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 for direct to consumer sales or alone for use in customized formulations.
- 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 formulations 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: How can I include Expandex® in my formulations?
- A: Contact our technical support staff at 800-443-2746 to see how Expandex® can be adapted to your needs. Please visit the formulations page to see some sample applications.
*Expandex® modified tapioca starch does not contain gluten from wheat, oats, rye or barley.