Clean label starches get tougher

by Jeff Gelski
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A white color may be critical when creating clean label yogurt.

KANSAS CITY — Bring on the heat. Employ the homogenization. New clean label starches have been shown to withstand harsher processing conditions, thus more closely resembling the functionality of modified starches.

London-based Tate & Lyle, P.L.C. recently developed a proprietary technique for processing native corn starch, which led to the launch of its Claria line of clean label starches last October, said Jim Carr, director of applications and based in Hoffman Estates, Ill.

“This technique involves a series of processing steps, which preserve the ‘clean label’ status of the finished product and yet enable starch granules to remain intact throughout different processing conditions,” he said.

Claria starches show tolerance to shear, heat and acid, even under extreme conditions like UHT and homogenization, he said. Claria starches are available globally both as non-bioengineered/non-G.M.O. and as bioengineered/G.M.O. Mr. Carr said the starches work in a range of applications and processes, including yogurt, yogurt-based products, dairy desserts, soups, sauces and prepared meals.

Tate & Lyle has stressed how Claria starches perform in yogurt.

“In order to achieve cleaner labels, yogurt manufacturers face hurdles critical to consumer acceptance, including unpleasant off-taste, unappetizing color and inconsistent texture,” Mr. Carr said. “With the introduction of Claria functional clean label starches, manufacturers can achieve the same great texture as modified starches, and matching them in terms of functionality.”

The Claria starches also help maintain taste and color, he said.

“Their white color profile doesn’t impart dark colors on the final product, which is important for yogurt applications where ‘whiteness’ is critical,” Mr. Carr said.

Ingredion, Inc., Westchester, Ill., also offers clean label starches sourced from corn.

“Our most recent innovation is Novation Endura 0100 starch, which gives you next generation clean label process tolerance in applications that undergo severe processing conditions (i.e. UHT process, downstream homogenization), along with the clean taste, visual appeal and simple label declaration consumers expect,” said Angelina de Castro, senior manager of Wholesome for Ingredion. “Novation Endura 0100 starch is an excellent fit for savory and dairy applications that need stability over extended shelf life, under ambient or cold temperature storage conditions.”

For food and beverage companies seeking clean label starches that also are non-bioengineered/non-G.M.O., Ingredion’s Truetrace program provides for non-G.M.O. identity preservation and traceability that meets or exceeds the regulations in major markets worldwide, Ms. de Castro said. Non-G.M.O. corn has been processed continuously at Ingredion’s Indianapolis plant since 1997.

Ingredion soon should become more active in potato starches through a planned acquisition of Penford Corp., Centennial, Colo. Shareholders of Penford in January voted to approve the previously announced agreement and plan of merger with Ingredion. Boards of directors of both companies now have approved the transaction, which is valued at about $340 million in the aggregate.

Penford Food Ingredients offers native starches in cook-up and pre-gelatinized versions of potato, waxy rice, waxy corn and tapioca, said Sarah Wood, Ph.D., R.&D. manager for Penford Food Ingredients. The company also offers cook-up native corn starch and an identity preserved version of native corn starch.

“Native potato starch can be used in a variety of applications, including gluten-free baked goods, sauces, dressings, dips, anti-cake for shredded cheeses and various others,” Dr. Wood said.

Native potato starch has multiple functionalities, including structure in gluten-free baked goods and viscosity for sauces, dips and dressings, she said.

“An additional benefit is that potato starch has a neutral flavor, which allows for less usage on seasonings and flavors compared to if a corn starch was used,” Dr. Wood said.

American Key Food Products, Closter, N.J., offers Superior potato starch that is manufactured by the Emsland Group in Germany. The Emsland Group manufactures native potato starch and a number of clean label (i.e., non-chemically modified) potato- and pea-based starches that have improved functionality/performance characteristics over native potato or pea starch, said Mel Festejo, chief operating officer of American Key Food Products.

“The processing technologies used allow these starches to attain these superior properties and still qualify as clean label products,” he said. “In a number of food applications, these starches can replace modified starches without losing the required functionalities (e.g., heat/pH/shear stability).

Emsland’s potato starches are manufactured from raw potatoes that were bred for their high starch yields and are certified non-G.M.O.

“Since the starch is processed from raw, non-G.M.O. starch potatoes, it has a higher viscosity than starch made from most North American potatoes or from culled potatoes and makes it a viable ingredient in more applications,” Mr. Festejo said.

The native potato starch is used as a universal binder and thickener, he said. It is used in soups, sauces and gravies, extruded snacks, and baked goods. It is one of the most commonly used ingredients in gluten-free blends/mixes.

American Key Food Products also launched clean label cassava flour in 2013 at the International Baking Industry Exposition in Las Vegas.

“Our premium cassava flour has been successfully used by customers in gluten-free baking mixes and finished goods, extruded snacks and pet food,” Mr. Festejo said. “Some of our gluten-free baking customers were so impressed with the flour that they have actually incorporated cassava flour throughout their whole gluten-free product portfolio.”

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