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Structural solutions.

A new starch replaces gelatin in yogurts.

Earlier in this century, mediterranean and Middle Eastern women made fresh yogurt daily. Today, most consumers buy processed yogurt, which keeps for weeks. But for those Jews, Muslims and vegetarians who follow strict dietary rules, prepared yogurt may be off-limits because it contains gelatin.

Now, thanks to National Starch and Chemical Co.'s new one-piece stabilizer, STRUCT-SURE, cultured dairy product manufacturers can stabilize yogurt without the use of gelatin. The new starch, a corn-based product, conforms to the strict label requirements of vegetarian, halal and kosher status.

It was developed for various yogurts such as regular, low-fat, no-fat and light products, both stirred and cupset. In some formulations where syneresis occurs, STRUCT-SURE starch will reduce serum separation. Although STRUCT-SURE allows for a yogurt with a firm set, upon stirring, it will turn smooth and creamy with good body and viscosity.

STRUCT-SURE allows a simpler label, naming only modified food starch or modified corn starch rather than gelatin and modified food starch. It is a cost-saving product; its price and strength do not fluctuate the way gelatin does, and its supply is virtually unlimited. Also, fewer expensive milk solids are required when using the product.

According to Sally Brain, strategic business unit manager for dairy foods at National Starch, STRUCT-SURE is a good match for gelatin, providing similar elasticity and firmness. It also has good chill stability and syneresis control; whey, water and protein do not separate at lower temperatures.

The product provides a smooth, creamy stirdown, without chunks or curds. "It has the smooth, pudding-like consistency that American consumers are looking for," says Brain. She adds that because of the product's elasticity and firmness, yogurt made with it has a clean divot, or curtability.

STRUCT-SURE-added yogurt has textural stability; it does not increase in strength or get overly firm with time. Dairy operators simply add the product to the milk before processing, with no special handling needed. National Starch can individually tailor STRUCT-SURE starch formulations to meet specific customer requirements.

STRUCT-SURE required three-and-a-half years of research by National Starch, which matched its use with commercial, gelatin-containing yogurt products using sensory, rheology and its microthermics pilot plant.

Because STRUCT-SURE is not a protein-like gelatin, it does not replace gelatin across the board. It is not recommended for confectionery products such as marshmallows where whippability or air incorporation is necessary. Heat is required to activate the product, so it does not apply to instant products. It is not transparent, and therefore not recommended for clear gelatin desserts.

STRUCT-SURE does, however, work with all types of dairy processes including UHT, HTST and batch processing. It is compatible with most dairy equipment such as plate heat exchangers, scraped surface heat exchangers and tubular heat exchangers. It can be used at a variety of homogenization pressures.

The company recommends that initial evaluation of STRUCT-SURE be done on a pilot plant scale because bench evaluations are not representative. It should be added to the milk stream with other dry ingredients with high shear just prior to processing, using thorough agitation with a Breddo liquifier or Triblender.

The product also can replace other gums and hydro-colloids. Sour cream, cream cheese, cottage cheese and puddings are potential application areas. National applied for a patent for STRUCT-SURE in May.
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Title Annotation:gelatin replacement in yogurts
Author:Parlin, Sandy
Publication:Food Processing
Date:Aug 1, 1998
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