Many food manufacturers are reformulating products to accommodate the growing number of Americans with food allergies and sensitivities. It is especially important for manufacturers to solve for binding, thickening and filling ingredients that seamlessly replace wheat flour, dairy products and eggs. Consider potatoes as an allergy-friendly option to combine other ingredients, add creamy texture and as an undetectable filler—all while remaining cost effective.
For every application from soups to desserts, potatoes are an essential addition to the traditional list of potential fillers, binders and extenders. Potatoes impart a neutral flavor and ideal texture to achieve a smooth, even and moist finished product. Why choose potatoes:
•Excellent Gluten-Free Option: Potatoes are a perfect alternative to wheat in many applications where breadcrumbs or flour are traditionally used. Dehydrated potatoes allow for moist gluten-free products.
•Improved Binding: Potatoes are a functionally equivalent alternative for wheat flour, specifically for binding. Dehydrated potato flakes hold moisture and improve texture, resulting in a juicier meatball, crab cake or burger patty.
•Enhanced Texture: When used as a binder or filler, potato ingredients help to create a moister product with a superior mouthfeel compared to traditional breadcrumbs or wheat-based binders and fillers.
•Appealing Flavor and Appearance: Potatoes have a fresh, neutral flavor that allows herbs, seasonings and other highlighted ingredients to shine. They work well in a wide variety of flavor profiles. Potatoes also provide a uniform appearance and golden-brown crust thanks to their natural sugars. By using potatoes as a filler, reduced quantities of more expensive proteins will be needed, achieving cost savings.
Here's a helpful guide on which potato type to use in common applications.
•Mashed Potatoes: Whether made from fresh, frozen or dehydrated flakes, mashed potatoes are an exceptional binder and improve texture. Fresh or frozen mashed potatoes can be added directly to the finished product. The moisture from prepared or fresh-made mashed potatoes may impact usage levels.
•Dehydrated Potato Flakes or Granules: Rehydrate and add directly, dehydrated potato flakes can be incorporated into sauces, soups and gravies to produce great sheen, smooth texture and excellent flavor.
•Potato Flour: Use potato flour to achieve a similar effect as potato flakes by only using half the amount of potato flour. Similar to a traditional roux, potato flour can be used in place of wheat flour as a thickener to achieve a creamy texture, silky mouthfeel and consistent execution.
For more from Potatoes USA, visit PotatoGoodness.com/ingredient.
Rachael Lynch is global marketing manager for Potatoes USA.