Starch suppliers can be considered among the innovators in the baking industry. In the past four years, carbohydrate nutrition formulas have changed dramatically according to Rhonda Witwer, business development manager, nutrition, National Starch Food Innovation, Bridgewater, NJ. “A series of new products launched in the public domain shows how critically important it is to continually innovate with new ingredient offerings,” she said.

New ingredients come in the form of starch made from corn, wheat, rice, potatoes and even white beans. Many innovations focus on resistant starch, so named for its ability to resist digestion. While the low-carb diet fad ignited a greater demand for resistant starch, the desire for more fiber in food keeps grain-based food manufacturers calling in orders for resistant starch ingredients.

Researchers at Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, recently examined ways to slow digestion and increase resistant starch content. Their results showed increasing the branch density of starch and the crystalline structure in treated starches likely contributed to the slow digestion property. The resistant starch content increased to 13.5% from 5.1% in the treated starches. Study results appeared in the May 30 issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

This year, Tate & Lyle launched one of the latest resistant starch products, which will be marketed under its new Promitor line of dietary fibers. “Starches can lead to appropriate viscosity, proper texture, good mouthfeel and moisture retention,” said Doris Dougherty, senior food scientist, Tate & Lyle, Decatur, IL. “Using the Promitor resistant starch can help manufacturers achieve good source or excellent source fiber claims in such products as corn puffs, breakfast cereals, crackers and cookies.”

The ingredient is temperature stable, shear stable and has low waterholding attributes. In the extrusion process, resistant starch can be lost through shearing or heat, but Tate & Lyle’s resistant starch remains heat stable up to 150°C (302°F).


The low water-holding attributes keep the dough pliable, according to Ms. Dougherty. Thus, cookie manufacturers can avoid the problems of cookies taking in too much water, which can increase the stack height to the point the cookies may not fit into the package. Still, formulators should always test resistant starch in each specific product for its water-holding traits, advised Ms Dougherty.

National Starch Food Innovation will continue to investigate resistant starch through its innovation program. John Leighton, divisional vicepresident, technology, leads the global innovation program.

“At National Starch, we bring a wide range of innovation perspectives to resistant starch — for example, plant breeding, starch processing expertise and a wide range of technical skills in polymer chemistry and food formulation technologies,” Mr. Leighton said. Experts in bakery and snacks formulations, culinary, nutrition and marketing expertise can help our customers explore the business potential for labeling claims.”


More than 200 published studies confirm that natural resistant starch products from high-amylose corn resist digestion in the small intestine and ferment in the large intestine, Mr. Leighton said. The studies have also revealed a link between consumption of resistant starch and physiological benefits in areas such as weight management, glycemic management, energy management and digestive health.

“In the area of resistant starches, we have committed resources over the past 10 years to show food industry professionals, health care professionals and consumers the efficacy of these offerings,” he said.
National Starch’s Hi-maize resistant starch remains stable when standard heating processes are built into the baking program. “We have found the fiber content to remain relatively constant in baking applications that apply to pan breads, sheeted cookies and crackers,” Ms. Witmer said. “In applications that employ heat processes outside of typical baking procedures, the technical service team will step in and help to optimize production processes and ingredient selection as strategies to maximize fiber content.”

Hi-maize also offers low waterholding capacity to prevent bulky and dry dough. Tests have shown using the resistant starch can reduce baking time by as much as 27%.

MGP Ingredients, Inc., Atchison, KS, offers another form of resistant starch made from wheat. The ingredient’s name recently changed to Fibersym RW from Fibersym 70. It contains 85% fiber on a dry basis, according to Steve Ham, director of marketing, MGP Ingredients.

A white color, smooth texture, neutral taste and low water-binding properties all rank as positives when resistant starch made from wheat is used in grain-based food applications. “The low water-holding capacity helps in replacing flour,” Mr. Ham said. “It’s very easy to interchange with flour.”

FiberRite RW, another MGP Ingredient product, offers a slightly higher water-holding capacity and 75% dietary fiber on a dry basis. FiberRite RW and its fat-mimicking properties can work in applications for some flour-based foods and also can branch out into such applications as frozen desserts and salad dressings.


While resistant starch innovations involve corn and wheat, A&B Ingredients, Fairfield, NJ, refers to rice starch as a “little known secret” in the starch industry. A&B Ingredients recently introduced Remyline AX-FG-P specialty rice starch that can reduce fat uptake in tortillas by 50% while reducing breakage, improving machinability during processing and increasing the crispiness of the chips.

For pizza manufacturers, A&B Ingredients offers a specialty rice starch that simulates mozzarella’s re-melt, firmness and stickiness. Advantages include small granule size, creamy mouthfeel and white color. The starch permits replacement of 40% of casein while maintaining re-melt, firmness, stickiness and even freeze-thaw stability.

A potato starch innovation came recently in the form of Eliane, an amylopectin starch from Avebe Group, Veendam, The Netherlands. The waxy potato starch contains more than 99% amylopectin, which allows functionality, texture inprovement, expansion and cost-saving opportunities, according to Avebe Group.
Formulating with Eliane, bakery cream manufacturers can reduce alginates use by 20% while improving on bake and freeze-thaw stability. Using Eliane in instant fried-noodle products allows lower water temperature to be used for rehydration.

StarchLite, a patented ingredient containing an extract of the white bean, can be used in baked foods such as bread, tortillas and pizza crusts. Clinical studies have shown StarchLite to delay the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates while reducing the glycemic index and caloric impact of starchy foods. Pharmachem Laboratories, Inc., Kearney, NJ, markets StarchLite.

Tragon Corp., an independent research firm based in Redwood City, CA, conducted sensory evaluations that showed baked foods containing StarchLite compared favorably to traditional baked foods. “Developing an ingredient that will reduce the caloric impact and glycemic index of foods without negatively affecting the taste has been the ultimate goal of the food industry,” said Mitch Skop, director of StarchLite’s product development group.