Texture is a pillar of successful food and beverage products. Attendees ofPrepared Foods’ R&D Applications Seminars heard formulation advice about working with ingredients that impact texture, including enzymes, gum Arabic replacers, starches and an enzyme-modified egg yolk with enhanced emulsification functionality.

Use of Enzymes in Marinades

Currently, five basic types of enzymes are used in marinades: papain, bromelain, ficin, Aspergillus oryzae protease and Bacillus subtilis protease. The first three are plant-derived, sulphydryl proteases. Aspergillus oryzae protease is fungally sourced, and the most recently approved proteases are from Bacillus subtilis.

Peter Moodie, director of sales and marketing, Enzyme Development Corporation, explained that “papain has the longest history of use as a non-animal-based commercial protease. As a ‘sprinkle on’ tenderizer having been around for decades, papain also formed the basis for the original retail marinades.” This was part of a speech titled, “Use of Enzymes in Marinades,” given at Prepared Foods’ 2009 R&D Seminars-Chicago.

Papain has a high inactivation temperature that is not an issue, if meat is treated, cooked and then consumed. It becomes problematic for marinades used in foodservice operations, where meat may be treated and then cooked to medium (160-165°F). There will still be some residual enzyme activity, and, if the meat is held for an extended period of time, the protease may continue to work. It is important to note all enzymes work at any temperature between freezing and inactivation; for example, they may be slower at 2°C, but they are still active.

Derived from pineapple, commercial production of bromelain began in the late 1960s to early 1970s. Bromelain offered a lower inactivation temperature compared with papain and also a better odor. In addition, it appeared that bromelain was more effective on connective tissue than papain. For a time, bromelain had the advantage of not containing sulfites. But, both the sulfite and odor issues have recently been resolved for papain; so, it is now just a case of which performs better in the meat application.

Ficin is derived from the latex of the fig tree, Ficus carica, almost all from Peru. Ficin is an extremely effective tenderizer on muscle and connective tissue and has a lower inactivation temperature, when compared to bromelain and papain. “One of its biggest drawbacks, however, is its limited production and higher cost compared with papain or bromelain,” stated Moodie.

Aspergillus oryzae protease is a fungal-derived enzyme. It was developed partially in an effort to evaluate enzymes that may have milder reactions with meat and have significantly lower inactivation temperatures. Surprisingly, the market for this enzyme is small. Moodie stated, “This may be related to a reluctance for label changes to include A. oryzae tenderizer. The other factor may be the large variety of proteases from A. oryzae giving inconsistent results. One protease from A. oryzae is not necessarily a substitute for another. For instance, they may not behave the same, having different pH optimums and reactions on various proteins.”

A purchasing agent may be tempted to buy a higher enzyme activity at a lower price. But, a common scenario when switching to a different Aspergillus oryzae protease is where the customer slowly sees a difference, as the product changes over time, and they stop using it. The original R&D person may no longer be there, so the reason for the change may not be understood; the only certain thing will be that the product with fungal protease tenderizing does not sell as well anymore or have the original consumer acceptance.

Bacillus subtilis proteases were only recently approved for use. These proteases offer a low temperature alternative and mild- to-aggressive action on meats similar to ficin. They opened up a whole new category of enzymes for evaluation.

In summary, suppliers can help determine the correct enzyme and calculate the amount needed for each specific marinade application. The amount of marinade uptake per pound of meat needs to be calculated first. Other factors influencing enzyme effectiveness include hold time and temperature before cooking, maximum cook temperature and storage conditions after cooking.

“Use of Enzymes in Marinades,” Peter Moodie, director of sales and marketing, Enzyme Development Corporation, cpm@enzymedevelopment.com, www.enzyme development.com

--Summary by Elizabeth Mannie, Contributing Editor

Novel Replacement for Gum Arabic in Coatings

A need for gum Arabic replacement exists in order to ensure a secure, plentiful raw material stream and to end a major reliance on Africa for gum Arabic. Gum Arabic replacement would provide a cost-in-use savings and could improve products, by providing a whiter color and crunchier shell, and more strength in coatings.

A family of non-gum-Arabic-based replacement systems is available and suitable for many confection applications. It is possible to maintain sugar-free and non-cariogenic labeling. These products also offer processing advantages of easy incorporation and faster drying times. Having locally available materials adds another benefit.

As explained by Maureen Akins, applications manager, TIC Gums, “One of our proprietary replacement systems can match crystallization and cracking where necessary, and another replacer has bigger flakes, which results in a bigger crunch where beneficial.” She and Dan Grazaitis, food scientist, jointly presented a speech titled, “Novel Replacement for Gum Arabic in Coatings,” at Prepared Foods’ 2009 R&D Seminars-Chicago. Viscosity in solution is similar for both systems compared with gum Arabic. Applications for the first replacer include confection coatings, through strengthening sugar and sugar-free shells, sealing and polishing.

Engrossing is the process of building a shell coating on a candy surface. Engrossing syrups are the vehicle for achieving this layering, and typical components include granular sugar or sugar alcohol, water, gums, starches and dextrins. Dusting powder can be used in conjunction with the syrup to aid in drying of the layers. For example, an engrossing syrup made with maltitol or other sugar alcohol at 64.5-70%, with water at 27-32%, can incorporate gum Arabic or its replacer at 3-3.5%. The quick crunch system provides ease of processing, uniform dusting and coating. Sugar shells also can be strengthened, especially when larger pans and delicately shaped centers are used. The use level is approximately 3% in syrup solution.

Sealing syrups reduce the exposure of sensitive components to oxygen and humidity in nut centers and chocolate-coated centers. They protect against oil and moisture migration; and qualitative data supports that gum Arabic replacers provide superior oxidative stability at very similar viscosities. Nuts, malt balls, chocolate and other oil-containing centers can be sealed. Another good application is in polishing chocolate panned confections. The finishing polish seals and protects. “This is done,” added Akins, “by applying a 20% syrup in one charge and following up with confectioner’s glaze for added shine.”

Also, these replacers can bind and strengthen the sugar alcohol shell in hard panning of sugar-free chewing gums, when used at 3% in the syrup. It is flexible for all procedures; can be used in the first five charges with dusting powder; or can be used in all charges of syrup.

“Novel Replacement for Gum Arabic in Coatings,” Dan Grazaitis, food scientist, and Maureen Akins, applications manager, TIC Gums Inc., makins@ticgums.com, www.ticgums.com

--Summary by Elizabeth Mannie, Contributing Editor

Modified Starch 101

The source of starch, whether from wheat, corn, potato or tapioca, has a big effect on its functionality. Starch is composed of two types of glucose polymers: amylose, a linear polymer; and amylopectin, a branched polymer. When comparing starches, a common corn starch, for example, contains approximately 27% amylose, while an amioca (called waxy corn) starch contains 100% amylopectin. Tapioca starch contains approximately 17% amylose.

“Instability is one of the limitations of native starches,” explained Eric Shinsato, technical sales support manager, Corn Products U.S., in his presentation titled, “Starch Modification: Overview,” given at Prepared Foods’ 2009 R&D Seminars-East.

Native starches have a cohesive structure and break down due to high temperature, acid and shear. Their viscosity can be too high at high concentrations. And, they are insoluble in cold, aqueous liquids. “This,” explained Shinsato, “is why starch is modified.” Starches are modified to impart stability in low pH, extreme process temperatures, times and shear. Starch modification can also impart selected functional characteristics, to alter viscosity or the development of viscosity during processing. Improved texture and clarity are aesthetic properties that can be gained. Specific attributes, like emulsification, encapsulation, or a clean label, are also obtainable through modification. 

Modified starches are products whose properties have been altered by physical, chemical means or by the introduction of substituents, and whose granular and molecular structure, respectively, are more or less retained (Tegge, 1979). FDA regulations for modified starches can be found in 21 CFR 172.892.

Starch that has been modified by acid thinning has reduced viscosity due to weakened granule structure. It can now be used at higher concentration because of its reduced viscosity.

Dextrinization occurs by hydrolysis of starch into fragments and, then, by re-polymerization into dextrins. Acid-thinned starches, oxidized starches and dextrins have specific applications in coatings and glazes, gum confectionery, paper and corrugating. They function to impart low hot viscosity at high concentrations, crispness and adhesive properties.

Cross-linking is a method of starch modification, where the starch granule has increased stability after gelatinization. Cross-linking stabilizes starch granule integrity in the presence of acid, heat or shear. It alters paste rheology from cohesive to short. Viscosity development is also altered with decreased initial viscosity and more stable final viscosity. Cross-linked starch applications include emulsified products, such as salad dressings; aseptic or pasteurized dairy products like yogurt, cheese sauce or pudding; retorted products like canned sauces, gravies and soups; and low-pH products like pie fillings and barbecue sauce.

Starch is modified by substitution to improve water-holding ability, freeze/thaw and cold storage stability. Retrogradation is decreased, and paste clarity is increased. Starch gelatinization temperature is also lowered, improving ease of cooking. Applications in this area include frozen prepared meals, sauces and gravies; refrigerated meats, sauces and puddings; and flavor emulsions or encapsulation.

“Pregelatinized starches,” Shinsato continued, “are cold water-hydrating, low-moisture, powdered products produced by roll-drying or spray-drying.” Their characteristics include an opaque to clear appearance; gelled, fluid or short texture; smooth to slightly pulpy texture; and they have increased acid, shear and freeze/thaw stability, when chemically modified.

Cold water-swelling (CWS) starches are granular, instant starches that swell in cold systems to develop viscosity. They may be produced by cooking, then spray-drying, or when a slurry of starch in alcohol is subjected to high temperature and pressure. The ultimate goal is to obtain intact swollen granules. The benefit is a smoothly textured product similar to that made with a cook-up starch.

To determine proper starch selection, the desired function needs to be known. Finished product attributes like texture, mouthfeel and flavor need consideration. Other considerations include ingredients, processing, packaging and storage, and reconstitution by the end-user.

“Modified Starch 101,” Eric Shinsato, technical sales support manager, Corn Products U.S., eric.shinsato @cornproducts.com, www.cornproducts.com

--Summary by Elizabeth Mannie, Contributing Editor

Enzyme Modified Egg Yolk in Dressings and Sauces

Enzymes are critical functional ingredients in food, involved in deterioration, flavor development, texture, yield improvement, safety, processing and improved functionality, such as in the enzyme-modified egg yolk (EMEY).

EMEY show improved functionality through greater emulsion strength, increased viscosity, less oil, thermal shock stability and consumer abuse tolerance. Otis Curtis, business development manager, DSM Food Specialties, explained that a whole egg consists of 33% yolk, and the egg is 33% lipids, of which 28% is phospholipids. Eggs provide emulsifying properties with their phospholipids and lipoproteins, by dispersing oil and maintaining stability. Eggs also contribute flavor, nutrients and color to a food, he imparted, during his speech titled, “Unique and Innovative Opportunities for Dressings and Sauces: Enzyme Modified Egg Yolk,” given at Prepared Foods’ 2009 R&D Seminars-Chicago.

Curtis explained that “phospholipase (PL) hydrolyzes egg yolk phospholipids, cleaving the fatty acid from the second position, resulting in a lyso-phospholipid plus a fatty acid. Lysophospholipids show improved emulsifying properties, and the egg yolk protein is more heat-resistant.” Traditionally, phospholipase is derived from porcine, but there can be potential health risks with animal-origin products. Market demand exists for a non-animal, kosher and halal version. There is a need for phospholipase enzymes with specific activity and no side activities. The phospholipase from Aspergillus niger, for example, can shift the phospholipid composition in eggs from 3% lysolecithin and 70% lecithin to 63% lysolecithin and 10% lecithin.

Opportunities abound for EMEY in dressings and sauces, such as mayonnaises with improved mouthfeel, cold emulsified sauces and dressings with lower oil content, where structure also depends on hydrocolloid systems. EMEY adds improved mouthfeel and options to reduce other ingredients. In warm sauces, EMEY increases resistance to temperature abuse by consumers and in foodservice warming trays. Storage and distribution channels can benefit from the improved heating and freezing stability, when using EMEY in products.

Dressing and sauces show improved sensorial attributes, when incorporating EMEY. As per Leatherhead, a sensory panel showed both regular and reduced-fat mayonnaise to be creamier, firmer and thicker; have more body; slower break down rates; creamier color; less off-flavor; and parity on many other attributes, including flavor. Alfredo sauce made with EMEY showed greater heat- and freeze/thaw-stability than its regular egg-containing counterpart.

In the U.S., EMEY is approved for use per GRAS Notice letter 00183 and labeled as “enzyme modified egg yolk,” if purchased from an external supplier. However, the argument can be made that when internally modifying the egg yolk, the enzyme process could be considered a processing aid, not requiring additional labeling other than “egg yolk.” This discussion is ongoing. In standardized foods, such as egg products listed in 21CFR 160.100-190, the standards provide for use of specific enzymes to function in glucose reduction and as a pasteurization aid. However, there is no provision for phospholipid modification. The standard for mayonnaise, 21CFR 169.140, specifies standardized egg yolk-containing ingredients, as do the standards for salad dressing and French dressing.

Some regulatory exceptions and considerations include Temporary Marketing Authorization 130.17, permitting interstate shipment of food varying from standards, and requiring label declaration and indication of variation from standard. Also, processing aids are exempt from labeling, if they have no technical or functional effect in the final product or are at insignificant levels in the finished food. Foods with nutrient content claims are also allowed to deviate from the standard, if necessary to achieve similar performance characteristics to the regular version of the food. In summary, benefits of products using EMEY include stability, processing flexibility, improved texture and sensory attributes, oil and other ingredient reductions.

“Unique and Innovative Opportunities for Dressings and Sauces: Enzyme Modified Egg Yolk,” Otis Curtis, business development manager, DSM Food Specialties, otis.curtis@dsm.com, www.dsm.com

--Summary by Elizabeth Mannie, Contributing Editor

Food Texture Design and Optimization

Food texture is a central part of the eating experience, impacting all senses. The right texture can even improve a product’s flavor. Texture drives consumer interest and preference. New products with texture claims, such as “whipped,” “thick,” “chunky,” “creamy” or “crispy,” are increasing. Discussed here is a unique integration of core capabilities for a methodical, data-driven approach to texture. Solutions focusing on a preferred eating experience and customer value include formulation expertise, sensory analysis, materials science and measurement science.

Using precise optimization of textural or sensory attributes reduces time and risk which, in turn, reduces R&D costs and time to market. Challenges may be encountered identifying consumer-preferred texture attributes and translating consumer preference into meaningful product development action. Therefore, texture measurement and understanding are important for identification of key texture attributes. Using both sensory and instrumental measurement helps relate measurement to understanding. Targeting and modifying individual texture attributes, without impacting other properties, is the best way to optimize texture and achieve the desired eating experience.

Yadunandan L. Dar, senior manager, applications, National Starch Food Innovation, explained, “texture in current products can be transformed for greater consumer preference, moving toward the texture of a desired benchmark, and gaining market share.” The presentation, “Food Texture Design and Optimization,” was given at Prepared Foods’ 2009 R&D Seminars-Chicago. By increasing the positive textural attributes and decreasing negative ones, products are improved and new products achieved with consumer-preferred texture. This approach can also be used for cost optimization by replacing costly ingredients, enhancing nutritional properties and label simplification, while maintaining a benchmark texture where value matters.

According to Dar, the advisable approach is to take these steps: define business and project goals; identify texture benchmark; measure texture; analyze gaps between benchmark and current candidate texture; design and optimize using formulation and processing approaches; confirm results through texture measurement; and, finally, realize goals. Goals are defined through consumer insight and understanding of key textural descriptors. A trained sensory panel, along with instrumental tools, can be used to measure texture, including visual, auditory, oral, rheological and mechanical properties.

The following examples describe how this approach can be used to solve problems and optimize texture and value. In the first instance, the fluctuation in tomato solids pricing forces the need to reformulate tomato-based sauces to maintain margins and profitability. A texturizing solution used to replace a desired amount of tomato solids achieved parity to the original product and optimized the eating experience and manufacturer value.

In another example, reducing the fat in creamy salad dressings was deemed necessary because of a fluctuation in soybean oil prices. Using a texturizing solution to replace a desired amount of soybean oil helps ensure a ranch dressing texture with consumer preference, along with an improved nutritional profile. For indulgent baked goods, brownies and cakes, fat reduction is accomplished, while maintaining indulgent texture and margins in a cost-competitive environment. In gluten-free baked goods, the challenge is to enable commercial production of high-quality products that mimic gluten-containing products with similar nutritional and textural characteristics, with the ability to be produced using traditional processes.

Consumer-preferred yogurt textures must have the right amount of “creamy,” “luscious,” “silky” and “indulgent.” Measurements used to determine the preferred attributes include firmness, or the amount of force required to deform the sample; mouth-coating, or the degree to which the product coats the mouth; and meltaway, which is the rate the product dissolves or melts.

In summary, texture is a central part of the eating experience. Texture expertise is a critical part of food product development and optimization. And, texture expertise can be used to address critical challenges for food manufacturers.  pf

“Food Texture Design and Optimization,” Yadunandan L. Dar, senior manager, applications, National Starch Food Innovation, yadunandan.dar@nstarch.com, www.foodinnovation.com

--Summary by Elizabeth Mannie, Contributing Editor

Feature Photo coutesy of © iStockphoto/Lauri Patterson