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Technical articles

In 2019 CyberColloids commenced the year long EPA funded Green Enterprise project BIOSCOPE - Scoping potential food waste in the Irish fruit & vegetable supply chain.

The study aims to (i) scope the extent to which fruit and vegetables are lost or wasted from the food supply chain in Ireland; (ii) identify the current strategies and barriers for disposal and/or reuse; (iii) screen targeted resources for potential upgrade into new food fibre ingredients and (iv) offer recommendations to the Irish industry that will aid in developing waste management and sustainablity programmes.

Reports for this project are linked below;



This section provides a number of articles on emulsion science written by Dr Lisa Zychowski.

Hydrocolloids can be obtained from a wide variety of sources. The two most abundant polysaccharides are cellulose and starch. Cellulose is the key structural component of trees and is used on a huge scale globally in the pulp and paper industry.

Traditionally ice-cream was categorised as super-premium, premium, standard or economy. These ice-creams usually vary by fat content, total solids, overrun, flavours, packaging and cost (Tharp & Young 2013a, Goff 2010) as shown in the table below.


Agar, more correctly known as agar-agar, has been used in the East for several hundred years and certainly since the seventeenth century. Agar is traditionally claimed to have been discovered by Tarazaemon Minoya in 1658 in Japan.

What is Alginate?

Alginate is found in a wide variety of brown seaweeds and is present as a structural polysaccharide. Alginate is made up of a linear block copolymer of α-L-guluronic acid and β-D-mannuronic acid. The blocks vary in size and alternating M and G segments as well as random blocks may also be present.


The Carob tree goes under many different names in various parts of the world. Furthermore in some countries such as Italy there are regional variations in the naming. The most well known names internationally are Carob and Locust bean. Other regional names include Johannisbrotbaum (Germany), Alfarrobeira (Portugal) and Garrofer or Garrover (Catalonia).


The practical utility of carrageenan stems from two key properties. Its ability to form strong gels with certain salts or other gums and its ability to interact with certain dairy proteins. Carrageenan is mainly used in the food industry with some applications in the toiletries industry. Industrial applications of carrageenan are rare.

Author: Weiping Wang, Andi Johnson Konjac Company Ltd, 5-403 Long Spring Garden,
118 Yang Bridge West Road, Fuzhou city, China, 350002.

What is Konjac Flour

Konjac flour is obtained from the tubers (roots) of various species of Amorphophallus, a plant that belongs to the family of the Araceae and was originally from South East Asia. It is the source of a water soluble fibre and has been consumed for more than 2,000 years in China and Japan as an important part of oriental dishes. Konjac is called JU RUO in Chinese, and called KONNYAKU by the Japanese in accordance with the Chinese pronunciation for JU RUO.


Pectin has been recognised for at least 200 years and was originally identified in 1790 in apples by the French chemist Nicholas Vauquelin (who also discovered the elements chromium and beryllium). It was not until 1824 that further work on pectin was undertaken by Braconnot who named the acid, gelling substance pectic acid after the Greek word for gelling or congealing.

Xanthan was originally discovered in a USDA programme in 1959 to look at novel polysaccharide producing organisms that might have some commercial potential. Several different Xanthomonas cultures have been studied for their xanthan producing properties. It is believed that the original culture of Xanthomonas Campestris was deposited at the USDA in 1953.

Marine Algae and Human Health by Sarah Hotchkiss and Catherine Murphy, CyberColloids Ltd.

Author: Dr Paul Macartain

This section is intended to be a depository of information on Rheology which will be added to over time.

Seaweed is attracting a lot of attention as a potential source of interesting compounds and bioactives with health promoting benefits. This section is intended as a depository of seaweed articles which will be added to over time. 

The basic constituents of hydrocolloids are sugars, here are some fundamentals about sugars.


Algae are one of the worlds oldest lifeforms, being present in the pre Cambrian era (Engel, 1961). Although the so called higher plants developed stems, leaves and a root system once the marine algae had utilised light in photosynthesis their development seems to have come to a halt.