Smooth savings

by Jeff Gelski
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The advantages of cold water swelling starches are easy to find. They are right on the surface.

"These ingredients provide viscosity without heating or cooking," said Celeste Sullivan, technical manager – food applications for Grain Processing Corp., Muscatine, Iowa. "They maintain a clean flavor profile and an ultra smooth surface appearance with clarity and sheen."

The number of options when choosing a cold water swelling starch has grown. While GPC offers Inscosity, Cargill Texturizing Solutions launched HiForm 12754 last December. This year, National Starch Food Innovation, Bridgewater, N.J., has introduced Novation 4300 and 5300, two functional native food starches, and London-based Tate & Lyle, P.L.C. added X-Pand’R SC to its X-Pand’R line.

The intact granules in cold water swelling starches may create a smoother or creamier texture and more surface sheen or gloss, said Doris Dougherty, technical services, senior food scientist, for Tate & Lyle.

Ms. Sullivan added, "The intact granule, cold water swelling starches provide better steam table and freeze thaw stability. You get the qualities of a properly hydrated cook-up starch and the ease of instant swelling."

Cold water swelling starches may work in any application where viscosity and stability are needed, including dairy, bakery, toppings, fillings, soup, sauce, gravy, salad dressings and dips, dry mix and microwave applications, Ms. Sullivan said.

"The bakery segment has been especially demanding," she said. "The industry was looking for an ingredient to solve problems encountered with frozen distribution. Manufacturers found the baked goods (especially cakes) had wet, gummy surface crumb, large air cells and tunnels, and products were shrinking and cracking during the shelf life."

Using an intact granule starch is a key approach when resolving these problems, Ms. Sullivan said.

Tate & Lyle’s X-Pand’R SC works especially well in snacks, Ms. Dougherty said. The starch helps create a layered texture with more bubbling and small air cells. When heating or baking during such applications as sheeted snacks, moisture may need to go to a level of less than 3% from a level of 30% to 40% in a short time, Ms. Dougherty said. Releasing the water has the texturizing effect of causing puffing or expansion that is expected in a sheeted snack.

X-Pand’R SC aids in the development of cohesive, pliable and non-sticking dough that may be processed through conventional sheeters, extruders or stamping dies without the use of excessive heat or pressure, according to Tate & Lyle.

The new Novation starches from National Starch Food Innovation disperse in cold liquids for faster prep time, and they produce a smooth, short, high-quality texture in salad dressings, sauces and gravies along with fillings for bars, turnovers or pies, according to the company.

Cargill’s HiForm 12754 may be used in a range of neutral and low pH systems. It may be used to reduce mix times in creating fruit fillings that resemble those made with cook-up starch. It is stable in highly acidic conditions as well as high shear mixing typically encountered in salad dressing operations, and it may be used as a thickener in a range of soup, sauce and gravy mixes.

The cost-saving opportunities of cold water swelling starches come when formulators avoid a cooking step that’s not needed since the intact granules already provide for surface sheen and texture appearance.

"Cold water swelling instant starches can be an economic alternative for raising plant capabilities without adding costly equipment or the high energy needed for cooking," Ms. Sullivan said. "They can also optimize formulation by providing texture and body and reduce levels of expensive gums and hydrocolloids, fruit and tomato solids."

Cold water swelling starches may be used in starch blends to replace more costly ingredients such as eggs and gelatin, according to Cargill.

"Cargill does offer functional systems that replace other ingredients," said Dana Craig, marketing manager and fruit, beverage and confection category manager for Cargill Texturizing Solutions, North America. "Within the functional systems, there is a mix of ingredients, including starch. However, we use the breadth of our ingredient portfolio to match the functionality of the replaced ingredient more closely."

Formulators need to look out for lumps when using cold water swelling starches.

"All cold water swelling and traditional drum dried instant starches have a tendency to fish-eye and lump if not properly dispersed," Ms. Sullivan said. "They cannot be incorporated directly into water without higher shear agitation."

Inscosity, an instant cold water swelling corn starch, hydrates in hot or cold water without fish eyes, according to GPC.

Pre-blending may allow for good hydration, Ms. Sullivan said. Companies may pre-blend with other dry ingredients such as salts, sugars and maltodextrin before adding to water. They also may pre-blend with liquid oils before adding to liquids and pre-blend with high solids liquid sweeteners before adding to liquids.

To avoid lumps, formulators may need to mix cold water swelling starches with flour, Ms Dougherty of Tate & Lyle said.

The HiForm products have a controlled granulation to minimize lumping when added to liquids, according to Cargill Texturizing Solutions. Novation 5300 from National Starch has a coarser granulation to blend into liquids without lumping. Novation 4300 is a finely-powdered version for dry blending.

"Our customers understand that consumers are looking for natural foods with simple-to-understand ingredients and smooth, appealing textures," said Joe Lombardi, senior marketing manager, Wholesome Ingredients, for National Starch Food Innovation. "But these textures are usually associated with traditional modified starch thickeners.

"Our latest Novation products give them the best of both worlds: a native thickener that appears as a corn starch on the ingredient label, and outstanding smoothness in the final product."

Study shows resistant starch affects satiety

Resistant starch and corn bran had the most impact on satiety in a study that also involved a low-fiber treatment and polydextrose. The study involved researchers from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and General Mills’ Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition in Minneapolis. Results of the study were published in the February issue of Nutrition Research.

Twenty healthy people participated in the acute, randomized, double-blind, crossover study. On five separate visits, fasting subjects consumed for breakfast either a low-fat muffin with 1.6 grams of fiber or one of four high-fiber muffins with fiber levels ranging from 8 grams to 9.6 grams. The subjects used four questions on visual analogue scales to rate satiety at baseline and at regular intervals for 180 minutes after eating the muffins.

While the Institute of Medicine lists naturally occurring resistant starch as dietary fiber, the Food and Drug Administration has never officially recognized resistant starch as dietary fiber.

Resistant starch will be the focus of presentations at "The Best of Food Thinking 2009," the Institute of Food Technologists’ annual meeting and food exposition scheduled for June 6-9 in Anaheim, Calif. A symposium "Resistant starch and health" will take place June 7. On June 9, Mark Haub, an associate professor in the Department of Human Nutrition at Kansas State University, will give details on efforts to increase the number of studies involving type 4 resistant starch, which is chemically modified.

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