The new range of clean label phosphate replacers, as well as stabilisers and thickeners are an extension of the company's “already successful” Ezimoist and Synergie ingredients that originally offered alternatives to modified starches and additives in meat products.
The range, which has been formulated differently for fish, is best suited to seafood processing and fish ready meals, according to the UK-based firm.
They are said to address pressures from retailers for cleaner labels and consumer demand for more natural products, as processors look for additive free, cost effective alternatives.
Ezimoist and Synergie are derived from crops such as maize and tapioca and come with clean label declarations such as cornflour.
The Synergie range of thickeners and stabilisers for seafood ready meals have been designed to be a direct replacement for modified starches but with added functionality to “achieve superior mouth-feel, texture and stability without any splitting”.
They are said to be particularly suitable for sauces including béchamel and butter sauce within ready meals such as fish pie.
A spokeswoman told FoodNavigator.com: “Ezimoist is particularly good for fish products as it is neutral in taste and does not mask the delicate flavours of the fish. Many phosphates can give a rather soapy taste and texture.”
Phosphates are used in foods for a variety of functions, particularly to increase water retention, improve texture, and enhance flavour in meats, cheeses, beverages and bakery goods.
U&S said: “Seafood processors are coming under increasing pressure to remove phosphates and additives from their products.
“U&S ingredients essentially help clean up labels. Phosphate replacers and stabilisers can help improve yields and retain moisture, thickeners are generally used in seafood ready meals for creamy sauces.”
The spokeswoman told FoodNavigator.com that this is compared to using nothing at all to bind or stabilise products over life.
She also said that whether or not clean label ingredients cost more than the additive alternative depends on the application.
However, she added: “Obviously there are huge benefits of using clean label ingredients – cleaner, more friendly labels for retailers and consumers, healthier products, improved shelf-life etc.”
Next U&S will be targeting fishcakes where soya is used to bind the product, using its Complex product instead as a wheat based binder, the spokeswoman revealed.
Formed in 2000, U&S develop, manufacture and supply clean label ingredients that contain no chemicals or artificial components and are free from genetic modification.
It boasts that it doesn’t use any processing agents during the manufacturing of its starches but instead harnesses the natural qualities of the crops and uses physical methods to produce clean, white starches full of functionality.
Its products are predominantly used by the UK food industry.