Edible adhesives from sugar
SUGAR IS the chief ingredient now, in new, edible adhesives developed by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists. This concept was developed by Sevim Erhan and his colleagues.
The demand of a company was a flavourless, food-grade adhesive that could be used for an assembly line operation that inserts drinking straws into beverage cansaccording to Erhan.
The requirement was for a strong, fast-curing adhesive that could bond the straws to a special holder that's lowered into the containers before they are filled and sealed. The adhesive was supposed to dissolve in an even, controlled manner.
The straws, otherwise, would remain fixed to the holders instead of rising out of the containers when opened. Of the possible ingredients for the edible adhesive, the researchers chose sugar due to its availability and widespread use in beverages.
As sugar alone is not a strong adhesive it was mixed with water and various organic acids. The mixture was then boiled until the sugar and acids bonded, or cross-linked, forming a dark-yellow adhesive
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