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Frequently asked questions about starch in formulations.
 
 

 We have the answers.

 

General

Q. What kinds of starches does National Starch Food Innovation offer?
A. National Starch Food Innovation offers more than 200 kinds of specialty starches, based on dent corn, waxy corn, high-amylase corn, tapioca, potato, sago and rice starches. We provide a variety of cook-up and instant starches based on those materials for a wide range of food and pet food applications.

Q. How can I get help in choosing a starch for my formula?
A.
The best way is to contact your local National Starch Food Innovation technical service professional. To find your local professional, go to Ask the Experts

Q. How do I choose among the various pre-gelatinized starches for instant puddings and cheese sauces?
A. The first question to ask is: How quickly do you need the starch to hydrate? Pre-gelatinized starches with fine particle size hydrate faster than coarser ones, but those who use fine-particle pre-gel starches may want to take steps to prevent lumping. Coarse ground starches disperse easily but hydrate slowly.

Regulatory

Q. Are National Starch Food Innovation products non-GMO?
A.
National Starch Food Innovation can provide “Identity Preserved Non-GMO” products under its True-Trace program. Please make sure you specifically ask for this feature when ordering to receive the correct grade.
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Q. How do I obtain kosher, halal and other certificates for a product?
A. You can ask your technical service contact by going to Ask an Expert. You also can go to Ingredient Selector, select the product you need a certificate for and select "Kosher Certification."
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Q. How do I obtain allergen, sulfite and GMO letters for a product?
A. You can ask your technical service contact by going to Ask an Expert. You also can go to Ingredient Selector and click on the product name to get the product documents available.
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Clean Labeling

Q. I am developing instant infant foods that have to be labeled as natural, with a “clean” ingredient label. Do you have products that meet these requirements and provide stable viscosity and short texture?
A.
For instant infant foods, where a Clean Label is required, consider the CWS NOVATION family of starches. They are labeled as their base “e.g., corn starch.” These products provide viscosity and texture immediately when hydrated with water. Due to the special microbiological considerations in these products, please consult a technical expert at National Starch in person.
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Q. Our soy yogurts are showing a lot of watering off (syneresis) after a couple of days in the refrigerator. I know that modified starches can help prevent this but I do not want to use chemically modified starches. Can you help me?
A.
Our NOVATION functional native starches are not chemically modified, but they possess all the functionality of traditional modified starches. For your application, our rice-based NOVATION 8300 or NOVATION 8600 can provide body, creaminess and stability, i.e., prevent syneresis during storage. Again, these products are not chemically modified, and they should be labeled as “rice starch.”
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Organic product

Q. I am developing and marketing a variety of organic foods. It has been difficult finding certified organic ingredients that are able to provide thickening and texture as fundamental building blocks in the products. Is National Starch Food Innovation supplying any organic starch at present?
A. Yes. National Starch Food Innovation offers a variety of certified organic NOVATION products based on tapioca and waxy corn starches. You can select a certified organic product that meets your processing, texture and labeling needs from the following products: NOVATION 9330, NOVATION 9360, NOVATION 9230, NOVATION 9260, NOVATION 2700, NOVATION 9460 and NOVATION 9560.
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Health and nutrition

Q. What starches can I use as fat mimetics for low- or non-fat products?
A. It depends on the product you are trying to make. Our fat mimetics include N-FLATE, N-LITE LP, N-LITE D, N-LITE L, TEXTRA, TEXTRA PLUS, INSTANT N-OIL, INSTANT N-OIL II, N-OIL and NOVATION 8300 and 8600. Click on each product to learn in which food system it provides fat-mimetic properties.
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Q. I need to reduce fat in my dairy product. What can I do to accomplish this?
A. Try a starch that mimics fat in dairy systems. Fat-mimetic starches will provide “rich” mouthfeel and a “creamy” texture. Since a carbohydrate has approximately four calories per gram and fat has nine calories per gram, you can reduce the fat and calorie intake of your product. There is a range of different starch-based fat mimetics. Some will give a set texture, as in a sour cream or cream cheese. Others will give a liquid oil-like texture rather than lard-like texture in a pudding or stirred yogurt.
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Q. I am having difficulties when I add fibers to my baked goods that I am marketing to health-conscious consumers. After adding the fiber, the texture and mouthfeel do not meet my expectations. Are there any ingredients that can overcome these difficulties?
A. Recent advances in starch characterization and technology show certain types of starches are not fully digested in the small intestine. Using the A.O.A.C. method for analysis of fiber, an RS2-type resistant starch (Hi-maize) provides up to 60% total dietary fiber. Using one of these novel functional ingredients, we can increase the measurable fiber in a baked item but still maintain a pleasing and desirable texture. These ingredients are bland and have a small particle size and low water-holding capacity, which will overcome some of the problems associated with traditional fibers.
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Mouthfeel

Q. I am developing an aseptic low-fat chocolate drink. I tried to improve the mouthfeel by adding corn starch, but the product became too thick and some sedimentation appeared after a couple of days. Any suggestion on how to improve the mouthfeel without adding viscosity?
A. TEXTRA starch has all the attributes you are looking for. Adding 1% to 2% of TEXTRA in the finished product will provide mouthfeel without adding viscosity. It is stable at any pH, shear and temperature level and will not settle out during storage.
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Formulation

Q. We have just hired a chef and want to move into more upscale markets. How can I get help from National Starch Food Innovation?
A.
National Starch Food Innovation has a staff of classically trained chefs to work with your culinary team in developing new products to meet your formulating challenges. Please click on “Chef’s Corner” to learn more.
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Troubleshooting

Q. How do you prevent instant starches from lumping when dispersing into liquids?
A. Instant starches should be pre-blended with other dry ingredients in order to aid dispersion. Typically, sugar and spices can help improve dispersion. Ideally one part starch to two to four parts dry ingredients is sufficient to provide good dispersion. Instant starches can also be added into oil or corn syrups to prevent lumping. When dispersing with other dries or when oil or corn syrups are not an option, you can use coarser-grind instant starches. In addition, National Starch Food Innovation offers a range of agglomerated starches, ULTRA SPERSE SERIES, that can be easily dispersed in the absence of diluents.
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Q. How do you know when enzymes are present in a product?
A.
Enzymes will break down cooked starch. When present in a product, most of the viscosity is often lost and the thickened product will become thin. Also, when the product is observed under the microscope, starch granules will no longer be visible or will appear translucent and exhibit loss of shape.
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Q. I am trying to make blueberry muffins, I have included some food starch, but the batter becomes thin. What is the problem?
A.
Blueberries and other fruits and vegetables could contain alpha amylase, an enzyme that attacks the starch granule. Heat treatment of the fruits and vegetables can inactivate the enzyme. If these suggestions still don’t solve your problem, you can probably find the answer by examining in detail your processing (shear, temperature, pH) and ingredient systems.
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Q. I am using NOVATION 2300 in a frozen product, which is marketed with a “clean” label product. But I get frequent complaints of water-off and chunky texture from consumers when they heat the product. I can’t go back to a modified starch. Do you think I need to add small amount of gums?
A.
No. You do not need to add a gum. You can simply switch from NOVATION 2300 to NOVATION PRIMA 300, which has excellent freeze/thaw stability while providing viscosity and texture equal to NOVATION 2300. If your product is not acidic and not processed under harsh conditions, you can use NOVATION PRIMA 600 for higher viscosity.
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Q. I have been using ULTRA-TEX 4 for a spoonable salad dressing for many years. After making some changes to my process, I find I need an ULTRA product that offers superior shear resistance and is able to withstand several rework cycles through a colloid mill during production. What cold water swelling starch can you recommend that will improve upon the shear resistance of ULTRA-TEX 4 in high-shear applications?
A.
ULTRA-TEX SR has high shear tolerance with enough thickening for spoonable salad dressings. It will provide the performance you need for your application.


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