4P 4BQ, United Kingdom
(72) Inventor(s) JANSSEN, Johannes, J, m;; HOGERVORST, Wim, T;    ; POTMAN, Ronald, P; and VERBEEK, Jan, H,t;
(74) Agent/address for correspondence: Kaplan & Stratton Advocates, P.O. Box 40111-00100, Nairobi
(54)Title: FAT GRANULES
(57)Abstract: Granule comprising lipid powder particles having a microporous structure
there is a need for an easy way of manufacturing such seasonings and concentrates for bouillons, broths, soups sauces in cube or tablet form.
Co-pending application PCT/EP2004/006544 describes edible dispersions, including water-in-oil emulsions, that comprise a structuring agent, specifically fat, having a microporous structure of submicron size particles. The water-in-oil emulsion may be a table spread. In the
examples pourable emulsions and pourable dispersions were described. The edible dispersions may for instance be prepared by mixing an oil phase with structuring agent particles with a separately prepared water phase.

Summary of the invention
One or more of the above problems are solved according to the invention which provides a granule comprising lipid powder particles (herein described as secondary particles)
that have a microporous structure and which are agglomerates of primary particles of submicron size.
We have found that micronised fat particles such as used in PCT/EP2004/006544 can become airborne and can be described as dusty. When using the micronised fat powder to produce food products, this dustiness influences the handling properties of the powder negatively. Additionally, we have found that micronised fat powder has a very low bulk density. This creates the problem that a certain mass of powder takes in a huge space if it is transported.
 
(salt, MSG, flour, starch, maltodextrin, etcetera) a size enlarging technique is needed, that binds a plurality of such smaller particles (powdery materials such as flour and/or starch and/or crystalline materials such as salt, sugar, MSG) of the ingredients together to larger particles, herein referred to as granules. Suitable techniques for such size enlargement are known in the art and include granulation, agglomeration, pelletisation, sintering, briquetting or extruding followed by cutting the extrudates and other techniques as known in the art of size enlargement of particulate matter. The granules suitably have a diameter of between 0.5 and 10 mm (some fines may be allowed, at least 80 wt. % should have such size), preferably between 1 and 5 mm, more preferably 2-5mm.

According to the invention, the granules are agglomerates of solid micronised lipid powder particles, herein described as secondary particles.
According to the invention, the solid structuring agent particles described herein as secondary particles should have a microporous structure of submicron size particles which are described herein    as primary particles.
The secondary particles are agglomerates of primary particles which have a microporous strcuture. The size of the primary particles is submicron (that is have a diameter below 1µ).
Micronised fat (secondary particles) may be prepared herein as described in PCT/EP2004/006544.
than room or ambient temperature and therefore contain solids in the form of crystals.
The solid structuring agent, also denoted as hardstock, serves to structure the fat phase and helps to stabilize the dispersion.
For imparting to common margarine a semi-solid, plastic, spreadable consistency this stabilising and structuring functionality plays an important role. The crystals of the solid fat form a network throughout the liquid oil resulting into a structured fat phase. The aqueous phase droplets are fixed within the spaces of the lattice of solid fat crystals. In this way coalescence of the droplets
and separation of the heavier aqueous phase from the fat phase is prevented.
According to the invention micronised fat powder is subjected to agglomeration. This is done by spraying a sticky liquid on the micronised fat powder and gluing the these secondary fat powder particles together to secondary particles. This sticky liquid should be a liquid that is able to wet the powder, but is strong enough to form a bridge between primary powder particles. Preferably the sticky liquid is edible oil or w/o-emulsions of edible oil.
The granulation technique is not critical, for instance the primary micronised fat powder may be granulated in conventional granulation machines. Preferably the granulation is conducted as described above with 1-98% of fat solid at 20°C in particulate form, pressing to cubes,enhancers, spices, herbs, flavourants, sugar, yeast extract, or hydrolysed vegetable protein, wherein the fat in particulate form comprises granules according to the present invention.
In the process as given above wide ranges of the amount of ingredients are given. The actual amount depends e.g. on the intended use. For bouillon (incl. broth and stock and the like) cubes the amount of fat is preferably 1-30%, more preferably 2-25%. For seasonings (incl. melting) cubes the amount of fat is preferably 10-99%, more preferably 20-70%.
Cubes e.g. for soups and sauces can have fat contents of 5-60%, preferably 10-50%. All percentages are percentages by weight of the total cube. For very low amounts of fat (e.g. 1-5%) it may be needed to include ingredients of which it is known that they aid compressing into a tablet,    like    maltodextrin    and/or    moist    ingredients.
The invention further relates to a particulate seasoning or
concentrate for preparing a bouillon, broth , soup or sauce
comprising 0.5-60wt.% of fat and 40-99.5wt.% of one or more of salt, flavour enhancers, starch, starch derivatives, sugar, herbs, spices, vegetable particulates, flavours, colourants, wherein the fat comprises granules according to the present invention.
Benefits of this invention can be separated in what we can define as customer benefits and consumer benefits. Customer benefits are mainly present in intermediate products. These
 
Bulk    Density
The bulk density is measured by determining the volume of 100 g of material in a measuring cylinder and is expressed as kg/1 and the gluten content is measured by AACC method 38-10 (9th    Ed,    1995).
Dynamic flow    rate
For the purposes of this invention, the flow properties of the granular product are defined in terms of the dynamic flow rate (DFR), in ml/s, measured by means of the following procedure. A cylindrical glass tube of internal diameter of 35 mm and length of 600 mm is securely clamped with its longitudinal axis in the vertical position. Its lower end is terminated by a cone of polyvinyl chloride having an internal angle of 15' and a lower outlet orifice of diameter 22.5 mm. A first beam sensor is positioned 150 mm above the outlet, and a second beam sensor is positioned 250 mm above the     first    sensor.
To determine the dynamic flow rate the outlet orifice is temporarily closed and the cylinder filled with the granular product to a point about 10 cm above the upper sensor. The outlet is opened and the flow time t (seconds) taken for the powder level to fall from the upper sensor to
the lower sensor measured electronically. This is repeated 2 or 3 times and an average time taken. If V is the volume (ml) of the tube between the upper and lower sensors, the DFR is given byV/t.
Unconfined    compressibility
The unconfined compressibility test (UCT) provides a measure of the cohesiveness or "stickiness" of a product material, means particles with a diameter greater than 1400 microns. Levels of fine and coarse particles can be measured using sieve analysis.
Stevens    value
Stevens values give an indication about the firmness of a product. The firmness of all products stored at 5°C for 24 hours was measured at room temperature using a Stevens Texture Analyser (1mm/sec, 25mm depth, 4.4. mm probe) and is quoted herein as the Stevens value (in g).
Example    1
To find the optimal liquids/solids ratio a set of experiments was done with micronised high erucic rapeseed hardened to 70°C (RPh070)and sunflower oil (SF). The set of experiments was done with varying liquids/solids ratios as can be seen in the table. The observations during and just after granulation are described in the same table.

Table1 Result    of tests    for granulation     conditions

SF [g]    RPh07
0 [g]    Vol. fraction
Solids[%]    Observations
20    30    40    Still dusty powder
22.5    27.5    45    Dusty powder
25    25    50    Nice granule, but still some dustiness
27.5    22.5    55    Coarse granule, but still flowing
30    20    60    One fatty lump instead of powder








Table 2: Composition of instant spreads of examples 2-4
        Ex. 2    Ex. 3    Ex. 4
    Ingredient    Amount (wt. %)    Amount (wt. %)    Amount (wt. %)
Oil phase        39.85    34.85    34.85
    Sunflower oil    29.49    25.79    25.79
    Granulated fat powder1    10.36    9.06    9.06
    Beta-carotene (0.4 wt.% sol in SF)    0.15    0.15    0.15
               
Water phase               
    Water    59.5    64.5    44.5
    Salt    0.5    0.5    0.5
    Starch solution (5% Resistamyl 310)            20
               
    Total    100    100    100
               
Hardstock fat as prepared in example 3 of W096 /19115 which was micronised as in example 1 of PCT/EP2004/006544 and granulated as in example 1 with sunflower oil in ratio
1:1    (w/w).
wherein the structuring agent is a granule according to any of claims 1-4.
6.    Cube or tablet comprising made by compression of granules according to any of claims 1-4.
7.    Process for preparing bouillon or seasoning cubes or tablets, the process comprising the steps    of:
a)    mixing 2-99% of particulate ingredients comprising one or more of salt, flavour enhancers, spices, herbs, flavourants, sugar, yeast extract or hydrolysed vegetable protein, with 1-98% of fat solid at 20°C    in particulate    form,
b)   pressing to     cubes, wherein the fat in particulate form comprises granules according to claims 1-4.
9. Particulate seasoning or concentrate for preparing a bouillon, broth , soup or sauce comprising 0.5-60    wt.% of fat and 40-99.5 wt.% of one or more of salt, flavour enhancers, starch, starch derivatives, sugar, herbs, spices, vegetable particulates, flavours, colourants, wherein the fat comprises granules according to claims 1-4.
 
Claims
1.   Granule comprising:-
a)   solid micronised lipid powder particles that have a microporous structure; and,
b)   a liquid;
wherein the granule is an agglomeration of said lipid particles herein described as secondary particles; and wherein said secondary particles are agglomerates of primary lipid particles, said primary lipid particles are platelets having an average thickness of 0.01-0.5 µm.
2.  Granule according    to claim 1, having a liquid content of    40-60wt. %.
3.  Granule according to any of claims 1-2, wherein the liquid is vegetable oil or a water-in oil emulsion comprising vegetable oil.
4.   Granule according to any of claims 1-3, wherein the lipid powder particles are micronised fat particles.
5.   Process for the preparation of an edible dispersion
comprising;
a)   an oil phase,
b)   a structuring agent; and,
c)    an aqueous phase, in which the dispersion is formed by mixing oil, structuring agent and the aqueous phase;
wherein the structuring agent is a granule according to any of claims 1-4.
 
 6.   Cube or tablet comprising made by compression of granules according to any of claims 1-4.
 7.   Process for preparing bouillon or seasoning cubes or tablets, the process comprising the steps of:

 a)    mixing 2-99% of particulate ingredients comprising one or more of salt, flavour enhancers, spices, herbs, flavourants, sugar, yeast extract or hydrolysed vegetable protein, with 1-98% of fat solid at 20ºC in particulate form,
b)   pressing to    cubes, wherein the fat in particulate form comprises granules according to claims 1-4.
8. Particulate seasoning or concentrate for preparing a bouillon, broth    soup or sauce comprising 0.5-60    wt.% of tat and 40-99.5 wt.% of one or more of salt, flavour enhancers, starch, starch derivatives, sugar, herbs, spices, vegetables particulates, flavours, colourants, wherein the fat comprises granules according to claims 1-4.

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