Grain Processing Corp.’s maltodextrins, modified starches improve plant-based eating experience

By Elizabeth Crawford

- Last updated on GMT

Source: Getty / Tatiana Volgutova
Source: Getty / Tatiana Volgutova

Related tags SHIFT20 IFT 2020 plant-based

Brands struggling with plant-based snacks becoming excessively dry, chewy or crumbly over time or beverages designed to mimic dairy falling short of a desired creamy mouthfeel could improve the functional benefits of their products with the addition of maltodextrins or modified starches, according to the Grain Processing Corporation.

At IFT’s upcoming SHIFT20 virtual conference and expo, GPC will showcase how brands “can enhance the textural appeal”​ and optimize the eating experience of plant-based products with the addition of is Maltrin SS dried glucose syrups and Inscosity modified starches.

“Plant-based protein, or just plant-based eating in general, is very popular and very trendy right now and it is something that will persist going forward as consumers opt for something that is more nutritious and continue moving away from traditional proteins,”​ said Winnie Lam, associate applications scientist at GPC.

But, creating products that meet this growing demand without compromising taste, texture and eating experience can be challenging, added Kelly Belknap, Applications Scientist for the Food, Pharmaceutical and Personal Care Technical Services group.

For example, she said, “protein drinks in general, even dairy-based protein drinks, can be kind of chalky or gritty and the plant-based options tend to be even more gritty or chalky and have off-flavors, which can be challenging for formulators. And that is where our maltodextrin can really help out.”

She explained that GPC’s Maltrin SS V204 dried glucose syrup can improve the creaminess and mouth feel of plant-based beverages by building solids that help create viscosity to mask the grittiness. The company’s Maltrin QD does this while also lowering bulk density by increasing particle size – allowing for the maltodextrins to help across a variety of applications.

Another benefit from the Maltrin SS V204 is that it can help with sugar reduction, which research by IFIC in 2019 shows 80% of consumers are trying to avoid or limit sugar intake.

Lam explained that Maltrin SS V204 has a dextrose equivalent of slightly more than 20, but with reduced sugar compared to corn and tapioca syrup solids with a similar DE. According to GPC, Maltrin SS V204 contains 4g of DP2 sugars compared to 9g in another product with the same DE level.

GPC’s Maltrin SS line can also improve moisture retention, appearance and flavor or plant-based snacks, such as a savory BBQ granola bar that Lam created for IFT’s virtual conference.

The dried glucose syrup helps binds together the nuts, oats, seeds and other ingredients so that the finished product isn’t overly crumbly. And it does so without adding color, which allows consumers to see and identify the key ingredients – a value that is increasingly important to consumers who want to know – and see – what they are eating, Lam said.

Similarly, Belknap added, many consumers believe individually packaged, shelf-stable snacks, like granola bars, should have a long shelf life and always be fresh when opened. By adding Inscosity modified starch, she said, bars become softer and can halve a longer shelf life.

In addition to improving product’s taste, texture and shelf life, GPC’s ingredients can help manufacturers achieve sought-after certifications. Both the Maltrin SS dried glucose syrup and Inscosity modified starches are made from US corn, and the Maltrin SS is available as a non-GMO ingredient.

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