Looking outside of hydrocolloid, enzyme and emulsifier choices, formulators will find specialty starches useful for controlling and modifying finished product texture. Patrick O’Brien, marketing manager, bakery, Ingredion, Inc., Westchester, IL, noted a wide range of starch bases, including corn, tapioca, rice, wheat and potato. “Specialty starch texturants can help bakers create new unique textures or build back texture in nutritionally modified products,” he said.

Starch functionality varies by source and processing. “For example, dent-corn granular instant starch contributes to a short texture, which allows easy depositing of batters by helping to prevent tailing,” said Rosemary Sikora, senior food scientist, Tate & Lyle, Hoffman Estates, IL. “And when you add 1 to 2% waxy-corn pregelatinized instant starch to a formulation, batters and doughs exhibit greater moisture control during baking. This improves eating quality, while shelf life is prolonged by retarding staling.”

Sugar provides texture to many baked foods, but so can inulin and oligofructose made from chicory root. Replacing sugar this way to create lower-sugar and lower-fat foods won’t compromise their texture, according to Carl Volz, president, Sensus America Inc., Lawrenceville, NJ. “We offer inulin that has high water-retention capacity, resulting in good batter viscosity that provides baked foods with a texture similar to what one gets when using fat,” he said.

Researchers at the Technical University of Valencia, Spain, cut fat by 70% in sponge cake formulations by including inulin. Not only were texture and taste evaluated positively by a panel of consumers, but appearance and color received positive scores, too. “And our oligofructose syrup allows a 50% reduction in sugar in pound cake but delivers the same texture as the full-sugar cake,” Mr. Volz added.