New applications of gelling starches

Avebe is the market leader of potato based ingredients which products have been used in the global market such as food, paper, building, textile, oil drilling, adhesive, water purification for more than 100 years.

Starch is a polysaccharide which can be found in tubers (e.g. potato), roots (e.g. cassava, arrowroot, sweet potato), cereals (e.g. corn, wheat, rice, sorghum), legume seeds (e.g. peas, beans, lentils), trunks (e.g. sago palm), leaves (e.g. tobacco) and fruits (e.g. green bananas, green tomatoes). Avebe has developed deep knowledge and understanding about starch and its derivatives, obtained by chemical, physical and enzymatic modification and the combination of these treatments. Avebe applies advanced technologies to produce such modified starches.

Gelling is one of the important of several functionalities that starch can have. Gelation of starch is being applied in confectioneries, desserts, dairy products (such as set yoghurt and cheese), cold cut processed meat etc and is used for fat replacement. In the last decades Avebe developed a series of thermo-reversible starch gelling agents made from regular or waxy starch (amylopectin content is higher than 95%) by chemical, physical and enzymatic modification, and the combination of 2~3 treatments. EP0932444B1 from Avebe discloses a thermo-reversible starch obtainable by treating starch with an enzyme of the group of glucosyl-tranferases (EC In WO0178526A1 from Avebe a thermoreversible starch gelling agent is being prepared by degradation of a waxy root or tuber starch. WO2012080150A1 from Avebe discloses that thermo-reversible spreadable gels can be prepared by combining amylomaltase treated starch and a waxy starch.

Recently, new applications were developed, made possible due to the unique thermo-reversible properties of the starch gels. The thermo-reversible starch gelling agents can be used as a single starch product, or in mixture of 2 or several starches at different ratio, or even in a mixture with regular starches or other starch derivatives, such as native and/or modified non waxy starches isolated from tubers, roots, cereals, legume seeds, trunks etc. Such starch gel is being prepared by mixing the thermo-reversible starch gelling agent with optional other starches, dispersing the starches in water, heating the aqueous mixture to dissolve the starches and allowing the starch solution to cool down to form a gel. The gel can be cut into desired size and applied in whole meat products, partial replacement of meat products with plant or sea weed ingredients and/or plant based meat and fish products such as a vegan patty, vegan burgers, vegan sausages, vegan nuggets, vegan minced meat, thereby enabling to provide a similar and even better and healthier or fat reduction visual fat appearance, tender and juicy texture, and flavor enhancement. The starch gel can also be prepared together with different kinds of taste, color, seasonings/flavors and nutritional supplements etc. in order to be applied as filling for stuffed products such as dumplings, pie, cordon bleu, stuffed pasta, stuffed meat/meat free and fish/fish free products (such as stuffed meat ball and surimi). The starch gel provides a juicy texture/mouthfeel and enhancement of taste, color, flavor and nutrition. The gelling starches can also be directly mixed with other ingredients to make a plant based alternative for animal meat and fish products thereby mimicking the fat structure and texture. The plant based fat (starch gel) is preferably prepared by the mixture of 2 or more starches which can meet the desired melting behavior, structure and texture requirement based on applications and consumers’ preference. Several gelling starch products of Avebe (such as Eliane Gel 100, Etenia 505 and Etenia 457) have been successfully promoted to the market and applied in different food products. Below are 2 examples of the plant based fat recipe.

Perfectamyl VF (blend of Eliane VE540 (Crosslinked-Hydroxypropylated waxy potato starch/Perfectamyl Gel NF (oxidised starch)/Etenia 505 (enzymatically debranched waxy potato starch)25%
Eliane MC160 (OSA modified waxy potato starch)2%
Vegetable oil (e.g. sunflower oil)25%

Example 1. Low fat recipe of the plant-based fat

Process recommendation: Mix the starches with oil first for 1 min and then gradually add water whilst mixing at high speed and heating till 85 °C (keep at this temperature for 1 more min). Transfer the cooked paste into a container and cool down. Store at chilled condition overnight. The gel is ready for use.

Eliane gel 100 (acid degraded waxy potato starch)35%
Etenia 505 (enzymatically debranched waxy potato starch)5%

Example 2. Fat free plant-based fat

Process recommendation: mix the starches and water at medium speed whilst keep heating the slurry till 90 °C and keep at this temperature for 1 min. Transfer the cooked starch paste into a container and cool down to room temperature. Store at chilled condition for 24 h. The gel is ready for use.

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