A2 Production Processes And Patents

Older methods of generating maltodextrins have relied heavily on heat and acid treatment of starch. While effective, these methods sometimes produced undesirable by-products and off-flavors under harsh reaction conditions. Enzymes catalyze reactions under mild conditions of temperature and pH and have the added advantage of specificity of reaction with fewer by-products (Amylase Research Society of Japan, 1988). The current low cost of starch-degrading enzymes means that enzyme recovery from the reaction mix is unnecessary and their breakdown products (amino acids and peptides) are generally equivalent to other proteinaceous material found in starch and therefore require no special refining steps (Alexander, 1992).

The industrial manufacture of maltodextrins is today based on variations of two principal processes. In the first, single-stage process, gelatinization (solubilization) of the starch (usually at a concentration of around 30%) is combined with acid or enzyme treatment at high temperatures (e.g., >105°C for conversion of dent cornstarch using acid, and 82 to 105°C for conversion of waxy cornstarch using thermostable bacterial enzymes). Maltodextrins such as Lo-Dex from Amaizo and Star Dri from A.E. Staley are produced using single-stage processing. In the second, dual-stage process, the starch is first gelatinized at 105°C in the presence of either acid or enzyme to a DE of <3, followed by jet-cooking at 110 to 180°C to ensure the complete gelatinization of the starch. Subsequently, the starch slurry is cooled to 82 to 105°C and treated with a fresh batch of bacterial a-amylase until the desired degree of hydrolysis is reached. The Maltrin® range of products manufactured by GPC and the Paselli range from Avebe (see Chapter 6B) are made using the dual-stage process. In both the single-stage and dualstage processes, the hydrolysis reaction is terminated by either pH adjustment or heat deactivation, followed by refining and spray-drying (Alexander, 1992).

Numerous patents covering the processing of maltodextrins were published in the 1970s and 1980s by many of the major starch-processing companies. Careful reading of even a small selection of these reveals remarkable similarities between them: they are essentially further refinements and improvements of the same process, described in general terms in the paragraph above. For example, Lenchin and colleagues of the National Starch & Chemical Corporation (1985) published a patent covering the hydrolysis of tapioca, corn, and potato starches, using an a-amylase of unspecified source, to a DE of less than 5. Tapioca starch was identified as the preferred starch source. Temperature control during heating of the starch dispersion was reported in the patent to be unnecessary. It is possible that the industrial process used by National Starch & Chemical to make their product N-Oil is based on this patented invention. Another example is given by the patent assigned to GPC in which potato, sorghum, tapioca, wheat, rice, and

Table 6A.1 Examples of Starch-Derived Fat Replacers (DE Below 10) and Some of Their Properties

Parent starch

Product name


Method of production

MW (kDa)

Label designation


Amalean I and II

American Maize Products Co.

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