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Ulrick & Short adds to tapioca starch fat replacement range

By Caroline Scott-Thomas , 23-Dec-2008

Ulrick & Short has launched a clean label tapioca-based starch for fat replacement in cakes and muffins.

The company claims that its Synergie L526 could replace up to 25 per cent of fat in bakery products, reducing costs while helping the industry to meet fat reduction targets.

The new product has been designed to replace vegetable oil or margarine, and comes as a powder which can be mixed directly into dry ingredients without needing to be pre-hydrated.

This latest fat replacer adds to the company’s existing range of tapioca starch products, each designed to mimic the way that different fats build viscosity in different products, producing different textures and mouthfeel.

Ulrick & Short’s director and co-founder Adrian Short told BakeryandSnacks.com that the company had developed Synergie L526 by treating tapioca starch through a “unique, patented thermal process.”

He said: “We have been working with fat replacers and concentrated on bakery products and snacks, where there is an increasing demand for reduction of fat. Sometimes that is based on a demand for lower cost, and sometimes for making a claim that a food is lower in fat, but still tastes good.”

In terms of the reformulation process, he said that it is relatively straightforward, as Synergie L526 can replace margarine or vegetable oil on a one-to-one basis.

Lower costs

Although vegetable oil prices have fallen recently, Short is optimistic that the company’s fat replacers will still provide savings in the long term.

“Vegetable oils have settled at around £800 a tonne,” he said. “Ours [Synergie L526] is £650 a tonne. I can’t see oil prices dropping much further, so we are always going to have a good saving.”

The company said that as a replacement for vegetable oil or margarine, the new Synergie product complements its existing Delyte range of tapioca-based starches, which is intended to replace butter in bakery products.

The company has also recently released a tapioca-based fat replacer for use in ready meal sauces.

The UK’s Food Standards Agency aims to work with the food industry to cut the average amount of energy coming from saturated fat per capita from 13.3 per cent today, to 11 per cent by 2010 for everyone over the age of five.

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