The Veendam-based company that supplies potato and tapioca-based starches to the food industry claims its new product, Paselli EZ-sperse, provides a combination of high viscosity, clean flavour and stability.
"In the past formulators had to use a cook-up starch for hot water, or cold-soluble for cold liquids, but our new starch can be used at all temperatures," Jaap Harkema marketing manager at Avebe explains to FoodNavigator.com.
Developed for instantaneous hydration and extended stability, the product targets applications touching reconstituted soups, foodservice and catering products.
Avebe claims Paselli EZ-sperse, while more expensive than cook-up starches, can bring cost savings for the food developers through lower doses.
"The product equates to about 3 to 5 per cent of the final product, and is consequently not a major contributor to the formulation," adds Harkema.
A line extension, Paselli EZ-sperse joins ten other products already on the market, available in the potato and tapioca-based Paselli EZ product line.
Potato starches, used in a range of applications from soups to desserts, are more expensive than their wheat or corn counterparts. But Harkema claims its new competitive product "gives much more viscosity on w/w basis compared to leading corn-based alternatives on the market".
The firm - that slashed some 450 jobs in 2002 and shrugged off its Glucona subsidiary to Purac as part of a restructuring programme - produces 800,000 tonnes of starch annually from four million tonnes of potatoes.
Production units are based in The Netherlands, Germany, France, Sweden, US, Thailand and most recently China.
Competing against cheaper corn and wheat alternatives, at the end of last year Avebe consolidated its Foxhol (The Netherlands) and Malmö (Sweden) application research facilities into Veendam to provide "the critical mass necessary to address increasingly complex, technical needs of its customers in use of potato and tapioca starches in food systems."
The new centre has been organised into two application groups: snacks and liquid and powdered foods and will house Avebe's various technology teams, associated laboratories and pilot scale equipment.
On tapioca, the firm said recently its 'position was strengthened by the extension and renewal of the product mix and by entering into joint ventures.'
Last year the European Commission proposed to keep potato starch production quotas at the same level as 2003 for the EU producing countries, posting 507 403 tonnes for the marketing years 2005/06 and 2006/07 in The Netherlands, and 1.98 million for all the countries.
Restrictions on production applied in the cereal sector, in particular set-aside, and the increase in production of potato starch at the beginning of the 1990s led to the introduction of a quota system from 1995/96 aimed at limiting potato starch production.
Total starch production in the EU has grown at a rate of about 2 per cent per year on average since 1998; the share of potato starch in starch production as a whole is declining, currently at around 20 per cent.