The pregel range represented a significant expansion of Penord's corn starch portfolio and would complement its PenCling 700 Series and PenBind 1700 Series modified corn starch ranges and its potato, tapioca and rice-based products, senior research & development manager Ibrahim Abbas told FoodNavigator-USA.
“Penford is now truly a one-stop shop that will be able to customize offerings for virtually any type of starch market customer.”
Does clean-label mean you have to compromise?
The new series includes a native, unmodified waxy corn pregel that can be used in clean-label, ‘natural’ foods plus more resilient modified versions that are heat (retort), low pH, and freeze-thaw stable.
They worked especially well in sauces, gravies, instant soups, bakery, pie fillings and dairy products (yogurts, smoothies/shakes), he said.
“Penford sees a growing demand for clean-label starches in the health and wellness market segment. This segment includes customers who need to use natural ingredients in the label and/or those who are minimizing the number of ingredients used without comprising product quality. Penford will continue developing natural solutions that are highly functional to meet both of these customer needs.”
Modified starch still needed for extreme processing conditions
However, firms developing products for the ‘natural’ market “understand that there are limitations when using native pregel starches”, he said.
“Native starches do not possess the amount of process stability, including high acid, high shear and high temperature stability that modified starches possess. The performance and functionality of native starches is highly dependent on the customer’s process. If the customer’s food processing is extreme, modified starches are the optimal solution.”
He added: “However, some customers in certain market segments such as poultry and dairy use unmodified, native starches in their process to improve product quality and enable them to make a ‘natural’ claim.
“Clean-label starches with improved functionality over native starches are available. However, effective use of these starches to improve product quality is, like use of native unmodified starches, highly dependent on the customer’s process. New clean-labeled starches created with new processes are best suited for highly specific market segments.”
Smaller and cleaner ingredient panels
Speaking to FoodNavigator-USA in May, Penford's R&D director Bryan Scherer said customers were increasingly looking for “all-natural contents, with smaller and cleaner ingredient panels, and improved nutrition and better shelf-life.
“However, the US market is still very accepting of modified food starches that provide specific functional attributes in the finished product such as retort or freeze/thaw stability," he added.