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A growing concern for consumers in today’s food and beverage marketplace is trust and transparency. Consumer research from Ingredion indicates that approximately 78% of U.S. consumers find it important to recognize the ingredients used in the products they buy and that 71% of them read the back and side of labels.1 In the same research, but looking at both U.S. and Canadian respondents, it was found that within the 11 food categories reviewed, dairy ranks among the top three categories where consumers think it is important to be “additive-free” / “no additive.”
Explore Ingredion’s deep expertise in the clean & simple trend, and the challenges within it here.
1. Proprietary research commissioned by Ingredion, MMR Global QBIC Study, 2017
Physically-treated starches and flours, such as those available in Ingredion’s range of NOVATION® native functional starches or HOMECRAFT® multi-functional flours, are designed to have similar process tolerance and texture stability over shelf life as traditional modified food starches while enabling simple labeling, such as “corn starch” or “tapioca flour” respectively. These ingredients are useful in many dairy applications, including yogurt, fruit preparations, beverages and dairy desserts.
Recommended products: NOVATION PRIMA® 303 functional native corn starch, HOMECRAFT® Create 315 multi-functional tapioca flour, NOVATION® Lumina 0100 functional native corn starch
Modified starches are enzymatically or chemically treated starches that improve process tolerance (heat and shear) and stability over shelf life in a final product. This treatment allows the product to withstand the range of temperatures and shear processing parameters commonly used in dairy product processing. It also allows the final product to remain stable over its shelf life. Native starches, which support a clean label, are not modified and do not possess these attributes. Native starches, though they have a consumer-friendly label, will quickly lose viscosity after high temperature and shear have been applied and will also create texture and appearance defects in the final product, ranging from syneresis to overly gelled texture.
Functional native starches, such as those from the NOVATION® starch product range, can provide the process tolerance and storage stability that is associated with modified food starches while maintaining consumer-friendly “starch” labeling.
The most important criteria when selecting which clean label starch would be most suitable for your dairy product is to understand the manufacturing process it will undergo. The pasteurization temperature, homogenization pressure and temperature settings and process flow setup (i.e. down or upstream homogenization) will determine the type of clean label starch that would be recommended. Also, consider your needs from a labeling perspective.
Ingredion has a range of NOVATION® functional native starch bases ranging from waxy maize to tapioca to rice and potato. An Ingredion Idea Labs® innovation center expert can recommend the product that works best for you and your process.
Recommended products: NOVATION® functional native starches
The first thing to check is that your total solids targets are correct. You should also check that the right process parameters were used (temperatures and pressures). If a higher temperature or pressure was used, a more process-tolerant starch may be required. Your starch might have been over-processed and may have lost viscosity due to granule damage.
Recommended products: NOVATION PRIMA® 300 functional native corn starch NOVATION PRIMA® 600 functional native starch, NOVATION ENDURA® 0100 functional native corn starch, HOMECRAFT® Create 315 multi-functional tapioca flour
Ingredion conducted several consumer research studies to evaluate the perception and acceptability of texturizers in key dairy applications, including yogurt. The outcome of this work shows that tapioca flours and starches enjoy a “very strong” recognition and acceptability by yogurt consumers.2
Tapioca-based ingredients such HOMECRAFT® Create 315 multi-functional flour and NOVATION PRIMA® 303 tapioca starch can provide excellent functionality with a clean flavor profile and good mouthfeel.
2. Ingredion proprietary research, MMR, Consumer Study, NA, April 2017
Recommended products: HOMECRAFT® Create 315 multi-functional tapioca flour, NOVATION PRIMA® 303 functional native tapioca starch
Dairy fat contributes multiple characteristics to a product. It provides body, viscosity and smoothness. It also provides an extremely smooth and full texture. The melting behavior of dairy fat is unique in how it coats your mouth and melts away and can be difficult to mimic. Removing fat from a dairy food will result in a product that has less body, is more translucent and coats the mouth unevenly. In applications such as spreadable cream cheeses, fat provides the desired spreadability that is expected by consumers. Removing fat will make these types of products more difficult to spread evenly on a cracker or bread.
A co-texturizer is typically used in combination with another base viscosifying starch to impart a certain mouthfeel or texture property to the product. The desired texture can range from delivering a thick, creamy mouthfeel in a fat-reduced yogurt or a set fast-melting pudding or crème brûlée to improving creaminess and mouthcoating in a fat-reduced dairy beverage. Use co-texturizers at the same point in the manufacturing process as the base starch viscosifiers.
Use viscosifying cook-up starches to build back body in reduced-fat formulations. However, excessive use can result in a product with a pasty and powdery mouthfeel. Reduce the dosage of the viscosifying cook-up starch and use a suitable co-texturizer to create the mouthcoating and film-forming properties your dairy product needs.
These quality issues are typically the result of using an unsuitable texturizer, having too high an incubation temperature, or not ensuring adequate milk protein hydration.
If starch granules are fragmented during processing; a grainy appearance can occur. This issue is more prominent in low-fat or fat-free yogurt. Selecting a texturizer suitable for the process is critical.
Recommended products: Severe processing conditions: THERMTEX™ modified corn starch Moderate processing conditions: N-CREAMER® 115 modified food starch and NOVATION PRIMA® 300 functional native corn starch
Hydrocolloids help to provide smooth texture in yogurt. However, if incorrectly used or if the wrong one is used, hydrocolloids can have the opposite effect. For example, excessive amounts of some seed gums will lead to sedimentation issues or a grainy mouthfeel in yogurt. For more on dairy stabilizers, visit TIC Gums, an Ingredion company.
Recommended products: Dairyblend YG AG NGMO, Dairyblend YG OG 6
A high incubation temperature will increase the rate of fermentation, which in turn can cause the yogurt culture to produce acid too quickly. When this happens, the casein will be affected, and it will not be able to form a viscous and smooth three-dimensional network in the yogurt. The casein does not have sufficient time to dissociate evenly, and as pH drops further, colloidal calcium phosphates solubilization is also affected. These affect the coagulation of the casein at the isoelectric point.
Several changes can occur in the final product when reducing protein content in analog cheese products. These changes affect properties such as emulsification, firmness, shreddability as well as cheese meltability and stretchability. To compensate for the loss of these functional properties in cheese products, it is necessary to use several types of starches to build back some of these properties and be able to deliver the attributes consumers like in a cheese product.
In analog cheese products, casein is highly functional and mainly contributes to emulsification. As you reduce casein content, the less emulsification will naturally occur in the formulation. Therefore, a typical remedy would be to add an emulsifier. Starch-based emulsifiers can enhance the emulsification properties of the formulation at lower casein content, thus reducing oiling off.
Recommended products: N-CREAMER® 46 modified corn starch
Specific starches can be used to improve the gelling and melting characteristics of an analog mozzarella cheese product. For example, PRECISA® 604 and PENTECH® 8500 modified potato starches, as well as GEL 'N' MELT® modified corn starch, are some of the ingredient solutions that can deliver these key attributes at a lower casein content.
It is also essential to pay attention to not over-mix and over-emulsify the cheese mass during the manufacturing process. Over-doing it can stabilize the fat’s structure so much that the final cheese product will not melt. Various microscopy techniques can be used to evaluate whether a product is over-emulsified or not.
One of the best ways to improve the cost of this type of product is to replace milk solids using specialty starches. PRECISA® 680 modified corn starch is an ingredient that has been specially developed for applications that use the traditional whey separation process. PRECISA 680 modified corn starch can be added directly into the milk before coagulation (that then follows the traditional manufacturing process). The starch is retained in the final cheese curd, replacing milk solids. Another option is to incorporate the starch after the cheese curd has been manufactured, and for this type of approach, several options can be considered depending on the desired attributes in the final cheese.
Sucrose or cane sugar, besides providing sweetness, also is responsible for several other sensory and texture attributes in dairy formulations. Thus, the reduction or total removal of sugar in dairy formulations such as ice cream, flavored milk, yogurt or puddings, has an effect not only on the sweetness and caloric content of the final product, but also affects texture, mouthfeel and stability. To have a successful formulation of a dairy product with reduced or no-added sugar, we need to look at all these attributes and select ingredients that will help to build back the desirable attributes, so consumer acceptability is not compromised.
To learn more about how to deliver the sugar reduction consumers demand, click here.
The two biggest challenges you will face are the high viscosity of the plant-based milk and the instability revealed via protein sedimentation or age gelation. Most plant-based proteins will denature during high heat treatment, causing their structure to open and hold water. At high levels, plant-based proteins can lead to very high viscosities. The viscosity attained is highly dependent on the exact protein source/ingredient, so check with your supplier about it. Over the course of shelf life, all proteins at a high enough use level will tend to aggregate or form a network, leading to challenges such as sedimentation or even gelation (note that this is highly dependent on the protein source). Hydrocolloid-based texturizers such as Ticaloid® Pro 181 AG, a system of acacia gum and gellan gum, offers the ability to control the viscosity of the high protein plant-based milk and prevent age gelation/sedimentation during shelf life.
Proper hydration is critical in dairy-free yogurt. The proteins must be given enough time; ideally, 30 minutes or longer to hydrate. Improper hydration will lead to issues such as powderiness and graininess in the product.
Plant-based proteins can be used to deliver the same protein quantity as dairy protein in most alternative dairy products. Due to the nature of plant-based proteins, expect the viscosity of your mix to be higher, especially when used at high levels. Unlike dairy proteins, most plant-based proteins do not gel during fermentation, meaning that supporting hydrocolloids and starches must be used to provide the right gel strength, viscosity and mouthfeel. However, when the right plant-protein is selected in combination with the right texturizers, a very acceptable product can be produced.
Recommended products: VITESSENCE® plant proteins
Both processing and formulation steps can be taken to improve texture and stability. In the case of processing, proper hydration of the protein ingredient is key to delivering a smoother beverage, yogurt, or other product. As proteins tend not to be as heat-stable as milk proteins, processing conditions such as temperature and hold time are very important. However, the use of stabilizers such as hydrocolloids and functional starches or flours are key in producing optimized products. Proper hydrocolloid selection can be used to provide reduced sedimentation and creaming in ready-to-drink beverages. In yogurt alternatives, the use of proper hydrocolloids such as pectin or agar, or functional native starches or flours, can provide a desired mouthfeel or creaminess. In vegan cheese, the proper starch selection is required to deliver the needed gel strength, melt properties, emulsification and viscosity properties.
Recommended products: Protein fortification: VITESSENCE® Pulse 1803 pea protein isolate, VITESSENCE® Pulse 1803 organic pea protein isolate, VITESSENCE Pulse CT 3602 faba bean protein concentrate Texture: For cheese products: PRECISA® 604 modified potato starch, PENTECH® 8500 modified potato starch, GEL 'N' MELT® modified corn starch For yogurt: HOMECRAFT® Create 315 multi-functional tapioca flour, NOVATION® Lumina 0100 functional native corn starch, NOVATION® Endura 0100 functional native starch Stabilization: Ticaloid® Pro 181 AG
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