Sunday, 12 August 2018

Psyllium husk particle size: Experiment 1 (Success)

A local bulk food retailer sells psyllium husks, a core ingredient in products like metamucil, in bulk so I bought some because it was cheaper.

I observed that the particle size for raw psyllium husks is much larger than metamucil so I did a test to see if it makes a different. I'm hoping to confirm that both will form a gel so that I can grind the psyllium husk before use and make it more palatable.

Method

Sample 1 (standard)

  1. Place 2 teaspoons of psyllium husk and 1/2 cup of water in a container that can be sealed
  2. Stir well and refrigerate

Sample 2 (reduced)

  1. Place 2 teaspoons of psyllium husk in mortar and use pestle to grind to fine powder
  2. Place powder in a container that can be sealed with half a cup of water
  3. Stir well and refrigerate
The vessel sizes have minor variation being different brands of disposable food containers. 

Results

Observations

  • Reduced sample formed two distinct layers. A watery layer of about 1/4 cup and a more viscous layer for the remainder.
  • Standard sample was consistent density throughout.
  • Comparison of the two shows that the reduced sample is more viscous, resembling half-set jelly and a more pleasant mouth feel for the lack of grittiness. 

Conclusion

Both samples formed a gel so they are both suitable. While the non-reduced was more uniform for its gel, the gritty texture is more offputting and seperation is a non-factor when drinks are stirred directly prior to consumption. 

Future tests

  • Temperature effect on gel formation
  • Effect of oils on gel formation
  • Gel's response to temperature changes
  • Effect of toasting psyllium husk on taste and gel formation

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