Ingredion has developed three clean-label texturizing starches for use in pale or delicately flavored applications. These uses include bakery cream fillings, fruit preparations, sauces, dressings, alternative dairy products and ultra-high temperature products, according to FoodBev.
These products, being sold under the Novation Lumina brand, can help food and beverage manufacturers make "natural" labeling claims and produce clean-label items with better shelf life and stability through the freezing and thawing processes, the publication noted.
The new texturizing starches are gluten-free and non-GMO and can be labeled as "corn starch" or "corn flour." Ingredion research cited by FoodBev suggested flours and starches are some of the ingredients most accepted by consumers.
Ingredion developed these new texturing starches to help food and beverage makers clean up their labels by using more natural ingredients. According to FoodBev, they provide similar viscosity and gel strength as modified starches that are typically made from corn, wheat, potato or tapioca and are used to thicken, stabilize or emusify food products. These products include chips, sauces, soups and candy.
Since modified food starch is sometimes made by chemically altering starch and can contain GMOs and gluten, some consumers and food makers may seek to avoid it. Manufacturers might also want to keep it out of their formulations if they want to market their products as non-GMO and gluten-free.
A number of these qualities appeal to today's top trends — more "natural," non-GMO, gluten-free and clean-label — assets Ingredion undoubtedly is aware that manufacturers and consumers are looking for.
While the Illinois-based ingredients firm didn't provide details about how the new texturing starch products are made, the suggested labeling possibilities indicate it's using non-GMO corn. Other starch products from the company may be sourced from potatoes and cassava root after Ingredion bought Western Polymer, a Washington-based maker of both native and modified potato and tapioca starch.
Texture is becoming more important to food makers since consumers are increasingly looking for crisp, hard, soft and crunchy options, depending on the item. The category comprises about 25% of the entire food ingredients space, for about $41 billion in value, according to Ingredion.
"If you're not wired (into the market) then you’re not investing for growth," Ingredion CEO Jim Zallie told Food Dive in February. "Things are changing very fast right now and I think that puts you at risk" if companies aren't spending to address it.
Ingredion has been increasing investment in the category by buying Sun Flour Industry, a Thailand-based rice starch and rice flour maker, and TIC Gums, a Maryland company which makes texturizers and gums from acacia and guar. In April, it invested in Clara Foods, a California-based manufacturer of animal-free protein products.
Some of the more natural starch sources include resistant starch, an insoluble dietary fiber that is being touted as a healthier ingredient. Ingredion makes Hi-maize high amylose corn starch, while IAG, PenFibe, Cargill, ActiStar, MGP Ingredients and Roquette have their own offerings.
It's likely consumers and manufacturers will be interested in starches from Ingredion and other manufacturers since they lend themselves to more understandable label terms and may enhance product applications.