Conventional flavour carrier powders like sugar, starch or dextrin are useful for ensuring even flavour dispersal in dry mixes, but the resulting flavour is weak because no more than ten per cent of the flavour material can be added to the dry medium before it becomes sticky.
Cargill said its new Starrier brand maize starch has “ground-breaking absorption and load-bearing capacity” without stickiness, due to a patent-pending flake-shaped particle structure. The larger surface area allows for greater absorption of liquids using conventional plating methods, the company said.
Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) category manager for convenience at Cargill Texturizing Solutions Mike Jones said: “Starrier starch helps turn oils and liquid flavours into manageable and user-friendly powders, without damaging delicate and complex final tastes.”
Plating – the process of depositing a liquid onto a solid carrier material – is generally cheaper than other methods of dry flavour dispersal, such as spray and vacuum drying. Cargill said that “with cost efficiency being a primary driver for manufacturers”, this lower cost, coupled with higher flavour concentration, will prove attractive to both flavour houses and food manufacturers. It said that the powders can be used in a broad range of applications in dry mix manufacturing.
For more intense flavours in powder form, companies can use spray-drying technology, but this has cost implications in terms of the process itself as well as higher energy use, and it risks thermal degradation of flavours. It can also lead to the loss of more volatile flavour components, potentially changing the flavour profile.
Jones added that the starch, which has a neutral flavour, also provides a better eating experience for the consumer.
“Upon eating, flavours carried by Starrier starch are rapidly released, meaning a satisfying experience for the consumer, as well as the manufacturer,” he said.
Starrier starch is derived from non-genetically modified maize and can be listed on ingredient labels as starch, maize starch or corn flour.
The starch is produced at Cargill’s Sas van Gent plant in the Netherlands and is available in Europe, the Middle East and Africa