Ingredients specialist KRÖNER-STÄRKE has created a cream-like filling for bakery and confectionery products which boasts a long shelf life but doesn’t contain any artificial ingredients.
An increasingly broad range of products are now carrying the term clean label, including those traditionally thought of as indulgent treats. However, there is also an expectation from consumers that comfort foods such as cookies and cakes will still have the same qualities they’ve come to know and love in terms of flavours, appearance and shelf-life, but all without additives and artificial preservatives.
Achieving this can be particularly challenging when it comes to bakery produce, as the unbaked parts of a product such as cream-like fillings for cookies and pastries cannot benefit from the effects of the baking process in limiting bacteria, and so normally rely on artificial food additives to extend shelf life.
KRÖNER-STÄRKE’s solution to this is a product based on a hot-swelling wheat starch, which is produced under an extremely stringent hygienic process. Enhanced microbiological cleaning is carried out beforehand to create an aseptic environment. Then following production, the finished starch is subjected to an extended microbiological analysis covering a broad spectrum of potential contaminants, to ensure that the bacteria count is as close to zero as is technically possible.
Following this process, the starch is stored in specially adapted conditions to prevent cross-contamination or any influences from external conditions impacting upon the quality of the product. Once purchased by food manufacturers, providing it is stored in cool and dry conditions, and kept in its original packaging, this ingredient has a shelf life of at least 24 months, and provides excellent fresh-keeping qualities when used as the basis for unbaked fillings in finished bakery products.
The product is currently being used as a clean label cookie filling, and being a dried ingredient, viscosity can easily be adjusted to achieve the required texture for a range of finished products. Potential applications include numerous ‘wet’ uses such as fillings, toppings, sauces and dressings, or alternatively, it can be used as a component in dry baked goods and baking mixes. As the wheat starch has very high water binding capacity, it provides the potential to increase yields and present a cost-effective alternative to expensive raw materials. The hot-swelling starch also has comparable technological properties to standard native starches, so it can easily be used to replace these in formulations for finished products as a clean label or organic alternative.
The fact that this filling material can produce a cream-like substance without the use of dairy ingredients also means that it can be used in products aimed at consumers embracing the increasingly popular vegan lifestyle, countering concerns about the sometimes highly processed and artificial nature of many vegan alternatives available on the market today.
Commercial Manager Henrik de Vries commented: “We’re excited about the possibilities this new product holds for food manufacturers. It’s really very versatile, and because it can be used for organic, clean label and vegan applications, consumers can still ‘have their cake and eat it’ without having to worry about artificial ingredients.”
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