Cerestar launches cold-water starch

Related tags Pharma specialties europe Raw material prices Cereal Maize Cerestar food & pharma specialties europe

French starch supplier Cerestar, a subsidiary of US agri-giant
Cargill, will tackle the stagnant European bakery market rolling
out a new generation of cold water swelling starches targeted at
bakery products with fruit, cream or jam fillings. Against the
backdrop of rising raw material prices, the firms said the new
range can reduce costs for food manufacturers through lower doses.

Cerestar Food & Pharma Specialties Europe claimed this week that the C*HiForm range can deliver 'significant production benefits' - including production efficiency and product stability - and dosage levels can be reduced as a result of the much higher viscosity development of C*HiForm.

"Extensive trials at our application centre in Vilvoorde show that C*HiForm starches can be applied to hot or cold prepared bakery fillings, creating end-products with an exceptionally smooth texture,"​ said Johan Peremans, application specialist, Cerestar Food & Pharma Specialties Europe​.

Common starches used in the food industry are extracted either from cereals - maize or corn, wheat and rice - or roots and tubers, tapioca and potato. Starch is the primary source of stored energy in cereal grains. Although the amount of starch contained in grains varies, it is generally between 60 and 75 per cent of the weight of the grain and provides 70-80 per cent of the calories consumed by humans.

'In cold prepared fruit fillings, C*HiForm delivers mouth feel and body to traditional pre-gelatinised starches, while bakery creams made with C*HiForm are faster setting, and more rigid in their final form. The addition of C*HiForm starches makes all bakery jams baking stable,'​ added the French firm in a statement.

Savings are potentially possible for bakery makers with the firm confirming that the pregelatinised starches give viscosity on hydration with cold water, cutting costs associated with heating the starches themselves. With no cooling times and no evaporation, manufacturing time is reduced.

'C*HiForm is process tolerant, acid-resistant and offers freeze-thaw stability similar to that of traditional heated starches,'​ said Cerestar.

In April this year Cerestar's mother firm Cargill saw smart risk management helped the group business achieve a 7 per cent rise in profit for the three months to February this year despite tougher trading conditions that saw raw material prices rising, a knock in demand for soy through Asian bird flu and soaring prices for freight.

The privately-held agri business that acquired UK flavour company Duckworth earlier this year said that profit for the third quarter rose to $259 million up from $243 million for the same period in 2003.

Commodity trading combined with bolstered profits in its food ingredient units in Europe and Latin America offset weaker demand for soy feed and poultry from Asian customers that were hit by the recent outbreak of bird flu.

"Our team did a terrific job managing the changing supply-and-demand equation in the commodity markets, particularly the increased volatility and tighter supplies that accompanied the demand-led rise in raw material costs,"​ Warren Staley, chairman and chief executive officer, said at the time.

But the higher prices - soy at a 15 year high - and tight supply for commodities - wheat supplies at 30 year lows - together with the avian influenza in Asia and the single case of mad cow disease in the US still knocked the bottom line.

Expanding into the European ingredients sector in the first few months of 2004, Cargill also acquired OCG Cacao, a supplier of industrial chocolate to the European food industry.

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