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A new natural starch with unique gelation properties

A series of natural starch products that can replace gelatine and give dairy and other products a creamy sensation in the mouth. That is the successful outcome of a joint study undertaken by TNO and AVEBE into the enzymatic modification of carbohydrates.

Enzymes are attractive ingredients for the food and ingredients industry since they are biological and can be used for a whole range of applications. Not only do they improve the functional properties of ingredients but enzymes can also be used as a mild, natural preservative and, what's more, they help reduce energy consumption in production processes. Recently, TNO and AVEBE completed a research programme aimed to give carbohydrates added value through enzymatic modification. TNO is internationally one of the forerunners of enzymatic modification. AVEBE is a specialist in the industrial production of different kind of starches.

Enzymatic modification

TNO experiments revealed that the enzyme amylomaltase improves the gelation properties of starch by effecting a changing in the molecular structure, trimming off a piece of the principal chain of the starch molecule and sticking it to one of the tributary chains. Normally this 'gelation' of starch happens just once, which limits the application range for this binding agent. AVEBE saw possibilities for product development in the findings. The result is Etenia, a series of starches that act as a vegetable alternative for gelatine and that gives low-fat products a creamy texture. The products have been developed using the enzyme amylomaltase. Registration at legislative authorities has revealed that Etenia is a clean label ingredient. It can be labelled 'normal' starch and not modified starch or ascribed an E number.


Monique Wekking MSc


Monique Wekking MSc

  • Biobased
  • Renewable feedstock
  • Biorizon
  • Biorefinery
  • Chemical building blocks

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