New trend: ground konjac

While Asian consumers have valued the properties of konjac for decades, other parts of the world are now also learning about the benefits of using konjac gum powder in various applications. In today’s edition, TER Chemicals reports on the new trend in the food industry – ground konjac. Find out more!

Ground konjac for a healthy lifestyle

About konjac

Konjac, also known as the magic tuber or konyaku, belongs to the group of perennial plants of the family Araceae. The konjac root (tuber) is rich in glucomannan fiber with a content of 40 - 60 % in the dried roots. Konjac is generally harvested once a year in the fall and is cultivated primarily in the mountainous regions of southwest China at altitudes between 400 and 1,500 meters above sea level.


What’s special about konjac gum (E425)?

Konjac gum is a natural food ingredient whose main active component is konjac glucomannan (KGM). It achieves the highest viscosity among hydrocolloids with water absorption up to 100 times its own weight.

Konjac gum is also water-soluble and forms a pseudoplastic liquid solution whose viscosity decreases slightly while shear and velocity increase.

Other interesting properties:

  • Konjac gum boasts pH stability, heat stability and salt stability and is non-ionic.
  • It has unique gelling properties, as heat-reversible and heat-irreversible gels can form under certain conditions.
  • Solutions can act with interesting synergies with xanthan gum, carrageenan, gellan gum, guar gum and locust bean gum, and under certain conditions a gel can form. When the temperature rises, however, the gelation dissolves again, an effect known as heat-reversible gelation.
  • It supports several health functions, as the dietary fiber konjac glucomannan is one of the highest of all foods.
  • With its inherent KGM, it has the highest molecular weight of all known dietary fibers.
  • It is not permitted in baby food in particular.

Thanks to its special properties, konjac gum offers a large number of functionalities in various applications, as demonstrated by the following examples from selected areas of application:

Vegetarian/vegan foods:

  • Properties: thermal irreversibility
  • Effects: low fat, rich in konjac dietary fiber
  • Dosage: 3% - 14%

Water-based desserts:

  • Properties: thermal irreversibility
  • Effects: gel strength, texture improver, water-holding capacity, reduction of syneresis
  • Dosage: 0.1% - 0.3%

Meat:

  • Properties: gelling capacity, water-holding capacity, reduction of syneresis
  • Effects: bulking, fat substitute, moisture enhancer, moldability, juice/sauce retention, adds viscid texture for whipping
  • Dosage: 0.3% - 2%

Animal feed:

  • Properties: dietary fiber
  • Effects: weight management, regulation of bowel function
  • Dosage: 0.3% - 3%

Bakery/flour-based products

  • Properties: cohesion, water-holding capacity
  • Effects: improvement of texture and quality, water-holding capacity
  • Dosage: 0.2% - 3%

Health foods and dietary supplements:

  • Properties: dietary fiber
  • Application: capsules, tablets, chewable candies, dietary supplements, beverages and various foods
  • Dosage: 10% - 100%

- Other uses: creams, yogurts, drinks, cakes, frozen food, ice cream, ...

The unique properties of konjac gum can be useful in a broad range of applications and offer individual, context-specific solutions as a healthy ingredient, a functional additive and a source of dietary fiber.


If you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to contact us!

Dr. Robert von Rönn
Head of BU Life Science

Phone: +49 40 300 501 8188
E-Mail: r.vonroenn[at]tergroup.com