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Understanding starch swelling behavior and how it impacts functional and sensory properties of food systems
L. HOWARTH (1), J. Smythe (1), R. Wicklund (1), J. Whaley (1) (1) Tate & Lyle, Hoffman Estates, IL, U.S.A..

Starches are well-known thickening agents, and the complexities of such soft particle suspensions must be carefully considered during product development. Even in simple systems, textural properties can vary in surprising ways as the swelling of the starch and concentration-in-use change. Small changes in processing conditions or recipes cause big changes in the thickening performance. A viscosity-swelling volume map has been created that can be overlaid with target zones for different food applications, a cohesiveness curve, shear-thinning regimes and elasticity curves. Such textural state diagrams allow the formulator to predict textural characteristics for starches based on information about their swelling behavior, concentration-in-use and processing. This portion of the session will look at the current understanding and methods of measurement associated with starch swelling and thickening properties. In addition, the use of these texture state diagrams in order to allow products to be proactively and intelligently formulated by relating the function of an ingredient to a specific application will be described. When properly applied, starches can influence specific variations in adhesion, elasticity, stickiness, gumminess, firmness, water retention and a number of other critically important yet commonly discounted sensory properties.  This presentation covers the current understanding of how the chemical and physical structure of starches relates to the macro textural properties of foods.