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New Caravan ingredient aims to make tortillas suave

By Guy Montague-Jones , 18-Aug-2010

Caravan Ingredients has developed a conditioner called Tortilla Suave to extend the shelf life and reduce the stickiness of tortillas.

The new ingredient contains a blend of enzymes, mono and diglycerides, and gum to improve the softness and flexibility of tortillas as they age.

Tortilla challenges

Because of their very large surface area to weight ratio, tortillas are exposed to a lot of stress during manufacturing and storage, which can leave them dry and brittle. There is therefore a demand for ingredients that can help them maintain their shape and texture when they are rolled out or folded.

According to Caravan, its new conditioner Tortilla Suave reduces breaking potential by controlling the moisture that is present in the finished tortillas and influencing the surface interaction that they experience when being stacked and bagged.

Shelf life

As for shelf life claims, the company said it is difficult to put an exact number on the “days of added shelf life” because so many factors affect quality.

But a spokesperson told Bakery&Snacks.com, that assuming a formulation has no major issues, “our sensory evaluations have seen an improvement in quality in as little as a few days of age and continuing out to several months.

“The difference in quality becomes increasingly apparent over time as the “control” tortilla becomes dry and brittle and the “test” tortilla retains its soft flexible qualities.”

Tortilla Suave is recommended at a usage rate of 1 to 2 per cent based on flour and can be added to existing tortilla formulas. The conditioner contains no hydrogenated fats and can be used as part of a formula labelled as zero grams trans fat.

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