WACKER is using the opportunity of Food Ingredients South America (FiSA) 2012 to present its alpha-cyclodextrin for stabilizing oil-in-water emulsions in the region. Since emulsions produced with alpha-cyclodextrin remain stable even at high temperatures, this product is ideal as an emulsifier in, for example, salad dressings, mayonnaises, dessert creams and margarine. The ring-shaped molecules, bioengineered from starch, also give texture to the formulation, allowing mouthfeel to be adjusted as required. Furthermore, alpha-cyclodextrin is also suited as soluble fiber for use in dairy products and breakfast cereals, where it has a demonstrably beneficial effect on blood cholesterol and the glycemic index.
A further benefit is that the purely vegetarian-grade cyclodextrins are non-allergenic and manufactured entirely from renewable raw materials. WACKER will also be presenting its vegetarian-grade cysteine. The company is the world’s only manufacturer of this product, which is a raw material for flavorings and a processing auxiliary for bakery goods. FiSA will take place Sept. 18 to 20, 2012, in São Paulo, Brazil.
At FiSA 2012, WACKER will be unveiling its alpha-cyclodextrin for stabilizing oil-in-water emulsions. Oil-in-water emulsions are the order of the day in the food industry. Many foods, such as salad dressings, mayonnaises, dessert creams or margarine contain both water and oil phases, which can only be mixed when emulsifiers are added. Traditional emulsifiers include mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids, the lecithins found in egg yolk, or proteins. However, animal-based emulsifiers can have some critical disadvantages—they can be sensitive to heat and acids, do not have a long shelf life, may contain cholesterol and are potentially allergenic.
Alpha-cyclodextrins offer an alternative solution. The molecule has a doughnut-shaped structure with a lipophilic (i.e. fat-loving) interior and a hydrophilic (i.e. water-loving) exterior. Fatty acid groups can “slip” into the interior of the alpha-cyclodextrin and form a surfactant structure, similar to an emulsifier. This complex permanently stabilizes the otherwise incompatible oil/water phase interfaces of the emulsion – even at high processing temperatures.
Further, alpha-cyclodextrin can also adjust the emulsion’s viscosity, and therefore its mouthfeel, as required—from a fluidity similar to ketchup to a firm texture resembling sugar frosting. As a result, there is no need for additional hydrocolloids.
WACKER produces its alpha-cyclodextrin—a natural degradation product of starch—from renewable raw materials, such as corn or potatoes, using bioengineering techniques. Alpha-cyclodextrin thus offers an alternative stabilizer for oil-in-water emulsions that is not only free of cholesterol and allergens, but also plant-based.
Alpha-cyclodextrin as dietary fiber
While nutritionists recommend about 25 to 30 grams of roughage daily, most people in advanced Western economies eat much less. Adding dietary fiber to food, though, may often have disadvantages—the fiber’s poor solubility and the food’s potential discoloration.
Alpha-cyclodextrin offers a solution here. As a water-soluble fiber, it is characterized by extremely low viscosity and good stability even at high temperatures and low pH values. Irrespective of the pH, no un-desirable browning reactions or discolorations occur—even in complex food systems. Furthermore, its clear solubility means that it can be used in beverages. Moreover, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has certified alpha-cyclodextrin with a scientifically proven effect of lowering blood sugar levels after meals containing starch. Further studies also show a positive effect on blood fat values. Alpha-cyclodextrin is therefore particularly suitable as an additive to beverages, but also in other traditional applications for fibers, such as dairy products, bakery products and breakfast cereals.
Vegetarian-grade cysteine for flavorings and bakery goods
Vegetarian-grade cysteine from WACKER is an ideal raw material for flavorings, particularly meat flavors, and for bakery products. Traditionally, the amino acid cysteine is extracted from human or animal sources (such as hair, feathers and pig bristles) using hydrochloric acid. Replacing this method with biotechnology, WACKER produces vegetarian-grade cysteine using a fermentation process with ex-tremely low environmental impact. Since it is manufactured from purely plant-based and inorganic starting materials, WACKER’s cysteine is halal, kosher and purely vegetarian-grade, making it ideal for food products. WACKER is the only manufacturer in the world to produce vegetarian-grade cysteine by a patented biotech process.