Hydrocolloids: Pullulan - Cape Crystal Brands


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Pullulan: The Fermentation-Derived Polysaccharide with Versatile


Pullulan, a natural polysaccharide produced by the fungus Aureobasidium pullulans, is recognized for its unique film-forming and binding properties. But what underlies the behavior of this hydrocolloid, and how has it found its way into various industries?

Historical Context

The discovery of Pullulan dates back to the 1930s, and its commercial production began in the 1970s. Its unique properties, such as its ability to form clear, edible films, have made it a subject of interest for researchers and industry professionals alikeĀ¹.

The Molecular Science of Pullulan

Pullulan is a linear polysaccharide consisting of maltotriose units. Its unique molecular structure gives it excellent solubility in water and the ability to form strong, transparent filmsĀ².

Production and Refinement

Pullulan is produced through the fermentation of starch using the fungus Aureobasidium pullulans. After fermentation, the broth undergoes a series of purification steps to yield high-purity pullulanĀ³.

A Multifaceted Ingredient

Pullulan's applications span various sectors:

  • Food Industry: Used in edible films, coatings, and encapsulation of flavors and essential oilsā“.
  • Pharmaceuticals: Employed as a binder in tablet formulations and for encapsulating bioactive compoundsāµ.
  • Cosmetics: Incorporated for its film-forming properties in skincare and haircare productsā¶.

Pullulan in Culinary Creations

Pullulan's film-forming properties have been leveraged in innovative culinary applications:

  • Edible Films:
    • Proportion: 1% to 3% solution.
    • Purpose: Provides a protective barrier and can be used for decorative purposes in gourmet dishes.


Pullulan, with its unique molecular properties and wide-ranging applications, continues to be a valuable ingredient across industries. Its role in innovative culinary and pharmaceutical applications highlights its versatility and potential for future developments.

See: Hydrocolloid Glossary
For further reading:Ā Low methoxyl amidated lma pectin


Ā¹ Singh, R.S., et al. "Pullulan: microbial sources, production and applications." Carbohydrate Polymers, 2008.
Ā² Leathers, T.D. "Biotechnological production and applications of pullulan." Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 2003.
Ā³ Kaur, I.P., et al. "Pullulan: an exopolysaccharide and its various applications." Carbohydrate Polymers, 2014.
ā“ Chambi, H., & Grosso, C. ""Edible films produced with gelatin and casein cross-linked with transglutaminase." Food Research International, 2006.
āµ Szejtli, J. "Introduction and General Overview of Cyclodextrin Chemistry." Chemical Reviews, 1998.
ā¶ Barel, A.O., et al. "Handbook of Cosmetic Science and Technology." CRC Press, 2009.

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