The importance of starch in most baked foods is well established. In addition to extending shelf life or improving moisture migration, the ingredient can act as an effective replacement within formulations.

Starches are sometimes used to remove eggs or reduce egg content in some recipes. By reducing the amount of eggs used, customers can reduce their overall product costs.

“We have a modified starch that mimics the processing and emulsifying properties of eggs, providing essential structure and texture,” said Shiva Elayedath, senior technical services manager, Cargill. “Using this starch, we can replace up to 25% of eggs in cakes and 50% of eggs in muffins and cookies.”

Film-forming starches may be used to replace a typical egg wash on pastries.

“These modified food starches have excellent sheen, dry quickly and are easy to use,” said Kelly Belknap, applications scientist, Grain Processing Corp. “They also assist with adhering seeds and particulates such as garlic and onion flakes.”

Starches are not just used in batters and doughs but also within the wide variety of fillings, whether they are fruit-based, cream cheese or nut mixtures.

“Either cook-up or instant corn starches can be used in fillings, depending on the customer’s process,” said Chris Thomas, principal technical service technologist, Ingredion, Inc. “Corn starch provides viscosity, bake stability, freeze-thaw stability and more. There are some instant corn starches that impart a pulpy texture in fruit fillings and can be used to partially replace fruit solids for recipe cost savings.”

In addition, rice starch is an ideal fat replacer as it creates a fat-like texture that is indulgent, palatable, creamy, process-stable and spreadable and has no off-taste. For example, it will provide a creamy mouthfeel in nut-butter fillings.

“It also has excellent freeze-thaw stability, which means reduced ice crystal formation and moisture loss in a frozen baked dessert,” said Steven Gumeny, regional products manager, Beneo. “A great example is a frozen éclair. Rice starch can improve texture and freeze-thaw stability in both the dough and filling.”

This article is an excerpt from the April 2019 issue of Baking & Snack. To read the entire feature on starches, click here.