Kröner-Stärke targets health and costs in starches and flours, amid widespread industry challenges

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04 Oct 2018 --- European natural starch specialist, Kröner-Stärke has developed a new range of clean label, native, pre-gelatinized, starches and flours to boost the health credentials of many food products. All of the new range offers a cost-effective solution for the food industry at a time when many raw materials have increased in price and profit margins are being squeezed.

Kröner-Stärke starches and flours are consistently produced without the use of chemicals in tightly-controlled and transparent processes as well as many being available in organic form too. The versatile functionality of the firm’s high-quality raw materials can often lead to more cost-effective production runs in bakery or ready meals by replacing other more expensive and less naturally produced ingredients.

Since this year’s extreme weather conditions have severely affected potato crops, food manufacturers are looking to improve profit margins, but not relinquish functionality, can substitute potato flakes with a flaky wheat starch such as Pomgel. It comes with excellent dispersion properties to achieve lump-free mixing and a high water-binding capacity to keep bread and bakery products fresher for longer. It contains no additives (unlike many potato flakes) and is a totally clean label product, declared simply as “wheat starch” on labeling. 

Other ingredients which are also proving expensive, such as organic corn starch, can also be replaced by organic wheat starch. A gluten-free version – Sanostar – a wheat starch suitable for celiacs, is also available. It has excellent baking properties producing arguably a better taste when compared to organic corn starch, is price competitive and has excellent availability resulting in a robust and reliable supply chain for food producers. The organic wheat starches are completely free of GMO.

Speaking to FoodIngredientsFirst, Henrik de Vries, Commercial Manager at Kröner-Stärke, says: “The main applications for our products are bakery products like bread and cakes. In addition to that, we see a wide range of different application in the area of ready meals, sauces and dressings.”

“In general, we see that starch-based products are of great interest for different applications in the food sector. For example, sugar or fat reduction are future topics with a high priority. Getting a healthier product with comparable mouthfeel and structure will be the key success factor.”

“We believe that end consumers are more and more interested in understanding the ingredients list of their products and to get more information. In a time where food plays a relevant part of a healthier life, people want to understand why the products contain different E-Numbers. This will drive food manufacturers to shorten their ingredients’ list and replace different problematic raw materials,” he explains. 

“We see that current weather conditions had a significant impact on all European starch products. For us as a wheat processing company, the price development of the raw material had a significant impact on our calculation. In comparison to potato, we are not faced with a shortened supply chain.”

“The main driver behind this range was to offer food manufacturers cost-effective alternatives. In a time where raw materials show significant trends to price increases, it is more relevant for our customers to review their spend for ingredients and to change parts of the portfolio,” de Vries notes.

“The impact on costs depends on the share of raw material used, but in the current situation, a price advantage of 30 percent or more seems to be realistic. In addition to that availability is a key driver,” he adds.

In the bakery sector, Kröner-Stärke’s pregelatinized wheat flour is ideal for supporting new product development in fine bakery wares, fine yeast-raised doughs, choux paste, bread and small baked goods. Just declared as “wheat flour,” it functions to increase water absorption and improve dough hydration while also providing good viscosity and texture control. The finished products will also benefit from an extended shelf-life. Current discussions regarding the labeling of enzymes have resulted in pregelatinized flours becoming more and more popular.

In line with consumer trends, bakery producers seeking an alternative to wheat flour will be able to incorporate the firm’s pregelatinized rice flour R90 into recipes instead. It offers a good replacement solution for emulsifiers that are used for fresh-keeping and performs brilliantly in dry baked products such as flan cases, pound cakes and sponge cakes. The broad functionality of the rice flour includes dough and emulsion stabilization, fine crumb structure and texture control. 

Bakery specialists have also been struck by the sharp rise in egg prices in Europe and with this in mind, Kröner-Stärke has produced a multi-purpose egg replacer – REGG-EX – which is 100 percent clean label and based on specially selected quality flours and untreated spring water. It allows bakery specialists to avoid the full impact of the rise in egg prices by retaining the binding and relaxing functionality of eggs with up to a 100 percent replacement in actual egg content. It is particularly successful in pound cakes, muffins and milk rolls.

As the ready meal sector is also trying to make products healthier while keeping control of costs, the company has perfected both pregelatinized and hot swelling starches with broad ranging functionality that can be used to replace modified starches in applications such as mayonnaise, sauces, fillings, dairy products, soups and batters. 

Kröner-Stärke’s extensive starch range includes TOOGEL – a cold water swelling starch able to bind large amounts of liquid to act as a thickening agent and stabilizer of batters, doughs and emulsions as well as a clean label stabilizer in cream and bakery fillings. And STIKKER – a native, hot swelling starch that has been specially created as an ingredient for clean label batters or for coating meat, fish and vegetable products.

According to Maren Wiese, Product Development Manager at Kröner-Stärke: “All our ingredients come with full clean label credentials and we can offer the food industry healthy, cost-effective, functional alternatives to enzymes, emulsifiers, modified starches and stabilizers. At a time when many companies need to combine innovation with cost savings, we believe using specialist starches and flours offers a fantastic alternative. If we don’t have the exact product yet in our range, we will also work closely with our client to deliver a bespoke solution for them.”

Various suppliers have warned of the impact of the recent European drought on the starch sector this year, including potato starch suppliers Emsland and Avebe.

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