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Stabilizing and Controlling Moisture in Food Products

Soggy piecrust. Cracked and shrinking cakes. Rock hard snack bars. Watery Alfredo sauce. These were not the products that left the bench top or loading dock, but they lacked the proper stabilization and moisture control during shelf life. Too much, or too little, moisture causes a range of textural issues from drying and hardness to a sticky product. Moisture migration causes textural degradation in frozen, refrigerated or shelf-stable products.

Moisture control becomes even more important in reduced-fat and reduced-sugar products. Ingredients used to replace the fat or sugar disrupt the “structure” of the system and tend to hold moisture more than sugar and fat. A good stabilization system is important in a reduced-fat or reduced-sugar formulation.

Stabilizers used in gluten-free product formulations provide structure and also bind water. The proper choice of products is critical to provide the appropriate texture, mouthfeel and shelf life in a gluten-free product.

In high fiber foods, extra water may be added to help hydrate the fiber. The appropriate product is needed to control and hold the water in high-fiber food to ensure optimal texture and shelf life.

Grain Processing Corporation (GPC) has a number of starches that provide moisture control in sauces and gravies, baked goods and fillings, as well as a variety of other food applications. Compared to typical cook-up starches, PURE-GEL® modified food starches hydrate easily and have low hot-viscosity, resulting in shorter processing times and improved particulate integrity in soups, sauces and fruit toppings. PURE-GEL® starches provide excellent sheen, flavor and stable viscosity in extended heat, acid and shear conditions. They provide moisture control in room temperature, refrigerator and freezer storage conditions. PURE-GEL® starches along with MALTRIN® maltodextrins and corn syrup solids can provide stability in reduced-fat and reduced-sugar formulations.

INSCOSITY® modified food starches are pregelatinized starches which hold and prevent moisture migration in sauces, salad dressings, toppings, fillings and baked goods. In sweet baked goods, INSCOSITY® starches provide excellent moisture control in both room-temperature and freezer-storage conditions. In an extended storage study, INSCOSITY® B656 improved moisture retention, textural properties, and had the least shrinkage in cakes after one year in the freezer as compared to other competitive, modified pregelatinized starches. Furthermore, INSCOSITY® B656 helps reduce stickiness and cracking in cakes held in long-term freezer storage. In gluten-free bakery applications, INSCOSITY ® B656 increases batter viscosity, moisture retention and improved textural properties. For whole-grain and high-fiber bakery products, INSCOSITY® starches help hold extra water added for fiber and control the moisture migration throughout shelf life.

GPC is committed to finding effective solutions for your stabilization challenges. Please contact Technical Service if you have questions or would like to request specific formulations.

PURE‑GEL®, INSCOSITY® and MALTRIN® are registered trademarks of Grain Processing Corporation.

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