Colorado company Penford Food Ingredients has recently introduced what it believes to be the first potato-based starch.
The company said that PenTexture was the first in a new line of starches designed to add texture to food products.
"PenTexture is the first potato-based starch that is specifically designed for enhancing texture and pulpiness in tomato based sauces," Jeff Smith, the company's director of business development told FoodNavigatorUSA.com, adding that most starches are made from corn or tapioca.
Penford added that the ingredient has been processed to create a pulpy texture that can be blended with tomato paste, concentrate, or puree, to extend the finished product, offsetting the cost of pure tomato based products
"PenTexture is a cost effective ingredient. Unlike starches made from corn that can create undesirable organoleptic properties, PenTexture maintains the natural flavor and color of the desired end product as it complements a nice pulpy texture," said the company.
The starch has superior water binding capability and is heat, pH, process and storage stable.
The release of PenTexture comes at a time when processors and restaurants are experiencing one of the worst tomato shortages in recent history. A recent report publihed by CBS MarketWatch noted that a 25-pound crate of tomatoes is currently selling for $24, more than triple last year's $7 average price.
Smith commented that it was a "bit of good timing" that they had decided to launch the product during a period when there is a shortage of tomatoes.
"We have had some good pick-up, especially because of the timing," he said.