British clean label specialist Ulrick & Short is “shooting” into the new year on the back of a new, highly versatile fiber extracted from bamboo shoots—which, like all the company’s ingredients, is clean label and non-GM.
Fibers provide a natural alternative to phosphates and, especially when used in conjunction with clean label starches, can improve the succulence of meats and mouthfeel of sauces, extend shelf-life of baked goods and, ultimately, increase manufacturers’ profit margins.
Bamboo fibers are easier to handle and less fragile than many alternative ingredients. They are also extremely versatile: capable of providing a softer dough product or a more robust baked snack depending on the formulation and production process. Fibers are also used to create drier and crispier coatings on nuggets and coated potato products.
Jon Arzberger, fibers specialist at Ulrick & Short, explained: “Manufacturers focused on reducing or even avoiding allergens face a challenge when it comes to new product development. This is where a bamboo based fiber comes in. It’s extracted from the plant’s shoots rather than the cane, so it’s a very unusual solution, but invaluable to food processing facilities that don’t use wheat products. It’s especially useful for the gluten-free market which is growing at a consistent rate thanks to both lifestyle and medical demand.”
One of the other primary uses of fibers is to fortify or reinforce a formulation—particularly applicable to the bakery sector and for processed carbohydrates such as pasta. Bamboo fibers can also facilitate increased yields compared to wheat-based ingredients, as the product can bind more water or oil than wheat, thus enabling more liquid to be added to a formulation. It’s also a better stabiliser as, weight for weight, more oil can be bound thus helping to minimise separation issues. Finally, fibers can also help to increase freeze storage capability as they help to limit the formation of large ice crystals in a product.
Ulrick & Short is the leading British-owned starch specialist, supplying household name food manufacturers across the world with naturally gluten-free non-GM ingredients, and innovating across a diverse range of food industry sectors including bakery, meat, dairy, soups and sauces. The company’s team of dedicated sector specialists and food technologists is based in Yorkshire and works hand in hand with customers to maximise value from product development.
Ulrick & Short director Adrian Short concluded: “Our team of specialists is constantly innovating, looking at new applications for existing ingredients as well as introducing completely new products like our bamboo fibers. All our clean label, non-GM ingredients are subjected to rigorous testing in our development kitchens before they are launched, and we’re very proud of our reputation as technical leaders in our field. Bamboo fiber is one more string to our very broad bow!”