The ingredient – N-Zorbit 2144 DG to give it its full name - allows manufacturers to transform spices and flavours in oil form or liquid-based active ingredients into a homogenous powder.
The flowable nature of this powder means it doesn’t clog processing equipment and will evenly mix into food and beverage formulations without caking or clumping.
A plating agent is a solid carrier which absorbs a liquid and transforms it into a powder, while ‘plating capacity’ refers to the amount of material the carrier can absorb.
For instance, 100 g of N-Zorbit can plate up to 70 g of active material, giving it a plating capacity of up to 40%. Alternative carrier maltodextrin, in comparison, can only plate oil-based materials with a plating capacity of around 10 to 15% depending on the active ingredient.
The ingredient, derived from waxy maize, is approved for the EU market and can be labelled on pack as ‘dried glucose syrup’ or ‘glucose syrup’.
Ingredion’s marketing manager for delivery systems in the EMEA region, Helen Cray, said it will enable manufacturers to plate a wider range of actives more easily and more cost effectively than traditional carriers.
“And with no E-number, it also provides a label declaration which is recognised and accepted by consumers,” she added.
N-Zorbit has a highly porous structure, with optimized particle size and low bulk density which allows greater absorption of the material. It is also only partially soluble which means that it can plate both oil- and water-based materials without the need for spray drying.
“It is not necessarily better than spray drying, as this gives additional protection of the active which plating doesn't,” a spokesperson for the company told us. “However, spray drying is an expensive process, so N-Zorbit offers a cost effective alternative for materials which currently have to be spray dried or are difficult to spray dry. One such example is honey.”
Producing highly concentrated actives and vibrant flavours in small volumes of powder, can cut cost-in-use even further thanks to reduced packaging costs, transportation expenses and smaller storage requirements, said the firm.
Ingredion said it expected to see demand come from all regions, and for a wide range of applications such as seasonings and spices, instant soups and sauces, snacks, confectionery and some powdered beverages.