Improving Sunflower Halva Stability and Texture by Controlling Tahini Particle Size Distribution

Vlad Mureșan, Lucian Cuibus, Anna Olari, Emil Racolța, Carmen Socaciu, Sabine Danthine, Sevastița Muste, Christophe Blecker


Sunflower halva is an appreciated product, but shows currently a quality below the expectations of the new generation of consumers, having a hard texture and oil exuded on the surface (low stability). The aim of this work was to assess the influence of tahini particle size on sunflower halva texture and stability. Eight different particle size sunflower tahini samples were produced at pilot plant scale, the higher the number of passes through the colloidal mill, the smaller the particle size (P1- coarsest → P8 - finest). Halva prototypes (25g / piece), including also an industrial sample (H0), were obtained at laboratory scale by mixing the nougat with tahini. The texture was evaluated on Stable micro systems TA.HD Plus texture analyzer equipped either with a cylinder probe or with a blade set. All samples were stored for 60 days at 4°C, room temperature (~25°C) or 40°C. During storage, the colloidal stability of all samples was assessed by a gravimetric technique. Tahini samples P6 → P8 were not suitable for halva production while due to the low viscosities, the product was impossible to be shaped. Among obtained sunflower halva prototypes (H1 → H5) it was shown that decreasing tahini particle size decreased sunflower halva hardness and stability. For each sample, the increase of storage temperature decreased sunflower halva stability. Sunflower halva H3 was the most efficient, while was more stable and showed smaller hardness values than H0.


halva, tahini, stability, texture, sunflower

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