Market Development & Product Application Expertise
After a thorough research on food ingredients and products development within the Middle East region by the MEFSCO management, we realized that technical expertise & consultancy is one of must-have areas for sustainable business. Alongside MEFSCO’s supply innovations, is the Technical Support Team of specialists and highly qualified staff in food ingredients and applications. This team provides customers with necessary expertise related to using our ingredients in production creating high quality, innovative, and cost effective solutions. This is done through adequate customer support provided during recipe development and reformulation, troubleshooting and ingredient implementation.
MEFSCO uses corn to produce Starch, Glucose syrups and Glucose-Fructose syrup for food industry and industrial use. Our corn are sourced from some of the most reliable farms and undergo a thorough quality inspection procedure before being brought into the plant.
Choosing the Right Ingredient
Achieving the right product attributes is the key target in food development. While sweeteners play a significant role in this (with respect to product taste), they have so much more to offer than sweetness. They present versatile functional properties and applications which is mostly defined by the sugar profile of the sweetener.
To choose the right sweeteners, the functional characteristics of the finisheds product must be understood. For example, while bakery producers might look for the nice soft or crisp texture, browning, fermentability and long shelf-life, the beverage manufacturer may look out for mouthfeel, sweetness, viscosity and flavor enhancement. All these combine with an efficient and competitive process in the factory. A brief description on some of these functionalities are listed:
Sweetness is one of our five basic tastes and a complex property, as the perception is not easily measurable and therefore very subjective. Sucrose is usually the reference for perceived sweetness, and other substances are rated relative to this. Fructose is regarded as the sweetest of all simple sugars; whereas glucose-fructose syrup and sucrose are perceived as relatively equally sweet given that glucose-fructose syrup can replace sucrose 1:1 on a dry basis. Considerations on perceived sweetness are relevant for most food recipes.
Non-enzymatic browning reactions like caramelisation – the heat degradation of sugars, or the Maillard browning reaction – a chemical reaction between reducing sugars and amino acids, are common processes found in foods. These lead to the development of colors and flavors which can be desirable, as in bakery products, and undesirable, as in beverages.
The percentage of reducing sugars are calculated as Dextrose Equivalent (DE) based on dry solids. The most common reducing sugars are glucose, fructose, maltose and lactose. Generally, Fructose enhances color more than dextrose which in turn has a higher color enhancement attribute than maltose. Sucrose is not a reducing sugar, however the inversion of sucrose (to fructose and glucose) creates reducing sugars and thus the Maillard browning reaction. By controlling the sugar profile, it is possible to predict the reactions.
Viscosity is an important property and can influence taste, flavor and mouthfeel. It could also define product cohesiveness due to its binding characteristic. The higher the DE of a syrup, the lower the amount of higher sugars it has and hence the lower its viscosity. Product viscosity during processing and as a finished product is a vital factor in food processing.
Hygroscopicity, humectancy and water activity
Water activity, drying out or gaining water from the surrounding atmosphere are some of the most critical factors affecting shelf life, safety, texture and flavor and thus determining the quality of a food.
Basically, all starch-based sweetener are potentially hygroscopic (ability to absorb water). The lower the DE of a sweetener, the slower the rate of moisture pickup. Humectants are good at holding the water inside the product and preventing drying out as in the case of chewing gums. Medium and high DE glucose syrups are good at retaining moisture. Glucose syrups can prevent bakery icing from drying out as well as inhibit the sucrose crystallization into a hard, grainy icing. The amount of free water in a product, the water activity (aw), describes the vulnerability of a food to microbiological spoilage. The higher the aw, the more vulnerable the product is to mould, yeast and bacteria growth and eventual spoilage. Sugars can lower the water activity of a product. By controlling water activity level in especially bakery and confectionary recipes, it is possible to formulate stable foods.
Simple sugars, like dextrose and fructose, can easily be fermented (broken down) by microorganisms. Sugar fermentation is desirable in bakery products, where the gases created during fermentation cause the dough to rise, and in beverages giving a bubbly feel.
Other functional properties
The choice of sweeteners can also alter your recipe in numerous other ways in terms of freeze point depression, osmotic pressure, crystal inhibition, texture, shelf-life , in the ice cream sector.
How can we help you?
The MEFSCO Technical Team provides support in defining the functional properties you require and recommends the most appropriate ingredient solution for your applications. We partner with you and support your business growth using our expertise and diverse know-how of food ingredients as a framework for the creation and maintenance of your high performing brands
Technical Products Application