Modified Starch Solidifying its Place in Processed Food Products

Aug 21,2019

In the rapidly changing face of food processing industry, cosmetics, and various consumer goods, modified starch has emerged as a super additive for a span of products. Processed food is garnering significant traction from all ages of consumers, owing to the growing consumption of bakery, meat, and dairy products, which in turn has created lucrative revenue pockets for the modified starch manufacturers. Consumers’ driven demands for food products that are healthier and have a long shelf life have widened modified starches application base. Moreover, food processing industries are binging on modified starch for its three key functions that include agent of gelling, stabilizing and thickening.

Why Modified Starch is Garnering Limelight?

  • Modified starch is witnessing increased traction as a viable substitute to native starch owing to the former’s enhanced viscosity, stability, texture, among several other desired functional properties. Extensive functionality offered by modified starch has enabled it to reach deep into the blooming food processing industry, cosmetic, bakery, and personal care products.
  • Food manufacturers are increasingly adopting modified starch as a fat replacer, thickener, and emulsifier in a wide range of food and beverage products, primarily to boost the mass and viscosity of the goods.
  • Modified starch’s promising application as a fat replacer in various low-fat food products is highly likely to turn more lucrative for the manufacturers, as an increased number of health-conscious consumers are spending on diet products. 
  • Modified starches that are derived from natural resources are witnessing considerable adoption as a multifunctional additive in cosmetics and personal care products, in line with the high demand for natural ingredients in these goods.
  • Flavor encapsulation has been garnering notable attention over the years due to shifting consumer preference for high quality food products, with no compromise in terms of taste and flavor. This has led to an increased adoption of modified starches, such as octenylsuccinylated derivatives and other starch hydrolyzates, to encapsulate or, preserve the flavor of various food products.
  • Canned food has taken an integral place in the consumption patterns of the generation X, to be specific, which is always on the go. This has propelled the adoption of starches, particularly highly cross-linked starch to stabilize, thicken and improve the mouth feel of canned foods, including soups, puddings, gravies, sauces and pie- fillings.

What the Future Holds for Modified Starch?

In pursuit of the extensive potential use of starch for an array of applications, manufacturers are highly likely to modify native starch to fulfill industry-specific needs by leveraging chemical or physical treatment. Most of the modified starches in the forthcoming years are expected to be produced from unexplored sources. This falls in the line with a greater understanding of the manufacturers about the fact that the underutilized starch must be transformed into a more useful product for future use. As the technology continues to advance every passing day, the on-going research and study in the field of dual and multi-modified starches to enhance starch functionality is anticipated to push the role versatility of modified starch in the thriving food sector, in particular. It is pertinent to note that functional native starches are more in need than ever as food formulators’ quest for clean-label ingredient substitutes is growing to meet expanding consumer demands. Though the biggest challenge for a native starch is to stay stable in high-heat, acidic, and high-shear conditions, many suppliers are claiming that their next-generation starches can match the performance of modified starches on all these fronts. If this turns to be true, modified starch could have to take a backseat in the years to come.