Ulrick & Short is launching a new maize-based starch made using its flocculation technology, which is said to reduce energy needed to make lump-less sauces and help preserve flavours.
Adrian Short, company director, explained to FoodNavigator.com that pre-gelled starches for cold processed foods like sauces and sandwich filling can give a lumpy texture when they are rehydrated. To avoid this, they require a lot of energy for thorough mixing.
But his company’s new starch, called Synergie Nimbus, is made using a “very gentle cooling and drying process”. This is said to make it very dispersible and to give it a very high viscosity.
For users, the increased functionality could allow them to reduce the percentage of starch used, thus bringing cost benefits.
Moreover, the addition to a lot of starch can affect the intended flavour of the finished product, Short said. A dairy dessert needs to be quite delicately flavoured, for example. Using starch at a lower level can help release the flavours – and help bring savings on flavours, which are expensive components of the finished product.
The flocculated starch is described as being somewhere between flakes and crumble. “It is not powder, but it is not granular or gritty,” he said. The company says it has a higher production rate and superior density to other starches.
Other drying technologies, such as agglomeration, result in granular starch.
Synergie Nimbus is a clean label ingredient, which means it can be labelled simply as ‘corn flour’.
Ulrick & Short developed the flocculation process by bespoke engineering of an existing piece of drying kit.
The company has been offering a wheat-based product using its flocculation technique for two or three years, which are used in bakery products like cake, muffins and confectionery.
Short explained that it takes some time to apply the technique to different crops and cereals since they have very different characteristics. Moreover, before and after each trial the equipment used mainly for one grain needs to be thoroughly cleaned down.
Ulrick & Short now has separate dedicated flocculation equipment for its wheat-based and maize-based starches.