Your thoughts on modified tapioca starch

Discussion in 'Baker Banter' started by Norcalbaker59, Sep 22, 2017.

  1. Norcalbaker59

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2017
    Messages:
    1,866
    Likes Received:
    1,113
    Location:
    Northern California
    I've been baking up a storm as I try to replace gum binders in my gluten free baked goods. Gums like xanthan and guar tend to be hard on the system. And xanthan gum is derived from mold/bacterium. So even if I didn't have an issue with digestion, I really wouldn't want to eat it anyway. And every time I use gums, I always feel uneasy about feeding it to my family and friends. I'm one who always provides full disclosure, so I tell people it contains gums. But I've reached a point where I'd prefer to bake without them.

    So I've been experimenting with things like ground chia seed, flaxmeal, and psyllium husk. They bind, but they can impart odd tastes. And they can produce a an unpleasant gummy texture. So I broke down and I ordered some modified tapioca starches: Ultratex 3 and Expandex. Very common food additive. They are in just about every commercially made baked goods or mixes.

    They work really well. I've been mixing them with one or two or the other binders, so they make up less than 1% by weight to the flour blend. But I can't shake this feeling that using modified tapioca starch is a lesser evil than xanthan gum, but still an evil. Maybe it's because they're sold under their trade names. Tapioca doesn't sound bad. Modified tapioca starch makes me hesitant. But when I see "Ultratex 3" I'm jarred.

    When you read a food label that says modified tapioca starch, is it a deal breaker for you? Is 1% of an ingredient insignificant, or is the inclusion of anything that isn't "natural" unacceptable? Would it bother you if someone baked you a cake with modified tapioca starch in it?

    I can't believe how much anxiety these binders are causing me:(
     
    Norcalbaker59, Sep 22, 2017
    #1
    1. Advertisements

  2. Norcalbaker59

    ChesterV Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2015
    Messages:
    1,790
    Likes Received:
    771
    Yeah, them old fashioned binders are killer, aren't they?!!

    [​IMG]



    Oh.................wait..........................never mind:rolleyes::eek::p:D



    Gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, animal free baking wasn't even a "thing" until after I switched from bakeries to office work. You either ate bread or you didn't.

    I've heard of Ultratex before and yeah, I'm with you on that name. I would never in a million years expect it to be a food product. Actually, it sounds like the name of a rubber diving suit to me!


    Have you ever made your own homemade starch products? I have never done so, as I have never cared about gluten free anything.............but supposedly it's pretty basic stuff.

    From what I remember, it goes something like this..........

    I will use a potato for this example, but any starchy vegetable can be used I think.

    1. Wash, clean, peel, slice or julienne the potato.
    2. Dry the potato pieces in a home vegetable dryer or by placing them in a low temperature oven for a few hours.
    3. Once the potato pieces are dried out and hard, let them air out overnight on a cookie sheet (you can place a towel over them to avoid dust/bugs/pets), and then you can crush them up in a food processor.
    4. Once they have been crushed and pureed as much as possible in the food processor, the potato pulp needs to be pulverized or finely ground. You can use a mortar and pestle to grind the pulp into powder. Or if you have a more advanced pulverizing or grinding machine, you can use that.

    Once the pulp has been made into a fine powder, you now have your potato starch you can use at will in cooking and baking.

    There was another method of making homemade starch, but it's time consuming. If I remember right, it involves boiling the vegetable, removing the veggie bits, reducing the water on low until it becomes a sludge, then drying that out some how, and grinding that up. It's been a long time, so there may be a missing step to that.


    You would probably know better than me if something like that would actually work or not, since you know the chemistry of food very well.



    But, like you stated with some other nuts and seeds being used for binders, the different vegetables can alter the taste of the bread as well.
     
    ChesterV, Sep 23, 2017
    #2
    1. Advertisements

  3. Norcalbaker59

    ChesterV Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2015
    Messages:
    1,790
    Likes Received:
    771
    Oh, and to answer your question, no, I don't think it would bother me if I read that on a package or label.
    I mean, what ISN'T modified anymore?

    And I would assume that Tapioca starch is an over processed item, since Tapioca itself is a processed food item, and more than likely the ingredients to make the Tapioca were modified and processed before that.


    If you really take it step by step, backwards, all the way from final product back to original vegetable or animal it came from.......you will be flabbergasted as to how MANY TIMES everything is processed, modified, processed, modified, processed, and processed some more.

    It's amazing the human life expectancy hasn't DECREASED since the invent of over-ultra-mega-processing and modifying of foods.

    But, that is the reason they have to add so many things to processed foods, like vitamins and minerals, because they have been over processed so many times, there really isn't any nutritional value to processed foods unless they shovel all that other stuff back in.


    So, to me, it depends on what you want to use that has been overly processed the LEAST.
    Hmmm, did that make sense?
     
    ChesterV, Sep 23, 2017
    #3
  4. Norcalbaker59

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2017
    Messages:
    1,866
    Likes Received:
    1,113
    Location:
    Northern California
    :) Chester, that pic is too funny!

    I've use potato starch, flour and some times even mashed potatoes in baked goods. Potato makes a good binder. And it doesn't have strange tastes and smells. It just doesn't give much elasticity though. But I use some type of potato in just about every gluten-free product I make.

    Whar you wrote in your second post about pretty much everything being processed is really quite true. Population growth has forever changed how food is grown, harvested, and delivered to our tables. All commerically grown fruits and vegetables have been cultivated for storage durability and shelflife.

    Living in the middle of agriculture country, I see how food is raised. When people tell me they buy only organic I have to bite my tongue. People don't realize that organic does not mean no pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides were used. Organic simply means that the compound cannot be synthetic. And the rules even allow organic farmers to use synthetics as a last resort. So if a farmer has an infestation of a particular pest that they have not been able to control through organic farming means, they can use a synthetic pesticide. Their produce can still be labeled organic if they provide the certifying agency with documentation that they tried all other means and only used a synthetic pesticide as a last resort.

    Ok I feel better now:) Thanks Chester.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Sep 23, 2017
    #4
    ChesterV likes this.
  5. Norcalbaker59

    ChesterV Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2015
    Messages:
    1,790
    Likes Received:
    771

    LOL, well.........I guess..........thanks? LOL

    Yeah, I always laugh hysterically when someone tells me they "ONLY eat organic foods"!
    They ask "Whats so funny", and I tell them!

    Same goes for people who shop at Whole Foods, or some other grossly, over-marked up gimmick store like that.

    It's just beyond my comprehension sometimes, the stupidity of the population nowadays. I HAVE to laugh at them, because my head would literally explode otherwise!

    As for the potato, well, I was just using potato as a prime example. Supposedly, using that process on any vegetable that is high in starch will work.

    I know seeds work the best, but so many people are allergic to seeds and nuts now. I was just trying to think of something that was pure veggie.
     
    ChesterV, Sep 23, 2017
    #5
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.