Baumé - A hydrometer scale of specific gravity expressed in degree units. It is used to measure the solids content of starch suspensions and solutions.
Beta amylase - An enzyme attacking the non-reducing ends of starch chains to release disaccharide maltose units. The final products of the action of b-amylase on starch are very solution stable starch hydrolysates and maltose.
Biodegradable - The gradual degradation of the molecular structure of materials induced by environmental conditions such as sunlight, rain, earth-borne bacteria etc. Biodegradability is an inherent characteristic of starch and starch derivatives and has been exploited in the development of biodegradable ingredients and starch-based foams.
Birefringence - When starch granules are viewed under the microscope using polarized light, they exhibit a phenomenon known as birefringence. The refraction of polarized light by the intact crystalline regions in starch give characteristic "Maltese cross" patterns on each granule. The disappearance of these crosses on heating a starch suspension can be used to determine gelatinization temperature.
Bleached starch - Starch which has been treated with low levels of oxidant to improve whiteness without affecting other key properties such as viscosity.
Bound phosphate - This term refers to covalently-bound phosphate groups on an anhydroglucose unit in the starch polymer chain. This may be either naturally-occurring as in the case of potato starch with or as the result of chemical modification (phosphorylation).
Brabender - The starch industry's established method for determining the viscosity characteristics of starch as it gelatinizes in water. The instrument is a rotational viscometer which allows the continuous determination of viscosity as the initial suspension of granular starch is heated, gelatinized, then cooled under controlled conditions. Starch concentration, heating/cooling rates and holding periods at defined temperatures can be varied. Brabender is the name of the manufacturer [Duisburg, Germany] of the Brabender Amylograph or Viscograph.
British gum - A type of dextrin, usually dark yellow or brown, and darker in color than standard yellow dextrins. They are prepared by the dry roasting of neutral pH starch at high temperatures.
Brix - The Brix scale which is well established in the sucrose industry and reflects the percentage by weight of sucrose in a pure sucrose solution. The measurement of Brix degrees is made either by a hydrometer or a refractometer. It is used to express the soluble solids level in many confectionery formulations.
Brookfield viscometer - The Brookfield Viscometer is a portable rotatory instrument where a rotating cylinder or disc known as the "spindle" is immersed in a test liquid and rotated by a motor. Apparent viscosity is calculated from the scale reading and factors which depend on spindle number (size) and rotation speed. The Brookfield is a low shear instrument but widely used for food formulation quality control checks.
Bulk density - The density of a powder or particulate product is expressed as the weight of a unit volume of the powder including the pores and inter-particle voids. The bulk density may be measured on the loose unpacked powder or on the powder after tapping under defined conditions.
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