The new flours and meals provide superior batter or breading surface adhesion when compared to those with higher amylose content.
The marketing and/or sales department gives its R&D department the parameters for the company's new breaded chicken fingers. It must have a Latino flavor profile, better-for-you nutritional positioning, and a coating that closely adheres to the meat if the product is fried. R&D knows how to formulate their company's products, in that they have worked on many permutations on this line in the past. However, now, marketing and sales want a product with less fat, more fiber and a cleaner label.

National Starch Food Innovation has launched two new patent-pending ingredients, Hi-maize® Corn Flour 150 and Hi-maize Corn Meal 150, which may be just what the formulators need. In battered and breaded products, the ingredients can improve adhesion, product appearance, crispiness and perhaps even make a nutritional claim.

“Hi-maize flours and meals provide superior adhesion because they are based on special hybrid corn that has a high amylose content (minimum 70%),” says David Huang, senior marketing development manager, Nutritional Flours, National Starch Food Innovation. “High-amylose polymers have a linear structure that results in superior adhesion characteristics on meat surfaces in batter and breading applications during frying. In contrast, dent corn contains a high amylopectin content, which has a web-like polymer structure. This results in 'pockets' forming on meat surfaces.”

The flours and meals provide nutritional advantages as well. The ingredients' high amylose content makes the internal structure of the fried coating less porous, and less oil is required to provide surface adherence, notes Huang. In contrast, high-amylopectin materials are more porous and also require more oil, resulting in a higher fat content.

Additionally, both Hi-maize Corn Flour 150 and Hi-maize Corn Meal 150 contain 50% total dietary fiber (TDF), all of which is insoluble. The product line also includes Hi-maize Meal 130 and Hi-maize Flour 120, with 30% and 20% TDF, respectively. In comparison, typical corn meal contains only 5% to 8% fiber and typical corn flour contains 3% to 4% fiber.

It may be possible to boost fiber content in a food to “good” and “high” source levels, offers Huang. For example, a 161g serving of Mahogany Fried Chicken, sampled at Natural Products Expo West in March, contained 9g of dietary fiber. The batter contained 10.10% Hi-maize Corn Flour 150 and 1.74% Corn Meal 150.

For example, using a combination of Hi-maize Corn Flour 150 and Hi-maize Corn Meal 150, an English corn muffin could be formulated to contain 5g of fiber, corn tortillas could have 4g of fiber or a piece of Brazilian Corn Cake (Bolo de Milho) would contain 3g of dietary fiber, says Huang.

The company's Hi-maize flours are labeled “corn flour,” and its Hi-maize meals are labeled “corn meal” or “degermed corn meal.”

For more information:
National Starch Food Innovation, Bridgewater, N.J.
800-797-4992 •