Western Europe primed for potato starch revolution, Avebe

By Ben Bouckley

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Egg

Avebe says Eastern Europe is the principal market for its new Eliane potato starch-based fat reducer for mayonnaise, but insists that cost hikes and accelerating "health and wellness trends" could soon see demand shifting west.

Produced since 2005, Avebe’s ‘waxy’ natural potato starch range Eliane contains more that 99 per cent of the polysaccharide amylopectin, one of the two components of starch (around 70 per cent) along with amylose.

Until now Eliane products have been used as in everything from bakery cream and powdered soups to processed meat, but starch specialist Avebe has now launched new additions to the range that allow it to produce mayonnaises that cut cholesterol by replacing egg yolks, along with products with reduced fat and saturated fatty acids.

Egg yolk still reigns

Business development manager Tommy Anzelius told FoodNavigator.com that since the new mayonnaise lines were launched in mid-November, sales trends were pointing east: “Our main business volumes are towards the east of Europe, whereas in the west egg yolk is still used in a lot of applications.

“That’s due to the fact that in Poland, The Ukraine, Russia, cost is looked at in a completely different way ​[where eggs tend to be costlier than starch] while in western Europe – my own country Sweden, for instance – rigorous measures to prevent illnesses such as salmonella are in place.”

While a reduced salmonella risk in western Europe (as compared with the east) reduced the risk to cut eggs out of mayonnaise, Anzelius said there are signs of growing interest in the region. “Things are perhaps starting to change a little, also as consumers also recognise some of the claimed benefits for starch solutions”.

Beyond low cost in use - where increased cost pressures in western Europe for products such as eggs are perhaps beginning to bite - Avebe stresses that “health and wellness trends”​ are central to the new Eliane product’s positioning as a product to cut fat and/or lower saturated fatty acids, while one emulsifier product also replaces egg yolks in mayonnaise.

Neutral texture and taste

The firm says that the starches mean no reduction in quality, texture or taste, while the product has an “excellent neutral taste and texture”​ and fits the existing processing techniques of food producers.

Avebe claims that the company’s Eliane range was the world’s first such potato starch produced according to “well accepted breeding techniques”​, and Anzelius explained: “We’re talking about traditional non-GMO breeding methods ​[for potatoes] that go back centuries, and involve crossing plants and seeds,”​ said Anzelius.

“Producing products with the right characteristics is a long process, and we started work on this way back in the 1980s.”

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