by Eric Shinsato
Technical Sales Support Manager
Corn Products U.S.
Eric Shinsato, Technical Sales Support Manager for Corn Products U.S., has answered some of the most asked questions regarding Expandex® modified tapioca starch.
- Q: Does “gluten-free” mean “wheat-free?”
- A: Gluten-free means the product does not contain gluten from wheat, oats, rye or barley.
- Q: Does Expandex® contain corn?
- A: It is confusing since Expandex® is manufactured by Corn Products International, but Expandex® is a modified tapioca starch and does not contain any corn.
- Q: Do many people live gluten-free?
- A: Yes, and the numbers are growing. One in 100 people worldwide have celiac disease and must abide by a strict, gluten-free diet. Gluten-free diets may also benefit other medical conditions including autism and osteoporosis. Still other people are making a gluten-free lifestyle a personal choice because they enjoy the benefits of gluten-free living.
- Q: What type of products can be made gluten-free?
- A: Frozen entrees, chips, pretzels and other snacks, baking mixes and flours, energy bars, cookies and snack bars, shelf-stable pastas, bread and baked goods and crackers.
- Q: What is Expandex®?
- A: Expandex® is a modified tapioca starch made from the tapioca root that emulates some of the properties of wheat-based ingredients to provide texture and appearance more like wheat-based products.
- Q: Is Expandex® an ingredient or a mix?
- A: Expandex® is an ingredient that is available in pre-mix formulations or by itself for use in recipes.
- Q: How is Expandex® beneficial to the gluten-free lifestyle?
- A: Expandex® improves taste, texture, appearance and shelf life of gluten-free bakery items (as compared to existing gluten-free alternatives) while producing a structure and texture that resembles wheat-based products, without the harmful gluten.
- Q: Are there any other benefits of Expandex®?
- A: Expandex® creates a moist and expanded crumb in baked items, improves the crispy texture of fried bakery applications and keeps products fresh longer as compared to existing gluten-free alternatives.
- Q: How fresh do products stay with Expandex®?
- A: In a 7-day Shelf Life Study conducted by Corn Products International, gluten-free bread was evaluated against wheat bread after being held under room temperature, frozen and refrigerated conditions. The bread was then tasted at room temperature, microwaved and toasted. The gluten-free bread had a sweet flavor that was unaffected by storage or reheating, had an enhanced flavor and improved moistness when microwaved and showed improved crispiness and chewiness when toasted.
- Q: Do I still have to use gums in my recipes if I use Expandex®?
- A: You may, but Expandex® greatly reduces the amount of gums you will need to use in certain applications.
- Q: How does Expandex® make products taste?
- A: The unique water binding and freeze/thaw properties of Expandex® make frozen products taste more like fresh baked, and it has a clean, neutral flavor that brings out the natural flavor of bakery items without grittiness.
- Q: What does the word "Modified" mean in Expandex® modified tapioca starch?
- A: Expandex® modified tapioca starch is a unique modified starch that significantly
improves the taste, texture, and appearance of gluten-free baked goods.
Expandex® is similar to the many modified food starches found in popular food
items from soups, sauces, gravies, and salad dressings to yogurt, pudding, jelly
beans, and licorice. Modified food starch is used in these products to provide
desired characteristics such as thickness, body, and texture and to help food
products to withstand rigorous cooking processes and hold up to refrigeration
and freezing, better than native starches.
Expandex® modified tapioca starch is manufactured using a process that is proprietary to Corn Products. The modification is not a genetic modification (i.e., Expandex® is non-GMO) and the process is governed by U.S. Food and Drug Administration's guidelines for substances that are generally regarded as safe (GRAS) in food (21 CFR 182), including the specific regulations for "food starch- modified" (21 CFR 172.892).
Please review the on-line Code of Federal Regulations Title 21 CFR 172.892 for more information.
- Q: How can I use Expandex® in my recipes?
- A: We offer a variety of recipes that you can download. To view some of our sample recipes, please click here.
*Expandex® modified tapioca starch does not contain gluten from wheat, oats, rye or barley.