Thickness of a food product is defined as a bulky characteristic of a product as sensed in mouth or by feeling and seeing e.g. during pouring of the product. Thickening agents, or thickeners, are substances which, when added to an aqueous mixture, increase its viscosity without substantially modifying its other properties, such as taste.

They provide body, increase stability, and improve suspension of added ingredients. Examples of thickening agents include: polysaccharides (starches, vegetable gums, and pectin), proteins (eggs, collagen, gelatin, blood albumin) and fats (butter, oil and lards).

Flour is the most popular food thickener, followed by corn-starch and arrowroot or tapioca. All of these thickeners are based on starch as the thickening agent.

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