Open Nature - Glossary

Glossary H-P
Inulin: Inulin is a dietary fiber naturally occurring in fruits and vegetables like artichokes, chicory, onion, and garlic. It is added to foods to provide a source of dietary fiber.


L. Acidophilus: The name Lactobacillus acidophilus comes from the words lacto- meaning milk, -bacillus meaning rod-shaped, and acidophilus meaning acid-loving. It is one of several beneficial bacteria used in the production of yogurt because it ferments lactose (a milk sugar) into lactic acid, which gives yogurt a sour flavor.


L. Bifidus: Lactobacillus bifidus is one of several beneficial bacteria used in making yogurt. It is often added along with other beneficial bacteria like L. bulgaricus, L. acidophilus, and S. thermophilus.


L. Bulgaricus: Lactobacillus bulgaricus is one of several beneficial bacteria used in making yogurt. It feeds on milk, breaking down milk sugar (lactose) and produces lactic acid, which gives yogurt a sour flavor.


Lactic Acid Starter Culture: Lactic acid starter culture is a group of harmless bacteria that feed on milk sugar and convert it into lactic acid. These bacteria are used in cheese production to contribute to the characteristic flavor, aroma, and texture of the cheese.


Lipase: Lipase is an enzyme produced in the body to break down fats for ease of absorption in the intestines. Lipase obtained from goats, fungi or bacteria, is commonly added during cheese processing to develop flavor as a result of fat breakdown.


Live and Active Cultures: Live and active cultures refer to the beneficial bacteria that convert milk into yogurt. These bacteria are responsible for converting lactose (milk sugar) into lactic acid, contributing to yogurt's tart flavor and thick consistency.


Locust Bean Gum: Locust bean gum (also called carob bean gum) is a white to yellow-white powder obtained from the seeds of the carob tree, which commonly grows in Mediterranean countries. It is used as a thickener in salad dressings and sauces, and in ice cream to prevent ice crystals from forming.


Maltodextrin: Maltodextrin is a carbohydrate made from starch. Because it is flavorless, it's commonly used as a filler in dry seasoning or soup mixes.


Microbial Enzyme: Enzymes are proteins that speed up chemical reactions. Microbial enzymes are derived from bacteria and are used in cheese production to break down proteins and fats in milk in order to achieve the desired cheese flavors and texture.


Millet: Whole grain millet is a small-seeded cereal grain widely grown around the world for food and animal feed. Mild-flavored millet is nutritious and gluten-free. It is often added to multigrain bread doughs to provide a whole grain component and a pleasant crunch.


Native Corn Starch: Native corn starch is the starch obtained from the corn kernel through typical milling methods without further treatment or changes made to the starch. It is commonly added to soups, sauces, gravies, and custard as a thickener. It can also be added to dry seasoning mixes as an anti-caking agent (to prevent clumping).


Natural Flavor: Natural flavor is the flavoring component obtained from plant or animal material by roasting, heating, or the use of enzymes. It is added to many foods and beverages to impart flavor. Vanilla extract is an example of a natural flavor that is added to vanilla ice cream and to many baked goods.


Oat Fiber: Oat fiber is a source of dietary fiber derived from the outer layer of oats (oat hulls). It can be added to breads, cereals, and other bakery products to increase their fiber content.


Oleoresin of Paprika: Oleoresin of paprika is the evaporated oil of sweet red peppers that are dissolved in an alcohol base. It is orange to red in color and commonly used to add color or flavor to sausages, dressings, and snack food seasonings.


P. Candidum: P. Candidum (Penicillium candidum) is a mold used to make Brie and Camembert cheeses. It creates a white appearance on the surface of the cheese and gives the cheese its characteristic flavor.


Paprika: Paprika is a spice made from dried, ground sweet red peppers. Its flavor can range from mild to hot, and its color from orange-red to deep red. It is used to add color and flavor to rices, stews, soups, and sausages.


Pectin: Pectin (pronounced [PECK-tin]) is a carbohydrate found naturally in plant cell walls. Pectin's gelatin-like properties make it ideal for use as a thickener or stabilizer in food products such as jams, jellies, yogurts, and ice cream.


Potato Starch: Potato starch is an all-natural ingredient made from crushed, washed, dried and ground potatoes. It can be used as a thickener in soups and gravies or added to dried mixes to prevent caking/clumping.


Processing Aid: Processing aid is a substance added during the production of a food to ease the manufacturing process. For example, when mixing a dry seasoning blend, a very small amount of vegetable oil may be added and used as a processing aid to prevent the dry powder from creating too much dust in the air during the manufacturing process.


Prosciutto: Prosciutto (pronounced [proh-SHOO-toh]) is an Italian word for ham. It is a ham that has been seasoned, salt-cured, and air-dried, but not smoked. It is then pressed in order to produce a firm texture and sliced very thin. Prosciutto is used in many savory applications, such as pizza.