Sugar Rings for Baking
No egg, no milk, no meat. More and more people are voluntarily abstaining from animal products. Others are forced to ban some foodstuffs from their diets due to health issues such as intolerances and allergies. “Free from” products are gaining popularity. According to a recent survey, 24 percent of consumers said they had purchased this type of food in the past three months. Among 16-to-24-year-olds, the figure was as high as 40 percent. The food industry has responded by looking for new ingredients that preserve old tried-and-tested recipes, and familiar tastes and consistencies, while serving new trends: vegetarian, vegan and allergen free.
Cyclodextrins for the Perfect Cake
Addressing this discrepancy calls for high-performance alternatives – such as WACKER’s cyclodextrins. These molecules are degradation products of natural starch. They are manufactured in the USA under the brand name CAVAMAX® W6 – in Eddyville, Iowa – the world’s largest corn-producing region. Here high-tech enzymes convert the corn starch into cyclodextrins, which consist of glucose molecules bonded together into rings. Depending on the number of molecules, i. e. the ring size, a distinction is drawn between alpha-, beta- and gamma-cyclodextrins. While beta-cyclodextrins are used in room sprays to neutralize unpleasant odors, for example, alpha- and gamma-cyclodextrins are used mainly in food.
Partner to the Food Industry
Food has to taste good. Consumers can all agree on that. Yet what they choose to put in their shopping baskets varies greatly, driven by many different factors such as look, texture or price. Demand is constantly changing – strongly influenced by social development.
Health, convenience and sustainability are food-market trends. As a food-sector partner, WACKER supplies ingredients for dietary supplements and food incorporation into a wide range of products including beverages, chewing gum, dairy products and baked goods. “We offer innovative solutions that respond to the food and nutrition industry’s current challenges,” says Dr. Allison Haitz, who heads the Food business unit at WACKER BIOSOLUTIONS.
Cyclodextrins, for example, ensure perfect egg-free cakes and nature-identical plant antioxidants as dietary supplements can help to strengthen the immune system and reduce cholesterol.
A 2013 EU test certificate confirmed that alpha-cyclodextrin has a blood-sugar-lowering effect.
The outer ring of the donut-like molecule is hydrophilic, which means water-loving; yet the interior cavity is lipophilic, or fat-loving. That’s why cyclodextrins have excellent emulsifying properties. They envelop fatty acid residues, thereby combining what would otherwise be immiscible: fats and aqueous solutions. In grandmother’s kitchen, this was the task of eggs and lecithin, the emulsifier contained in egg yolk. It ensures even distribution of fats in cake dough and at the same time, has a stabilizing and frothing effect. In vegan cakes, alpha-cyclodextrins perform this task since they have a similar effect in combination with the fats and proteins of the other ingredients. The result is a stable dough that’s just as good as the egg-based alternative, and finally, a cake with uniform pores.
WACKER cyclodextrins offer a convenient solution to those who want to bake without egg: the powder dissolves well in water and is easy to use. And there’s yet another advantage, particularly for large-scale bakeries: the cyclodextrins do not influence baking operations and the viscosity of the dough. This means that fine baked goods such as cakes can be produced in existing factories without the texture or taste of the product changing.
Dr. Allison Haitz is head of the food business at WACKER BIOSOLUTIONS.
Sweet confections such as cupcakes are made heat-resistant thanks to WACKER’s alpha-dextrins.
Avoiding Trans Fats, Lowering Blood Sugar
Sweet creations such as muffins, cupcakes and the like often have cocoa glazes or soft, melt-in-the-mouth fillings. Such delicacies often contain solid fats consisting of saturated fats and partially unhealthy trans fats. Here too, WACKER has an alternative: by using alpha-cyclodextrins, solid fats can be replaced with natural vegetable oils. They ensure the necessary stability and serve as whipping aids at the same time. And that’s not all: the sugar rings render cream garnishes more heat-resistant, making them suitable for pastries in tropical countries where temperatures often exceed 30 degrees Celsius.
Their emulsifying properties make cyclodextrins multi-talents in kitchens and bakeries.
But cyclodextrins do more than just serve the vegan trend and provide a practical ingredient for food manufacturing. They also offer a health benefit: owing to the fact that blood sugar levels do not increase as much after eating a meal containing cornstarch if alpha-cyclodextrins are present, the EU Commission certified them as having a health-promoting effect in 2013. Since then, foodstuffs containing at least five grams of alpha-cyclodextrin per 50 grams of starch in a quantified portion as part of a meal may now carry a label stating the blood-sugar-lowering effect.
Experts at WACKER BIOSOLUTIONS want to use cyclodextrins’ beneficial properties to find further application areas for the “sugar genius” as an ingredient in foodstuffs.
Cyclodextrins ensure high bioavailability of curcumin.
Hydroxytyrosol used to be obtained from olives.
Turmeric contains the natural antioxidant curcumin.