A High-Performing Rice Starch (Without the Chemicals)

Tuesday, September 1st, 2020

Through BENEO’s new technology, rice starch can now achieve performance levels competing with those of chemically modified starches.

Food is an undeniable passion for Singaporeans. Commonly known as “Food Paradise”, Singaporeans usually opt for convenience and taste over health[1], which causes them to eat more than average. Of course, this is not surprising as Singaporeans today lead hectic lifestyles[2], juggling both work and family duties. Many thus tend to eat out or opt for fast food[3], which are typically higher in calories than home cooked meals.

Time-starved consumers are also increasingly tucking into convenience foods, such as cup noodles and frozen meals to satisfy hunger pangs or cravings. Easily available and quick to prepare, these comfort foods are useful for consumers when they are in a hurry.

It may be a source of comfort to learn that more than 60% of consumers prefer products with “no artificial ingredients”, “no preservatives” and “contains only natural ingredients”[4]. However, convenience food products have a reputation for containing modified or artificial ingredients, which consumers don’t recognise, or don’t associate with “wholesome” or “healthy”. In fact, this heightened consciousness among consumers over their diets have driven the food and ingredient industry to reformulate and develop new, natural solutions — clean label products[5], which are minimally processed and free from artificial ingredients that consumers now want to avoid. Not only do consumers believe that these products are healthier[6], they are even willing to pay extra[7] for them.

However, the move towards all-natural ingredients can sometimes change the taste and texture of products that consumers are already familiar with. The challenge for food manufacturers therefore lies in developing options that appeal to both the palate and psyche of today’s consumers.

One way to achieve this is to incorporate innovative ingredients such as BENEO’s native, clean-label rice starch, Remypure.

 

The Magic Of Rice Starch

BENEO Rice Starch RemypureRice starch is one of the many types of food starches that are generally used as thickeners in food products to create pleasant textures, increase shelf-life and improve product stability. The challenge, however, is to maintain the optimal functionality under varying processing conditions, ranging from gentle pasteurization to more severe retorting, in both neutral and acidic food matrices.

Through BENEO’s new technology, the functional properties of native rice starch are enhanced. Thanks to this process, the rice starch can now achieve performance levels competing with those of chemically modified starches. The product of this is Remypure, the first high-performing rice starch that qualifies for both natural and clean label status worldwide, without the use of any chemicals.

Due to its unique molecular structure, Remypure provides excellent freeze-thaw stability and increased viscosity build-up without causing syneresis, further increasing shelf life of the product. The improved stability of Remypure is based on an innovative, natural production process using heat in a low-moisture environment.

In addition, Remypure can also perform under a wide range of production conditions including challenging situations such as those that require high performance under shear, acidity and heat. The challenge has also been to maintain optimal functionality under conditions such as gentle pasteurisation, to more severe retorting in both neutral and acidic food matrices. These challenges can be addressed with the use of Remypure as it has better tolerance towards acidity and heat than other clean label starches. This provides food manufacturers with an opportunity to create unique textures and excellent product stability even under harsh processing conditions. Most importantly, it has a neutral taste, and would not modify the taste of the product. It can be used in convenience foods like soups, sauces, and ready-to-eat meals, and is available in a range of variants, providing for creamy or soft textures — thus meeting consumers’ demands of a healthier product that doesn’t compromise taste nor texture.

 

Healthier Food Is The Way To Go

Natural has become almost synonymous with a healthy diet. With the clean label market set to grow even further, clean and natural claims are becoming increasingly essential in the creation of food products that cater to the current consumer trends. Additionally, BENEO’s research also shows that 47% of Asia Pacific consumers seek out food and drink products that contain recognisable ingredients. Since rice is an ingredient that is familiar and from nature, 61% of global consumers regard rice starch as natural[8].

As consumers continue to aspire toward better health and more clean eating, food products that will appeal to them are those that balance natural qualities, while still being convenient and tasty. By incorporating Remypure, manufacturers can create natural, stable food products, while keeping up with the needs of the present consumer.

 

[1] Healthy Hawker Eats

[2] Singapore ranks 32 out of 40 for work-life balance, second most overworked city

[3] The Big Read: Through thick and thin (waistlines) — Singaporeans’ enduring love affair with fast food

[4] How the Clean-Label Megatrend Is Changing the Food Ingredients Landscape

[5] Ingredients getting a boost from clean label trend, report says

[6] 70% of consumers say ‘natural’ food is healthier, but there’s no science behind the marketing hype

[7] Consumers Willing to Pay More for ‘Clean’ Foods & Beverages

[8] FMCG Gurus | Mintel Insights

 

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