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Next Frontier in Food: Exploring the Benefits of Modified Starch

   May 14, 2024

Modified starches impart desired qualities in finished products. They are processed from native starch sourced from various plant-based materials such as corn, cassava, potato, wheat, and others. The three primary production methods for modifying starch are physical, enzymatic, and chemical modifications. Modified starches enhance stability, texture, viscosity, and shelf life and impart desired qualities in finished products. As a result, they find extensive usage across various industries, including food & beverage, pharmaceuticals, animal nutrition, and cosmetics. The market comprises a wide range of modified starches, such as acetylated, cross-linked, and hydrolyzed starches, which cater to the diverse needs of modern food processing and manufacturing sectors.

Acetylated distarch adipate has various functions due to which it is widely used in various industries. It has a remarkable thickening ability due to its viscosity. As a thickening agent, it is very transparent, and when added to various products, it gives them a shiny appearance, making them more attractive to customers. Due to its various properties and functions, acetylated distarch adipate is mainly used in the food industry. It is typically used in foods as a bulking agent, stabilizer, and thickener. It is mostly used in sauces (chili, soy, and tomato), ketchup, jams, jellies, desserts, fruit fillings, canned meats, pudding powders, drinking yogurt, whipped cream, sausages, meatballs, and fish balls. It is also used in the production of cosmetics or glues, biodegradable plastics, and microcapsules. Additionally, it is utilized in various non-food applications such as wire and cable, automotive interior materials, synthetic leather, tarpaulin, coil coatings, and clear films for food packaging.

Clean-label functional starches are gaining traction due to several factors: the expanding vegan demographic, rising demand for natural, sustainably sourced ingredients, increasing applications in the food & beverage sector, growing interest in functional foods, rising utilization in cosmetics, and heightened consumer awareness about fitness. Functional clean-label starches made of corn, tapioca, rice, and potato starch are well-established and trusted ingredients. They find wide-ranging applications in various food products, spanning frozen meals, refrigerated dressings, shelf-stable bakery fillings, and challenging formulations like dairy desserts and salad dressings. These starches contribute to achieving the desired texture, stability, and process tolerance in the end products.

Functional Properties & Widening Food Applications of Modified Starch Contributing to Their Increased Utilization

Modified starch is derived from native starch through physical, enzymatic, or chemical processes to expand its applications in the food & beverage industry. It is a versatile ingredient used in food applications due to its functional properties, such as thickening, gelling, stabilizing, solubility, stability, and emulsification. Modified starch can be used as a thickener in various food applications, including sauces, soups, and gravies.

The ease of incorporation depends on the application and the type of modified starch being used. Modified starch improves the stability of food products by preventing them from separating, settling, or breaking down. It is particularly useful in acidic or high-temperature environments where native starch can be less stable. Modified starch can improve the texture of food products by enhancing their chewiness, creaminess, or crispiness. It is commonly used in processed foods such as snacks, confectionery, and meat products. Modified starch can clarify liquids by removing suspended particles and impurities. It is also used in fruit juices, vegetable oils, and alcoholic beverages.

Incorporating modified starches into food formulations is relatively easy as they are typically added during mixing. They can be dispersed in cold water and added to the food formulation while mixing. The ease of using modified starches varies depending on the final application. On the other hand, modified starches can be easily mixed with other ingredients to achieve the desired result in the final product. Their ease of incorporation makes them a valuable ingredient for food manufacturers, driving their utilization in the F&B industry.

In the processed food products industry, modified starches are used in a broad range of product areas, such as batters and breading, dairy & dessert products, soups & sauces, dressings, and confectionery. Modified starches are added to these products during processing to provide a variety of benefits, such as longer shelf life, improved texture, appearance, and taste, low viscosity & high stability, improved freeze-thaw stability, improved binding properties, and resistance to granulation & gelatinization. These properties of modified starch enable manufacturers to create healthier food products without sacrificing quality.

Thus, the functional properties & widening food applications drive the growth of the modified starch market.

Meticulous Research®, in its latest publication on the Modified Starch Market, states that the Modified Starch Market is expected to reach $17.98 billion by 2031 at a CAGR of 4.1% during the forecast period of 2024 to 2031. In terms of volume, this market is projected to reach 28,655,308 tons by 2031, at a CAGR of 2.9% during the forecast period of 2024–2031.

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