Clean label starch patent secured in Japan amid surging 'free-from' demand

By Kacey Culliney

- Last updated on GMT

National Starch pleased with patent for starch technology amid surging consumer demand for clean label
National Starch pleased with patent for starch technology amid surging consumer demand for clean label

Related tags Maize Starch

National Starch has received a patent for its clean label starch technology in Japan, amid a surging demand for such ingredients across the country.

The global starch supplier uses its technology to develop its clean label starch ranges marketed under the brand names Novation​ and Novation Prima​.

The range of 20 starches – all clean label, some organic – was launched in 1996 and has been sold in Japan for several years, underpinned by “increasing consumer demand for clean label or additive-free foods,”​ National Starch said.

This ingredients range enables Japanese manufacturers to “make appropriate positioning and labelling claims,”​ and respond to market demands, it said.

“The starches label according to their base descriptor, enabling you to put ‘all-natural’ or ‘additive-free’ on the front of your package and place a simple descriptor such as ‘corn starch’ on the ingredient list,”​ it detailed.

Jeffrey Laurent, vice president and general manager of National Starch and Corn Products International is pleased about the patent protection as “the capital investment, research, development and intellectual resources it took to develop the technology and build on it to create a broad range of ingredients was significant.”

‘Pioneering’ technology

The range of starch ingredients can be used in formulations for a broad range of additive-free or organic foods, including ready meals, soups and sauces, bakery fillings, dairy products and fruit preparations.

“The starches can provide high levels of functionality, including heat tolerance, shear and shelf life stability,”​ the company said, “and a neutral flavour profile and pH, good viscosity and appealing textures.”

The starch range includes waxy maize, tapioca, rice and potato bases as well as organic varieties and its Prima line is for added freeze, thaw and cold storage stability.

The company has plans to work further in the area of clean label food development, Laurent said, and “recently conducted independent consumer research in Japan on this topic.”

Results from this research will enable the starch supplier to assist its customers in meeting changing consumer requirements in the clean label sector, he added.

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