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New clean label starches target baked goods

By Lorraine Heller , 11-May-2010

A new range of cold swelling starches are designed to deliver texture and stability to baked goods without the need to declare them on an ingredient label.

The flagship product in the range, developed by Ulrick & Short, is a starch derived from wheat, which can be declared on a product label as ‘wheat flour’.

“We’ve got the right level of proteins in there so you can call it a flour, but equally we’ve retained all the properties of starch,” explained Adrian Short of Ulrick & Short.

Friendly starch

The ingredients, part of the firm’s Synergie range, work like any other starch to deliver body, texture, stability and mouthfeel to a range of food products.

However, because they are ‘cold swelling’ they do not require heat in order to deliver their functionality. This in itself is not uncommon in starch ingredients, but Short said the ingredients are also “process-friendly” in that they do not require high-speed mixing or high water content.

“Many cold starches on the market require a lot of mixing as they get quite hungry for water, and this often results in lumping issues. The way we dry our starches means they are easily dispersed, so they can work just as well with varying water levels or mixing speeds,” Short told FoodNavigator.com.

The firm uses a combination of three drying methods: spray drying, extrusion and a process called ‘fluculation’, which is a gentle drying method on starch that has not been too finely milled.

Shelf-life extension

The company’s wheat-derived starch ingredient is particularly suited for breads and other bakery products made with wheat flour, as this would allow for a cleaner label, said Short. Usage levels would vary between 2-5 per cent.

As well as delivering desired texture and stability, the starch could also help extend shelf-life by up to 1.5 days on a loaf of bread, explained Short. Together with its clean label status, this results in a slight price premium over modified starches, but prices remain “very competitive” compared to other clean label products, he said.

Other cold-swelling starches in the range are derived from maize and tapioca, which can be declared on labels as ‘cornflour’ and ‘tapioca starch’ respectively. These ingredients can be used in applications such as dairy, condiments, dips and sweets.

The new range is being rolled out in the UK market.

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