American Key Food Products (AKFP) has announced the expansion of its tapioca product line with the introduction of native waxy tapioca starch. Sourced from AKFP’s Asian production partner, native waxy tapioca starch is a gluten-free, clean-label, non-GMO ingredient high in amylopectin, that possesses a combination of functionalities which make it an effective stabilizer, thickener, and emulsifier.

“Native waxy tapioca starch is a versatile, unmodified, clean-label starch,” says Edwin Pacia, AKFP chief operating officer.  “It is derived from tapioca, or cassava, roots and therefore is naturally gluten-free. Its unique functionalities make it a useful tool for formulators seeking to create better-for-you food products in line with today’s consumer trends.”

“Our native waxy tapioca starch contains a high level of amylopectin which serves to retain water during the freeze-thaw cycle of frozen food products. This starch acts as a great stabilizer and all-purpose thickener for those products which undergo large temperature changes during processing,” adds Carter Foss, AKFP technical sales director.

Native waxy tapioca starch creates viscous pastes with high soft and elastic texture in frozen foods such as noodles and dim sum, as well as transparent fruit fillings. This starch is an effective emulsifier in low-fat dressings. It also creates a glossy appearance while providing a smooth mouthfeel in low-fat yogurt. Thanks to its versatility as an ingredient, native waxy tapioca starch is also useful in a diverse range of applications including baked products such as cheese breads and waffles and other applications requiring improved shelf life.

“For North American food manufacturers, native waxy tapioca starch is also a fantastic alternative to waxy potato and waxy maize starches, when these items are difficult to procure due to weather-related and/or supply chain issues,” Pacia states.