Tap into next-level texture: New ingredients for succulence, bite and crunch
25 May 2022 --- Texture can be a subtle yet pivotal attribute in any food product application. As with other ingredient categories, the trend for switching out artificial additives is prompting new advancements in texturizing ingredients that offer ample mouthfeel without impacting the clean label credentials of a finished product.
FoodIngredientsFirst speaks to key ingredient suppliers specializing in functional solutions targeting texture in the areas of plant-based meat alternatives, bakery and sports nutrition.
Innova Market Insights highlights that, regionally, Australasia and Latin America have seen a drop in penetration of products with added texture ingredients over the past few years, no doubt prompted by the ongoing shift away from additives as a whole.
The use of texture ingredients in European and North American NPD has remained relatively steady in recent years, with continued demand for processed foods driving the need for texturizers.
In Asia, where food and beverage development continues to become more sophisticated, use of texture ingredients has increased slightly in recent years.
Texture market analysis
According to Innova Market Insights, texture is the third most important taste factor for consumers when they are asked about their biggest taste influences.
The market researcher highlights that texture ingredients appeared in 34% of all products launched in 2021. More than 14% of new food and beverage products launched in 2021 carried a texture claim of some kind.
Notably, creamy and crispy are the most popular positionings when it comes to texture labeling. Combination textures are also becoming more common.
According to Innova data, over half of all consumers agree that they would like to see more technological collaborations to create indulgent textures, with agreement highest in younger age groups.
Starch is currently the most important texturizer in use and continues to show solid growth. Meanwhile, fermentation-derived and natural gums are growing more broadly in line with total NPD, but uptake of gelatin continues to slide.
Notably, suppliers are using processing technology in new ways to optimize the natural texturizing benefits of raw materials. In some instances, this is leading to more multifunctional ingredients that can contribute to nutrition as well as texture. In others, it is simply allowing much cleaner labels.
Yeast over phosphates
Looking at multifunctional ingredients, Lallemand Bio-Ingredients focuses on natural yeast products from Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Torula yeast, including whole cell inactive yeast, yeast extracts and yeast derivatives.
“When we looked at new solutions for texture improvement in food, we identified some challenges for the meat producers as food grade phosphates (E450, E452) are used to improve sensory properties – texture, tenderness and juiciness, in addition to color and taste – in processed meat products,” shares Dr. Davide Sardella, applied research specialist at Lallemand.
“Additionally, phosphates also have other functions in meat products. For instance, they enhance the water holding capacity in order to lead to higher yields and they stabilize the pH (buffer properties).”
Through its research, Lallemand has discovered that all these functionalities provided by phosphates in meat can be likewise achieved by the combination of selected inactive yeasts and specific process suggestions that allow the stabilization of water holding capacity and the improvement of firmness, color and flavor.
“Whole cell inactive yeast has indeed emulsifying, flavor enhancing, water and oil binding properties due to the outer shell of the yeast cell, namely the ‘cell wall’, being rich in polysaccharides, glucans and mannans,” explains Dr. Sardella.
These components of the yeast are the unique details that are responsible for texture and mouthfeel enhancement when inactive yeast is included in meat preparations, he notes.
“We can therefore proudly say that inactive yeast can be successfully used as a phosphate substitute in several products, such as emulsified sausages, spreads and deli hams.”
Oil-reducing solution for smooth bakery
Corbion has unveiled a new enzyme-based solution that helps reduce added oil.
“This new solution allows a baked good with significantly reduced oil to have the same soft texture, fine crumb structure and smooth eating qualities as a baked good with the full amount of oil,” remarks Yanling Yin, director of bakery applications, Corbion.
The company spent one year developing this solution. “There were many product attributes that we needed to match in order to reduce oil in a baked good,” notes Yin.
“For example, in bread applications, loaf volume, cell size and sensory acceptance are three of the main quality measurements that we needed to be able to match.”
“Consumers are seeking better-for-you products with reduced fat and less calories, but they aren’t willing to sacrifice texture. If a product doesn’t seem fresh, it will likely be perceived as lower quality,” she concludes.
Enhancing mouthfeel in sports nutrition
Ingredients specialist Loryma has expanded its range of functional extrudates that optimize the nutritional values and mouthfeel of sports nutrition, snack and convenience applications.
“Extruded cereal and protein products are extremely popular because they combine enjoyment with optimized nutritional values. Thanks to our production capabilities, we can also implement individual wishes in design, so there are hardly any limits to creative product development,” says Henrik Hetzer, managing director, Loryma.
Attributes such as high-protein, low-fat, high-fiber and sugar- and salt-free and organic certification can be added to products developed using the Loryma extruded range, based on the raw material used.
For example, the protein-rich Lory IsoCrisp made from whey and milk protein is suited for on-trend applications aimed at health-conscious consumers. The product brings extra bite to fitness bars and granola, among others.
The cereal crispies, Lory Crisp, protein crispies, Lory IsoCrisp and breadcrumbs Lory Crumb are available in different shapes, colors and sizes and are derived from wheat and other raw materials.
The new product range complements the Lory Tex texture selection, which serves as the basis for meat alternatives.
The cereal crispies add a crunchy effect to breakfast cereals, muesli and chocolate bars, and sweets and baked goods. In addition to wheat, corn, rice and quinoa are also suitable as a base for the crispy extrudates.
Breadings with products from the Lory Crumb range are extra crispy and protect substrates such as meat, meat alternatives, cheese or potato products during frying or deep-frying. The various blends differ in coloring, nutritional value and shape.
Loryma offers extruded breadcrumbs based on maize, rice and potatoes for different processing and end products.
By Benjamin Ferrer
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