Clean label foods – that is, foods without long list of E-numbers and chemical-sounding names – are a major driver for the food industry, as consumers are scrutinising labels and opting for products that are as natural as can be. This opens up a new set of challenges and opportunities for food ingredient companies to find more natural ways of delivering the same functionality in prepared foods as has been provided by additives.
Emsland spokesperson Patrick Geers told FoodNavigator that the new EmFixK1 cook-up starches are produced using physical processes, which means they do not need to be labelled using an E-number. Rather, they can be labelled as simply ‘pea starch’ or ‘potato starch’.
The starches were in development at Emsland for three years, and the main challenge, Geers said, was to match the quality, functionality and properties of a chemical modified starch. The two starches available now – one based on pea and one on potato – and the choice between them depends on the precise formulation requirements.
In convenience foods like soups and sauces they can be used as binding and thickening agents, with adapted gelatinisation and dissolving properties in both dry mixes and liquid systems, the company says. They can also be used in snacks and bakery products as a moisture regulator to extend shelf-life.
Geers said that further qualities and starch types are in development to expand the range.
Emsland Stärke claims a place as the largest producer of potato starch in Germany; it also produces proteins, fibres, potato flakes and potato granulates.
It offers its products to the global food industry and is currently expanding its presence at international trade shows. At the end of this months Emsland will be exhibiting at the Gulfood trade show in Dubai, the premier event of the Middle Eastern food industry; and last September company executives made their way to Indonesia for the Food Ingredients Asia trade show.
Its products are used not only in foods but also in animal feed, textiles, adhesives, building additives, paper, and by the crude oil industry.