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Title:
FOOD CONCENTRATE FOR SOUP, SAUCE OR GRAV
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2016/207148
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A food concentrate in the form of gel is provided with high amounts of starch without the need for polyols such that after dilution a sufficient viscosity is obtained in the ready-to-eat product.

Inventors:
SCHUMM STEPHAN GEORG (NL)
SILVA PAES SABRINA (NL)
CHAPARA VISHMAI (NL)
Application Number:
EP2016/064286
Publication Date:
December 29, 2016
Filing Date:
June 21, 2016
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
UNILEVER NV (NL)
UNILEVER PLC (GB)
CONOPCO INC D/B/A UNILEVER (US)
International Classes:
A23L29/256; A23L23/00; A23L23/10; A23L27/00; A23L29/212; A23L29/30
Domestic Patent References:
WO2012097930A12012-07-26
WO2014053288A12014-04-10
WO2014009079A12014-01-16
WO2012097934A12012-07-26
WO2012097918A12012-07-26
WO2004049822A12004-06-17
WO2012097930A12012-07-26
WO2012009155A22012-01-19
WO2012097934A12012-07-26
WO2012097918A12012-07-26
WO2014053287A12014-04-10
WO2014053288A12014-04-10
WO2014009079A12014-01-16
Foreign References:
EP1602289A12005-12-07
Other References:
ALVANI ET AL: "Gelatinisation properties of native and annealed potato starches", STARCH,, vol. 64, 27 February 2012 (2012-02-27), pages 297 - 303, XP002761436
SNYDER,EM.: "Starch: Chemistry and Technology", 1984, ACADEMIC PRESS, article "Industrial microscopy of starches", pages: 661 - 673
BILIADERIS ET AL.: "Starch gelatinisation phenomena studied by differential scanning calorimetry", JOURNAL OF FOOD SCIENCE, vol. 45, 1980, pages 1669 - 1674
BILIADERIS,C.G.: "Starch (Third Edition) Food Science and Technology", 2009, ACADEMIC PRESS, article "Structural Transitions and Related Physical Properties of Starch", pages: 293 - 372
TESTER, R.F.; DEBON, S.J.J.: "Annealing of starch — a review", INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL MACROMOLECULES, vol. 27, 2000, pages 1 - 12
STUTE,R.: "Hydrothermal Modification of Starches: The Difference between Annealing and Heat/Moisture -Treatment", STARCH/STARKE, vol. 44, 1992, pages 205 - 214
"Annealing of starch - a review", INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL MACROMOLECULES, vol. 27, pages 1 - 12
WANG,W.J.; POWELL,A.D.; OATES,C.G.: "Effect of annealing on the hydrolysis of sago starch granules", CARBOHYDRATE POLYMERS, vol. 33, 1997, pages 195 - 202
JAYAKODY,L.; HOOVER,R.: "Effect of annealing on the molecular structure and physicochemical properties of starches from different botanical origins: A review", CARBOHYDRATE POLYMERS, vol. 74, 2008, pages 691 - 703
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
TJON, Hon, Kong, Guno (3133 AT Vlaardingen, NL)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

1. A food concentrate in the form of a gel comprising

a) 35 to 70 wt% of water by weight of the total food concentrate;

b) 15 to 40 wt% of salt by weight of the total water content of the food concentrate; c) an effective amount of a taste booster selected from glutamate, 5'- ribonucleotides, sucrose, glucose, fructose, lactic acid, citric acid and mixtures thereof ;

d) 10 to 40 wt% by weight of the total food concentrate of a delayed-swelling

physically modified non-gelatinised starch characterised by Ref TonSet of at least 74°C;

e) an effective amount of agar to form a gel, preferably 0.4 to 3.5 wt% of agar by weight of the total water content of the food concentrate;

f) preferably less than 5 wt%, preferably less than 3 wt%, more preferably less than 1 wt%, more preferably less than 0.1 wt%, most preferably 0% of a sorbitol by weight of the total food concentrate..

2. A food concentrate according to claim 1 wherein the non-gelatinised starch is annealed starch.

3. A food concentrate according to any one of the preceding claims wherein the non- gelatinised starch is annealed sago starch and/or annealed corn starch.

4. A food concentrate according to any one of the preceding claims wherein the concentrate further comprises at least 0.05 wt% to at most 5 wt% of a gum by weight of the total water content of the food concentrate , preferably locust bean gum.

5. A food concentrate according to any one of the preceding claims wherein the food concentrate has a firmness of above 50g, preferably above 70g, more preferably above 100g, preferably less than 1000g, more preferably less than 600g, even more preferably less than 500g, most preferably less than 350g.

6. A food concentrate according to any one of the preceding claims wherein the food concentrate shows a reduction in lumping in the test described herein of at least 15%, more preferably at least 20%, more preferably at least 30%, more preferably at least 40%, more preferably at least 50% and preferably at most 100% when compared to the same concentrate except that the starch according to invention is replaced by the native starch from the same botanical source.

7. A food concentrate according to any one of the preceding claims wherein the food concentrate provides a ready-to-eat product having viscosity of at least 10 mPa.s, preferably at least 20 mPa.s, more preferably at least 30 mPa.s , most preferably at least 50 mPa.s at 60°C, wherein preferably said ready-to eat product is a soup, sauce or gravy.

8. A food concentrate according to any one of the preceding claims comprising a) 35 to 70 wt% of water by weight of the total food concentrate;

b) 15 to 40 wt% of salt by weight of the total water content of the food concentrate; c) 1 to 40wt% by weight of the total food concentrate of a taste booster selected from glutamate, 5'-ribonucleotides, sucrose, glucose, fructose, lactic acid, citric acid and mixtures thereof ;

d) 10 to 40 wt% by weight of the total food concentrate of a delayed-swelling non- gelatinised annealed sago starch characterised by Ref Tonset of at least 74°C; wherein the non-gelatinised starch is annealed sago starch and/or annealed corn starch;

e) 0.4 to 3.5 wt% of agar by weight of the total water content of the food concentrate;

f) 0 to less than 5wt% of sorbitol by weight of the total food concentrate;

g) wherein the food concentrate has a firmness of above 100g and less than 600g; h) wherein the food concentrate provides a ready-to-eat product having viscosity of at least 30 mPa.s at 60°C, wherein said ready-to-eat product is a soup, sauce or gravy.

9. A food concentrate according to any one of the preceding claims comprising less than 5 wt%, preferably less than 3 wt%, more preferably less than 1 wt% of a liquid polyol by weight of the total food concentrate.

10. A food concentrate according to any one of the preceding claims having a dissolution time (measured without the non-gelatinised starch) at least 4.5 min, more preferably at least 5 min, and preferably at most 12 min and more preferably at most 10 min.

1 1 . A process for preparing a food concentrate according to any one of the preceding claims, said process comprising the steps of:

i) preparing a mixture comprising:

- water,

agar,

ii) heating said mixture, preferably to higher than 75 °C ;

iii) admixing the non-gelatinised starch to the mixture at a temperature which is lower than the Tonset of the non-gelatinised starch, preferably of less than 74°C, whereby salt, taste booster and any optional ingredient may be admixed at anyone of steps i) to iii);

optionally, filling the mixture of step iii) into a packaging; and

iv) allowing the mixture to form a food concentrate in the form of a gel. 12. A process according to claim 1 1 wherein the non-gelatinised starch is admixed at a temperature of less than 72 °C, more preferably less than 70 °C most preferably less than 68 °C, preferably above 40 °C, more preferably above 50°C, most preferably above 55 °C. 13. A food concentrate obtainable by a process according to any one of claims 1 1 and 12.

14. Use of a food concentrate according to any one of the preceding claims 1 to 10 and 13 to prepare a soup, a sauce or a gravy.

15. A process to provide a ready-to-eat food product, comprising the steps of:

• a) providing a food concentrate according to any one of the preceding claims 1 to 10 and 13, b) admixing at least part of the food concentrate to an aqueous phase, c) heating the mixture resulting from step b) to a temperature higher than the Ref TonSet of the starch used, such as to achieve a viscosity increase of the mixture to result in a ready-to-eat food product, whereby the dilution in step b) preferably between 20g/L and 350g/L and more preferably between 50 and 250g/L

Description:
FOOD CONCENTRATE FOR SOUP, SAUCE OR GRAV

Field of the invention

The present invention relates to food concentrates. Food concentrates like soup, gravy and sauce concentrates are food products designed to provide for example a ready-to- eat soup, gravy or sauce upon dilution in water and usually heating.

Background of the invention

Starch is widely used in food products as a thickener. In the presence of sufficient water and when the temperature is high enough (usually more than 60°C) the starch granules start to swell. This process, also referred to as gelatinisation, is usually characterised by the loss of the crystalline structure (order-disorder transition) that can be observed by several techniques such as X-ray diffraction, Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) (gelatinisation endothermic peak), and microscopy (loss of birefringence and granule swelling).

The native starches (i.e. unmodified) of different botanical sources differ in their appearance (granule form) and functional properties (e.g. pasting, viscosity). Most of the common starches are readily and unequivocally identifiable under a polarizing microscope, using the criteria of granule size and shape, form and positions (centric or eccentric) of the hilum (botanical centre of the granule) and brilliance of the

interference cross under polarized light (Snyder,EM. (1984). Chapter XXII - Industrial microscopy of starches. In: Starch: Chemistry and Technology (Second Edition) Food Science and Technology, ed. R.L.W.PASCHALL San Diego: Academic Press, 661 - 673). . For example, potato starches are characterised by large oval granules, tapioca starch by spherical-truncated granules and corn starch by round granules. Sago starch granules are typically oval shaped with smooth surface and show an off centre hilum. These shapes can be easily observed by light microscopy or scanning electron microscopy. (Method Stare.03-Starch Identification (Microscopy)-B25. Analytical Methods of the Member Companies of the Corn Refiners Association, Inc. 1991 ) Depending on the botanical source of the starch its thickening properties may differ. Food technologists working with starches routinely apply two standard methods to analyse the gelatinisation behaviour and thickening properties of starches. The first one is the temperature when the gelatinisation starts: the Tonset (temperature of onset of gelatinisation). The industry standard for measuring Tonset is using Differential

Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) (Biliaderis et al. (1980). Starch gelatinisation phenomena studied by differential scanning calorimetry. Journal of Food Science 45, 1669-1674). As water is heated with starch granules, gelatinisation occurs, involving an endothermic reaction. DSC provides a quantitative measure of the heat flow associated with the starch gelatinisation, and the endothermic peaks observed are indicative of melting.

The second standard method measures the increase in viscosity is known in the art as a "pasting" curve. It allows to distinguish - inter alia - starches that thicken relatively fast from so called delayed swelling starches. Pasting curves are routinely measured by a Rapid Visco Analyser (RVA) (Biliaderis, C.G. (2009). Chapter 8 - Structural Transitions and Related Physical Properties of Starch. In: Starch (Third Edition) Food Science and Technology, ed. J.BeMiller and R.Whistler San Diego: Academic Press, 293-372). An RVA is a rotational viscometer that continuously records the viscosity of a sample under conditions of controlled temperature and shear which can be used to measure the increase in viscosity and to provide an assessment of starch 'pasting'.

It has long been known that e.g. the thickening properties of a native starch of a botanical source can be modified chemically or physically. The most common chemical modification processes include acid treatment, cross-linking, oxidation, and

substitution, including esterification and etherification. Physical modification methods involve the treatment of native starch granules under e.g. different

temperature/moisture combinations, pressure, shear, and irradiation. Physical modification also includes mechanical attrition to alter the physical size of starch granules. Native and modified starches have been used in sauces, gravies and soups. Many sauces, gravies and soups are sold as food concentrates like sachets of dry powdered sauce, gravy or soup concentrates. To prepare the ready-to-eat product the consumer usually dissolves these concentrates in an aqueous phase and applies a heating step to cook the starch.

In addition to dry concentrates, aqueous concentrates are known in liquid, paste or gelled formats. EP 1602289 and WO 2004/049822 disclose the use of a non- gelatinised potato starch in a shelf stable pasty concentrated composition in the presence of relatively high amounts of sorbitol. However, most consumers find sorbitol to be unacceptable in these type of products. But without sorbitol the liquid and fluid product of WO 2004/049822 could not be prepared (see example 1 1 of this

application). Moreover, liquid and pasty formats tend to sticky and difficult to unit-dose. WO2012/097930 relates to a gelled concentrate which can be easily unit-dosed. In particular, WO2012/097930 discloses a gelled concentrate with non-gelatinised native corn starch, pea starch, waxy corn starch or heat moisture treated potato starch.

However, to obtain a desired viscosity in the ready-to eat product, the high levels of starch needed posed a problem for obtaining a gel structure. This was solved by including a liquid polyol (glycerol). However, like sorbitol saidliquid polyols are not desirable ingredients for a gravy, soup or sauce. WO 2012/009155 and WO

2012/097934 avoid the combination of non-gelatinised starch and polyol. Instead WO 2012/097918 and WO 2012/097934 disclose gelled concentrates with a salt sensitive gum to provide binding in the ready-to-eat product.

A food concentrate will have a relatively high amount of starch depending on the dilution factor it has been designed for and the desired viscosity of the ready-to-eat product. A food concentrate designed to be diluted 10 times to prepare the ready-to-eat product will have a 10 times higher amount of starch than in the ready-to-eat products. These high amounts of starch in the concentrate may lead to lumping problems when the consumer tries to dilute the concentrates. Starches have been modified to decrease the lumping problem in dry or even pasty concentrates. For example, WO 2014/053287 and WO 2014/053288 disclose as most preferred starch native corn and heat moisture treated (HMT) potato starch for low lumping. It has been reported that using the proper dilution protocol low or even no lumping may be obtained with native corn starch and HMT potato starch. Although the applicants do not wish to be bound by theory it is hypothesised that this may be due to conflicting requirements of holding large amounts of non-gelatinised starch in shape stable form. For many consumers agar is more acceptable gelling agent than e.g. xanthan based gels. In addition, agar is a very effective gelling agent in relatively low amounts but not preferred as it typically leads to very hard and brittle gels that are very difficult to dissolve. Even in hot water agar gels may be designed to remain intact for minutes. The longer it takes to dissolve the more opportunity for non- gelatinised starch to form lumps.

The lump formation may be exacerbated if consumers do not strictly follow the instructions for the dilution of the concentrate. While some starches show decrease in lumping at the same time these starches show little thickening effect in the ready to eat product.

Therefore, it would be desirable to provide a food concentrate with high amounts of starch in the form of gel without the need for polyols such that after dilution a sufficient viscosity is obtained in the ready-to-eat product. In addition, it would also be desirable to provide a more robust concentrate which shows a decreased lump formation during hot dilution. Moreover, It would be desirable to provide a concentrate that after long term storage still provides sufficient binding in the ready-to-use application. WO

2014/009079 relates to gelled concentrates based on pectin as gelling agent with non- gelatinised starches with a low gelatinisation temperature.

Summary of the invention

Surprisingly, the present invention provides food concentrates based on agar without the need for polyols and which result in an improved reduction in lump formation combined with the desired viscosity in the end product. Accordingly the present invention provides a food concentrate in the form of a gel preferably comprising

a) 35 to 70 wt% of water by weight of the total food concentrate;

b) 15 to 40 wt% of salt by weight of the total water content of the food concentrate; c) an effective amount of a taste booster selected from glutamate, 5'- ribonucleotides, sucrose, glucose, fructose, lactic acid, citric acid and mixtures thereof ;

d) 10 to 40 wt% by weight of the total food concentrate of a delayed-swelling

physically modified non-gelatinised starch characterised by Ref Tonset of at least 74°C, preferably a delayed-swelling annealed non-gelatinised starch characterised by Ref Tonset of at least 74°C;

e) e) an effective amount of agar to form a gel, preferably 0.4 to 3.5 wt% of agar by weight of the total water content of the food concentrate.

The present invention provides a food concentrate in the form of a gel comprising

a) 35 to 70 wt% of water by weight of the total food concentrate;

b) 15 to 40 wt% of salt by weight of the total water content of the food concentrate; c) an effective amount of a taste booster selected from glutamate, 5'- ribonucleotides, sucrose, glucose, fructose, lactic acid, citric acid and mixtures thereof ;

d) 10 to 40 wt% of non-gelatinised annealed sago starch and/or non-gelatinised annealed corn starch by weight of the total food concentrate;

e) an effective amount of agar to form a gel, preferably 0.4 to 3.5 wt% of agar by weight of the total water content of the food concentrate.

In addition the present invention provides a process for preparing a concentrate according to the invention, a process for using a concentrate according to the invention to prepare a ready-to-eat product, a ready-to-eat product obtainable by diluting a concentrate according to the invention and the use of concentrate according to the invention to prepare a ready-to-eat product.

These and other aspects, features and advantages will become apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art from a reading of the following detailed description and the appended claims. For the avoidance of doubt, any feature of one aspect of the present invention may be utilised in any other aspect of the invention. The word "comprising" is intended to mean "including" but not necessarily "consisting of" or "composed of." In other words, the listed steps or options need not be exhaustive. It is noted that the examples given in the description below are intended to clarify the invention and are not intended to limit the invention to those examples per se. Similarly, all percentages are weight/weight percentages by weight of the total food concentrate unless otherwise indicated. Except in the operating and comparative examples, or where otherwise explicitly indicated, all numbers in this description indicating amounts of material or conditions of reaction, physical properties of materials and/or use are to be understood as modified by the word "about". Numerical ranges expressed in the format "from x to y" are understood to include x and y. When for a specific feature multiple preferred ranges are described in the format "from x to y", it is understood that all ranges combining the different endpoints are also contemplated.

Detailed description of the invention

Food concentrate

The food concentrate according to the invention is designed to provide a ready-to-eat product after an appropriate dilution and heating with an aqueous phase such that the starch provides the desired viscosity in the ready-to-eat product. The term dilution in this respect is intended to include dissolving and dispersing as these take place concurrently. The ready-to-eat product is preferably a soup, gravy or a sauce. The sauce may be part of dish like a stew or a risotto. The dilution of a food concentrate according to the invention is usually between 20g/L and 350g/L and more preferably between 50 and 250g/L. The term "food concentrate" and "concentrate" are used interchangeably.

The level of water, salt, starch and other taste ingredients in the food concentrate are determined by the desired level in the ready-to-eat product and the dilution rate. The amount of salt in the food concentrate and intended dilution rate is preferably such that after the dilution the level of salt is preferably at least 0.25 wt%, more preferably at least 0.5 wt%, more preferably at least 0.7 wt% and at preferably at most 2 wt%, more preferably at most 1 .7 wt%, more preferably at most 1.3 wt% by weight of the total water content of the ready-to-eat product. The amount of starch in the food concentrate and intended dilution rate is preferably such that after the dilution the amount of starch in the ready-to-eat product is preferably at least 1 wt%, preferably at least 2 wt%, most preferably at most 6 wt%, preferably at most 7 wt% by weight of the total water content of the ready-to-eat product. The total amount of water present in the ready-to-eat product is preferably at least 50 wt%, more preferably at least 65 wt%, more preferably at least 75 wt% and preferably less than 97 wt%, preferably less than 95 wt% preferably less than 90 wt% by weight of the total food concentrate. (Water may be added as such or as part of other ingredients like cream or milk). Details and other preferred ranges of salt, starch, water and other ingredients are described below.

Starch

Surprisingly, it was found that food concentrates according to the invention can be successfully formulated with a specific physically modified non-gelatinised starch. The non-gelatinised starch used in the present invention is usually a delayed-swelling physically modified starch having a Ref Tonset of at least 74°C. Ref Tonset measured by Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC)

Tonset of a given starch is measured by measuring the gelatinisation of starch in a reference DSC-solution. The latter is adjusted to reflect the product application. For example if the product application would be a sweet pudding, the reference DSC- solution will have correspondingly high amounts of sugar. For the present invention the reference DSC-solution (Ref DSC-solution) has a high amount of salt and less sugar:

20.7 wt% NaCI, 12.7wt% sucrose, 66.6% water and the Tonset measured in this reference Ref DSC-solution is referred to the Ref Tonset.

The preferred physically modified starches show a characteristic increase in Ref Tonset compared to the native starch of the same botanical source. In addition to the Ref Tonset determined in the Ref DSC solution, the Tonset may also be determined in the concentrate (Prod Tonset . The increase in the Ref Tonset of a physically modified starch like annealed starch can also be found by comparing the Prod Tonset of the physically modified starch to the Prod Tonset of the native starch of the same botanical source, in the same composition. Delaved-swellinq starches as determined by pasting curve

Pasting curves are measured by a Rapid Visco Analyser (RVA) - a rotational viscometer that continuously records the viscosity of a sample under conditions of controlled temperature and shear which can be used to measure the increase in viscosity and provide an assessment of starch 'pasting'. For the purpose of the present invention delayed-swelling starches are defined according the test described in detail below.

The non-gelatinised starch used in the invention is preferably obtained by a physical modification of native starch like annealing and/or heat moisture treatment. The non- gelatinised starch used in the invention is preferably an annealed starch. Annealed starch can be obtained by annealing starch as known in the art e.g. from Tester, R.F. and Debon, S.J.J. Annealing of starch— a review. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, 27, 1-12. 2000. Briefly, annealing of starch may be described as a physical treatment whereby the starch is incubated in excess water (e.g. >60% w/w) or intermediate water content (e.g. 40 to 55% w/w) at a temperature between the glass transition temperature and the gelatinisation temperature for a certain period of time. After the annealing process, the starch granules remain non-gelatinised. Preferred annealed starches are delayed swelling starches, preferably with a Ref Tonset of at least 74°C, more preferably of at least 76°C, more preferably at least 78°C, most preferably at least 79°C, and preferably at most 100°C, more preferably at most 95 °C.

A delayed swelling physically modified, preferably annealed starch according to the invention may be prepared with a process comprising the following steps:

a) Heating a water slurry of non-gelatinised native starch (excess water, preferably with a (w/w) ratio of water : starch of higher than 2:1 more preferably higher than 3:1 ) to a temperature of from e.g. 55 to 68 °C and kept to this temperature for a period of at least 2h, preferably at least 3h, preferably less than 24h. This step can be performed under mild stirring. The temperature should be maintained below the Tonset of the starch in the aqueous slurry so the starch remains non-gelatinised during the process. b) Removing the excess water (e.g. by sedimentation and filtering) and drying the starch at a temperature and conditions such that it remains non-gelatinized, (e.g.

vacuum dried, T< 60°C).

Optionally the heating step a) can be performed in multiple phases of e.g. increasing temperature to obtain a higher shift in the onset of gelatinization and prevent any unwanted starch gelatinization at the beginning of the process, especially for starches which have a natural lower Tonset. For example 1 h at 60°C followed by one hour at 63°C followed by one hour at 65°C etc.

Optionally, the heating step a) may be carried out in a salt containing solution e.g. at least 15% NaCI, preferably at least 20 wt% NaCI by weight of the starch-water slurry whereby the slurry is heated to a temperature of from 60 to 73 °C whereby the remaining conditions are as described above.

Although it is not preferred, the starch may be further modified by any means known in the art.

The non-gelatinised starch in the concentrate of the invention can be isolated from the concentrate by diluting the concentrate in water at a temperature below the

gelatinisation temperature of the starch e.g. 50-60 °C. Ref Tonset and delayed swelling of the isolated non-gelatinised starch can be characterised as described herein.

An annealed non-gelatinised starch useful in the invention may also be modified by an additional physically modification like heat moisture treatment. Annealing and physical modification are well known in the art (Stute,R. (1992). Hydrothermal Modification of Starches: The Difference between Annealing and Heat/Moisture -Treatment.

Starch/Starke 44, 205-214; Annealing of starch - a review. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules 27, 1-12.)

The non-gelatinised starch used in the invention preferably has an average diameter of more than 10 micrometer, more preferably more than 12 micrometer, more preferably more than 15 micrometer, most preferably more than 18 micrometer. Starch granule size can be measured for example by suspending the non-gelatinised starch granules in water and observing the granule sizes by light microscopy or a particle size analyzer as known by person skilled in the art. Starch granules have sizes ranging from invisible under light microscope to up to more than 100 micrometers. For estimating the average granule size by using light microscopy, for example, images from separate areas each with at least 200 starch granules are randomly recorded. Three images are used to measure starch granules sizes. The starch granules are labelled manually, and the sizes are automatically measured in micrometers by suitable image analysis software. Further details can be found in Snyder,EM. (1984) as cited above.

The non-gelatinised starch used in the invention is preferably from the following botanical source: corn, arrowroot, sago, waxy corn, wheat, tapioca, yam and mixtures thereof. Most preferably the starch is annealed sago starch. Annealed sago starch is well known in the art (Wang.W.J., Powell,A.D., and Oates,C.G. (1997). Effect of annealing on the hydrolysis of sago starch granules. Carbohydrate Polymers 33, 195- 202; Jayakody,L. and Hoover,R. (2008). Effect of annealing on the molecular structure and physicochemical properties of starches from different botanical origins: A review. Carbohydrate Polymers 74, 691 -703).

The amount of non-gelatinised starch is at least 10 wt%, more preferably at least 12 wt% and 15 wt%, preferably at most 40 wt% more preferably at most 35 wt%, most preferably at most 32 wt% by weight of the total concentrate. The amount of starch in the ready-to-eat product is preferably at least 1 wt%, preferably at least 2 wt%, most preferably at most 6 wt%, preferably at most 7 wt%. The w/w ratio of water to non- gelatinised starch (on dry basis) in the food concentrate is preferably higher than 13, preferably higher than 1 .4, preferably higher than 1 .5, more preferably higher than 1.65, more preferably higher than 1 .8, preferably at most 7, more preferably at most 5. Although starch may contain some water depending on the source, the amounts in the present invention are calculated as the dry matter. The w/w ratio of non-gelatinised starch to salt in the total food concentrate is preferably at least 0.8, even more preferably at least 1 , even more preferably at least 1.5, even more preferably at least 2, and more preferably at most 10, more preferably at most 8, most preferably at most 5. It is understood that the preferred features of the non-gelatinised starch used in the invention as described can be combined, i.e. preferred botanical source with preferred physical modification, preferred Ref Tonset and delayed swelling. Reduction in lumping

Preferably, the concentrate according to the invention has a reduction in lumping in the test described below of preferably at least 15%, more preferably at least 20%, more preferably at least 30%, more preferably at least 40%, more preferably at least 50% and preferably at most 100% when compared to the same concentrate except that the starch according to invention is replaced by the native starch from the same botanical source. For example: Lumping reduction (in %) = (1 - Lumping in composition with annealed sago/ Lumping in composition native sago) * 100. Thus, if a concentrate with native sago results in 80% lumping and the same concentrate with annealed sago in 10% lumping, the reduction in lumping is 87.5% ((1-10/80) * 100%). A reduction in lumping of x% as described herein may also referred to as a Reduced Lumping Factor (RLF) of -x. Accordingly, the concentrate according to the invention has a RLF of preferably at least -15, more preferably at least -20 more preferably at least -30, more preferably at least -40, more preferably at least -50 and preferably at most -100.

Viscosity of the ready-to-eat product

Preferably the food concentrate according to the invention_provides a ready-to-eat product having viscosity of at least 10 mPa.s, preferably at least 20 mPa.s preferably more preferably at least 30 mPa.s, most preferably at least 50m Pa.s at 60°C. The viscosity is preferably measured as detailed below.

Gelling agents

The food concentrate of the present invention comprises an effective amount of agar to form a gel, preferably at least 0.4 wt%, preferably at least 0.6 wt%, more preferably at least 0.8 wt%, even more preferably at least 1 wt% and preferably at most 2 wt%, preferably at most 2.5 wt%, more preferably at most 3 wt%, most preferably at most 3.5 wt% of agar of the combination of xanthan gum with at least one galactomannan and/or glucomannan, based on the total water content of the food concentrate. In addition to agar another structuring agent may be used e.g. a gum like locust bean gum. An additional gum may be present in an amount of at least 0.05% and at most 5 wt%, more preferably at most 3 wt% based on the total water content of the food

concentrate. An additional gum like locust bean gum may provide softer gels

Gel

The present invention relates to a food concentrate in the form of a gel. In the context of the present invention, a gel should be understood as a texture that is substantially shape stable at 20 °C, e.g after removal from the packaging. Due to gravity, a relatively weak gel might (slightly) deform, after removal from its packaging. The form of a gel generally can be achieved in an aqueous environment when sufficient gelling agent is used in the formulation. For the present invention, a too rigid gel is not preferred, as this may impair the easy removal from the packaging or the spoonability when the product is packaged in a multidose packaging, like jar. The gel structure should allow removal from a plastic tub preferably without significant damage, possibly with the help of a spoon. A gel shows elastic deformation. This type of deformation is to a large extent reversible. For example, after reducing deforming pressure, e.g. from gravity or gentle pressure by a finger, the shape will reform to a large extent to its original form. In addition, at 20° C, a gel in the context of the present invention does not flow, like a liquid. Further, at ambient temperatures (e.g. at 20° C), after cutting of the gel in some pieces, the pieces of gel cannot be substantially adhered and united by simple reassembling of the gel pieces, to form the original volume of the gel. The latter is possible with a paste. As known in the art, at 20°C a gel is normally solid, i.e. not a pourable liquid. In normal use, a consumer cannot pour the food concentrate from its packaging, but can be removed as one piece, which maintains its shape (shape stable). Indeed, a solid gel is not considered to have a viscosity, which can be measured with for example in a Brookfield viscosimeter, as the texture of the solid gel would break during measurement. This should be understood, as that the food concentrate in the form of a gel can deform under gentle pressure or gravity to some extent, depending on how strong the gel is. The elasticity usually can restore a gel to the original shape after removal of the pressure.

Gel characterisation

The concentrate of the invention is not liquid, but has a semi-solid texture with certain firmness.

The following parameters preferably are used to characterise concentrates in the form of a gel: firmness and brittleness. Firmness is preferably measured using the compression test Force (in g) vs. Distance (in mm) with a texture analyser according to the method as described below. Firmness

Preferably, the gel firmness measurement is carried out using a Texture Analyser TA - XT2 or similar (Stable Micro Systems Ltd). The gel firmnessjneasurements are performed after at least 12h maturation time after the samples have solidified. A longer maturation time of for example 24h to 48h is preferred. a. The samples are equilibrated to room temperature for at least 2h, preferably more than 4h, prior to measurement.

b. The machine and sample container specifications are as follows:

- Container (125 ml polypropylene cup), 52 mm diameter

Sample height: at least 25 mm

Equipment: Texture Analyser Stable Microsystems (or similar) Probe: 1/2 inch cylinder, smooth edges (P/0.5 - 0.5 inch diameter cylinder probe, Delrin)

- The following settings are used:

• Load cell: 500g to 30kg

Compression mode

Pre-test speed =10 mm/s

• Test speed =5 mm/s

· Post-test speed= 10 mm/s

• Trigger force = 3 g

Penetration depth=10 mm (measurement error can be typically of 0.1 -0.2 mm).

c. Values of parameters below are presented as average and with a standard

deviation of at least duplicates.

Preferably, the firmness of the food concentrate should be such that the maximum force (in g) recorded while the probe penetrates 10 mm into the food concentrate is typically above 50g, preferably above 70g, more preferably above 100g, preferably less than 1000g, more preferably less than 600g most preferably less than 500g, even more preferably less than 350g. Brittleness

Agar gels are relatively brittle. The brittleness can be expressed as the distance to break (in mm) in the Force vs. Distance curve according to the procedure above. A typical breaking point is observed as a maximum in the Force and the Distance at which this occurs is a relative measurement of how brittle the gel is. For the purpose of this invention this distance to break is called brittleness. The brittleness of the gels according to this invention is preferably less than 9mm, more preferably less than 8 mm, even more preferably less than 7 mm, most preferably less than 6 mm, preferably more than 1 mm.

Water

The food concentrate contains water. In the context of the present invention the total water content in the food concentrate includes both water added as such and water as part of other ingredients like vegetables, unless otherwise indicated. E.g., the amount of water indicated as ingredient in the examples is added as such. The food concentrate comprises preferably at least 35 wt%, preferably at least 38 wt%, preferably at least 40 wt%, more preferably at least 42 wt% and preferably at most 65 wt%, more preferably at most 60 wt%, even more preferably at most 55 wt%, of water based on total weight of the food concentrate. The water content in the food concentrate can be measured by any standard method including drying the food concentrate and comparing the weight before and after drying. Thus, when the amount of salt or gelling agent is expressed by weight of the water content of the food concentrate this includes both water added as such and water of other ingredients in the food concentrate.

Polvol

Surprisingly, the concentrate according to the invention requires no liquid polyol or sorbitol as suggested in WO2012/097930 and WO 2004/049822, respectively. As noted in WO2012/097930 a polyol (polyhydric alcohol or sugar alcohol) is commonly known in the art as an alcohol containing multiple hydroxyl groups. It is thus a hydrogenated form of a carbohydrate. A polyol is different from a fat. A fat is not a carbohydrate, a fat molecule is either a mono-, di-, or triacylglyceride and thus a different chemical substance and not a liquid polyol. For the present purpose a liquid polyol is preferably understood to be selected from the group of glycerol, polypropylene glycol and mixtures thereof. Preferably, the food concentrate according to the invention comprises less than 5 wt%, preferably less than 3 wt%, more preferably less than 1 wt%, more preferably less than 0.1 wt% of a liquid polyol by weight of the total food concentrate. Most preferably, no liquid polyol is present at all. Preferably, the food concentrate according to the invention comprises less than 5 wt%, preferably less than 3 wt%, more preferably less than 1 wt%, more preferably less than 0.1 wt% of glycerol by weight of the total food concentrate. Most preferably, no glycerol is present at all. Preferably, the food concentrate according to the invention comprises less than 5 wt%, preferably less than 3 wt%, more preferably less than 1 wt%, more preferably less than 0.1 wt% of a sorbitol by weight of the total food concentrate. Most preferably, no sorbitol is present at all. It is understood that the expression "less than" includes 0wt%.

Salt

The food concentrate preferably comprises at least 15 wt%, more preferably at most 40 wt% of salt, based on the water content of the food concentrate. The water content of the food concentrate combines water added as water and water present in other ingredients of the food concentrate like fresh vegetables. Salt is added to provide a salty taste. The salt preferably comprises NaCI, KCI and mixtures thereof. The high level of salt is predominantly present to provide the desired salty taste impact after dissolution in a relatively high volume. As common in the art, the salt content, preferably NaCI, in this context is calculated as ((amount of salt)/(amount of salt + amount of water)) * 100%. At a level of higher than 26.5 wt% on water, NaCI starts to crystallise, and the food concentrate might contain some salt crystals. Preferably, the amount of salt in the food concentrate is at least 15 wt%, preferably at least 20 wt%, and preferably at most 35 wt%, more preferably at most 31 wt%, most preferably at most 26.5 wt%, based on the weight of the water content of the food concentrate. Preferably, the amount of NaCI in the food concentrate is at least 15 wt%, preferably at least 20 wt%, and preferably at most 40 wt%, more preferably at most 35 wt%, more preferably at most 31 wt%, most preferably at most 26.5 wt%, based on the weight of the water content of the food concentrate. The salt in the food concentrate is preferably dissolved. The food concentrate according to the invention preferably has a water activity of between 0.60 and 0.95, more preferably of between 0.65 and 0.90 even more preferably between 0.70 and 0.90, even more preferably between 0.72 and 0.85, most preferably between 0.72 and 0.79.

Savoury taste booster

The food concentrate is preferably a savoury food concentrate, for example for preparing a bouillon, a soup, a sauce, a gravy or a seasoned dish. To contribute to the savoury taste, the food concentrate of the present invention may further comprise a savoury taste booster selected from the group consisting of glutamate, 5'- ribonucleotides, sucrose, glucose, fructose, lactic acid, citric acid and mixtures thereof. The term savoury taste booster used in the singular may refer to a single compound or a mixture of more than one taste booster compounds. The term "savoury taste booster" is used interchangeably with the term "taste booster". The amount of savoury taste booster present in the food concentrate is present in an effective amount to obtain the desired level in the ready-to-eat product. The effective amount depends on the desired dilution rate and amount in the ready-to-eat product. The amount of savoury taste booster in the concentrate is preferably present in an amount of at most 40 wt%, more preferably of at most 30 wt%, more preferably in an amount at most 25 wt%, most preferably in an amount of at most 15 wt%, and preferably at least 0.1 wt%, more preferably at least 0.5 wt%, more preferably at least 1 wt%, more preferably at least 5 wt%, based on the weight of the total food concentrate. A savoury taste booster as mentioned above may be present in an amount at most 40 wt%, more preferably of at most 30 wt%, more preferably in an amount at most 25 wt%, most preferably in an amount of at most 15 wt%, and preferably at least 0.1 wt%, more preferably at least 0.5 wt%, more preferably at least 1 wt%, more preferably at least 5 wt%, based on the weight of the total food concentrate. It is understood that any savoury taste booster compound can be added as such or as part of more complex food ingredients like yeast extract; hydrolyzed proteins of vegetables-, soy-, fish-, or meat-origin, malt extract, beef flavourings, onion flavouring, liquid or dissolvable extracts or concentrates selected from the group consisting of meat, fish, crustaceans, herbs, fruit, vegetable and mixtures thereof. Process of preparing a food concentrate

In a further aspect, the invention relates to a process for preparing a food concentrate as described, preferably comprising

a) 35 to 70 wt% of water by weight of the total food concentrate;

b) 15 to 40 wt% of salt by weight of the total water content of the food concentrate; c) an effective amount of a taste booster selected from glutamate, 5'- ribonucleotides, sucrose, glucose, fructose, lactic acid, citric acid and mixtures thereof ;

d) 10 to 40 wt% by weight of the total food concentrate of a delayed- swellingphysically modified non-gelatinised starch characterised by Ref Tonset of at least 74°C, preferably a delayed-swelling annealed non-gelatinised starch characterised by Ref Tonset of at least 74°C;

e) an effective amount of agar to form a gel, preferably 0.4 to 3.5 wt% of agar by weight of the total water content of the food concentrate.

the process comprising the steps of:

i) preparing a mixture comprising:

water,

agar,

ii) heating said mixture, preferably to higher than 75°C ;

iii) admixing the non-gelatinised starch to the mixture at a temperature which is lower than the Tonset of the non-gelatinised starch, preferably less than 74°C, whereby salt, taste booster and any optional ingredient may be admixed at any one of steps i) to iii);

optionally, filling the mixture of step iii) into a packaging; and

iv) allowing the mixture to form a food concentrate in the form of a gel.

In a first step i), a mixture is provided comprising the combination of agar and at least part of the water. The water may be heated to at least 30°C, preferably at least 40°C to allow better mixing.

In step ii) the mixture of water and the combination agar is heated. The temperature is preferably higher than 75 °C, most preferably higher than 80 °C, and preferably less than 105 °C, more preferably less than 100 °C, most preferably less than 95 °C. Heating of the mixture of step i) resultsjn dissolving of the gelling agent and activating it to allow gelling after cooling, e.g. during step iv) of the process. Preferably, the heating of step ii) provides pasteurization of the mixture. It might be preferred to use high shear mixing at a temperature above the activation temperature of the gelling agent to provide optimal activation of the agar.

In step iii) the mixture is optionally cooled and the non-gelatinised starch is admixed at a temperature which is lower than the Tonset of the non-gelatinised starch, preferably less than 74°C, preferably less than 72 °C, more preferably less than 70 °C most preferably less than 68 °C, preferably above 40 °C, more preferably above 50 °C, most preferably above 55 °C. This can be suitably done by mixing the non-gelatinised starch into the mixture resulting from step ii), preferably by a mixing device. Applied high shear stress is preferably limited to a minimum, for example, only to guarantee homogeneous starch distribution. However, unnecessary stress to the gel is preferably avoided, especially when starch is added close to the gelling point of the gel system. Cooling might be carried out by a cooling device like a tube-in-tube heat exchanger, as known in the art, but might also be suitably done by allowing the mixture to cool in the processing vessel. Salt, tastebooster and any optional ingredient may be added at step i), ii), or iii).

Preferably, all ingredients, except for the starch, are added during step i). Addition of ingredients after step ii) might require a high shear mixing because of a viscosity increase, which may not be preferred. Optionally, the mixture of step iii) is filled into a packaging before step iv).

In step iv), the mixture is allowed to form a gel. Step iv) might comprise a cooling step, wherein the concentrate is cooled by any suitable cooling means, preferably to a temperature lower than the gelling temperature of the gelling agent used in the mixture of step i). Alternatively, the mixture is allowed to cool passively by leaving it ambient temperature (20°C) such that it forms a gel at ambient temperature. The time needed for the gel to set may depend on the amount of gelling agents and other ingredients. Weaker gels may take more time than stronger gels. A package preferably is a package selected from the group consisting of a tub, a cup, a jar, a doy pack and a stick pack. The filling of the package is preferably carried out by pouring the mixture resulting from step iii) into the package. Preferably, the concentrate is a packaged concentrate, whereby the concentrate (excluding the packaging) has weight of at least 10g, preferably at least 20g, preferably less than 1 kg, more preferably less than 50g. Preferably, the concentrate is unit dosed having a weight of at least 10 g and less than 50g. The present invention also relates to a food concentrate obtainable by the process as described above.

A food concentrate in the form of a gel according to invention preferably comprises a) 35 to 70 wt% of water by weight of the total food concentrate;

b) 15 to 40 wt% of salt by weight of the total water content of the food concentrate; c) 1 to 40wt% by weight of the total food concentrate of a taste booster selected from glutamate, 5'-ribonucleotides, sucrose, glucose, fructose, lactic acid, citric acid and mixtures thereof ;

d) 10 to 40 wt% by weight of the total food concentrate of a delayed-swelling non- gelatinised annealed sago starch characterised by Ref Tonset of at least 74°C;

wherein the non-gelatinised starch is annealed sago starch and/or annealed corn starch;

e) 0.4 to 3.5 wt% of agar by weight of the total water content of the food concentrate;

f) 0 to less than 5wt% of sorbitol by weight of the total food concentrate;

g) wherein the food concentrate has a firmness of above 100g and less than 600g; h) wherein the food concentrate provides a ready-to-eat product having viscosity of at least 30 mPa.s at 60°C, wherein said ready-to-eat product is a soup, sauce or gravy. Use

Preferably, the invention relates to the use of the concentrate of the present invention to prepare a soup, a sauce or a gravy. At least part of the concentrate in the form of a gel is preferably mixed with a hot aqueous phase and diluted in it. The term "dilution" is used interchangeably with the terms "dissolving" and "dispersing". If preferred, the concentrate of the present invention can be added to a pan directly with sufficient amount of water optionally other ingredients required for the soup, sauce or gravy can be added before or after the concentrate like vegetables and/or meat. However, to calculate the amount of salt and starch in the ready-to-eat product such solid ingredients are excluded because the salt and starch will mainly dissolve in the aqueous phase only. Preferably the aqueous phase has a temperature higher than the dissolution/melting temperature of the gelling agent which is used in the concentrate in the form of a gel. Preferably, the temperature of the hot aqueous phase is between 70°C and 95°C, more preferably of between 85 and 98°C. During dilution, but preferably thereafter, the mix of the concentrate of the present invention and the aqueous phase is preferably heated or heating is continued to cook-up the mixture. Continuous heating improves dissolving of the concentrate in the form of a gel and induces the viscosity increase as a consequence of gelatinisation of the starch. It might be preferred that the concentrate in the form of a gel is first dissolved in the aqueous phase, preferably in water, of a temperature of below 95°C, before cooking up. Cooking up is preferred to achieve the final viscosity. An optimal preparation mode is dependent on the type of gelling agent used, on the gel firmness, the exchange surface area between gel and the aqueous liquid, on the gelatinisation temperature of the starch, and on further starch characteristics of the starch which is used. However, it is in the art of a skilled artisan to find out what the optimal temperature and heating time is for a specific food concentrate. A preferred cooking time may be between 20 s and 10 min, preferably between 30 s and 8 min, more preferably between 45 s and 5 min, preferably at boiling temperature.

A person of average skill is able to optimize the food concentrate depending on the preferred preparation mode or preparation requirements or the desired application for the consumer. For example a food concentrate for a stew may be simmered for hours.

Hence, preferably the present invention relates to a process to provide a ready-to-eat food product, comprising the steps of:

a) providing a food concentrate of the present invention,

b) admixing at least part of the food concentrate to an aqueous phase, c) heating the mixture resulting from step b) to a temperature higher than the Ref Tonset of the starch used, such as to achieve a viscosity increase of the mixture to result in a ready-to-eat food product, whereby the dilution in step b) is preferably between 20g/L and 350g/L and more preferably between 50 and 250g/L. Preferably the heating step bringing the mixture to boiling temperature as described above.

The present invention also relates to a ready-to-eat food product obtainable by the process as described above. Tests

I Ref Tonset : Reference temperature of onset of gelatinisation of starch in reference solution

As mentioned above a person skilled in the art of starch routinely uses Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) to measure the Tonset of a given starch sample to evaluate its gelatinisation properties. A typical DSC curve and the T onS et according to this procedure is shown in Fig 1 (Temperature vs Normalized heat flow, with endothermic events pointing upwards on the y axis)

The Ref Tonset is the T onS et measured in a reference solution, preferably measured using a Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) comprising the steps of:

- preparing a mixture of 12 to 16 mg of starch and 40-50 μΙ_ of Ref DSC-solution resulting in a w/w ratio of 1 :2.5 to 1 :3 in a DSC sample pan (60 μΙ_ high pressure stainless steel) whereby the Ref DSC-solution contains 20.7wt% NaCI, 12.7 wt% sucrose and 66.6% water;

- carrying out the DSC measurement protocol comprising the steps of

1 . Holding the mixture for 3 min at 15°C

2. Heating said mixture from 15°C to 120°C at 10°C/min

- using the standard DSC software to determine the Ref Tonset from the onset of the peak indicating the thermal transition of starch gelatinisation in the DSC thermogram. The equipment used for the DSC analysis can be any suitable calibrated DSC equipment and is preferably the Perkin Elmer Power Compensated DSC8000 equipped with an intracooler 3 as used herein. Preferably the DSC measurement is performed under nitrogen atmosphere with a gas flow of 20 mL/min. In addition to the Ref Tonset determined in the Ref DSC solution, the Tonset may also be determined in the concentrate (Prod Tonset). The difference between the Ref Tonset compared for a native and a modified annealed starch of the same botanical origin will be reflected in the Prod Tonset of the same two starches in a given formulation.

Therefore, the Prod Tonset is measured in a similar way as the Ref Tonset using a Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) comprising the steps of:

- making the gel concentrate into a paste (by stirring the gels with a spoon or spatula until a pasty texture is obtained)

- weighing 35-55 mg of concentrate in a DSC sample pan (60 μΙ_ high pressure stainless steel)

- carrying out the DSC measurement protocol comprising the steps of

1 . Holding the mixture for 3 min at 15°C

2. Heating said mixture from 15°C to 120°C at 10°C/min

- using the standard DSC software to determine the Prod Tonset from the onset of the peak indicating the thermal transition of starch gelatinisation in the DSC thermogram.

II Delayed swelling.

As mentioned above a delayed swelling starch can be determined using a Rapid Visco Analyser (RVA, Newport) with the standard RVA-software to establish a pasting curve as described below. During an RVA analysis, the starch is heated in an aqueous environment following a pre-defined temperature profile. The viscosity changes produced by heating and cooling starch in water generally provide a characteristic curve depending on the starch type and modification. For the purpose of this invention, a starch is defined as a delayed swelling starch by analysing it using a Rapid Visco Analyser (RVA), whereby the RVA analysis comprises the steps of

i. Adding a suitable amount of starch to 25g of Ref-RVA Solution, said amount of starch adjusted to provide an increase of viscosity to 180-320cP at time= 7 min (Visc(7)) calculated from the base line viscosity Visc(BL) at time =1 min, whereby the Ref RVA-solution contains 1 .3 wt% NaCI, 0.8 wt% sucrose and 97.9 wt% water;

ii. Carrying out the RVA test under "STD1 " conditions as described below or similar;

iii. Determining the ViscRef defined as Vise (7) - Visc(BL) expressed in centiPoise (cP), whereby the ViscRef is between 180-320cP

iv. Determining T1 defined as the time necessary to first achieve ViscRef (starting t= 1 min) and T2 defined as the time necessary to achieve half of the ViscRef (starting t= 1 min)

Whereby the starch is defined as a delayed swelling starch if

a) T1 is preferably at least 6.5 min, more preferably at least 6.8 min, most

preferably at least 7 min; and

b) T2 is preferably at least 4.6 min, more preferably at least 4.9 min, even more preferably at least 5 min, most preferably at least 5.1 min.

For the present invention the Ref RVA-solution is representative of a typical salt and sugar concentrations in the ready-to eat product.

The RVA standard analysis (STD1 ) test conditions (available in the standard equipment software package (Thermocline for Windows, TCW. Newport Scientific) can be described as:

Time Type Value

h:min:s

00:00:00 Temperature 50 °C

00:00:00 Speed 960 rpm

00:00:10 Speed 160 rpm 00:01 :00 Temperature 50 °C

00:04:42 Temperature 95 °C

00:07:12 Temperature 95 °C

00:1 1 :00 Temperature 50 °C

Profile End Time: 00:13:00

Profile Idle Temp: 50 °C

The amount of starch to be added to the Ref RVA-solution to achieve ViscRef can be easily adjusted by a person skilled in the art, for example by testing a range of amounts of starch added to the Ref RVA-Solution and obtaining ViscRef between 180-320 cP. The suitable amount of starch for the RVA analysis is preferably 0.8 to 2 g.

Typical ranges of the starch amounts to be tested are: o Sago starch native and modified: 0.9-1.7 g

o Tapioca starch native and modified: 0.8-1.4 g

o Corn starch native and modified: 1.0-1.8 g

As an example pasting curves are shown in Figure 2 of a native sago starch without delayed swelling (Fig 2A) and a delayed swelling annealed sago starch (Fig 2B):

• Vise (BL)= viscosity at time = 1 min (in cP)

• Vise (7)= viscosity at time = 7 min (in cP)

T1 defined as the time necessary to first achieve ViscRef (starting t= 1 min) and T2 defined as the time necessary to achieve half of the ViscRef (starting t= 1 min)

The characteristic delayed swelling of the starch can also be measured in the concentrate. For this purpose, a suitable amount of the concentrate (e.g. 3-5g) should be added in 25g of water (diluted) in order to provide a suitable amount of starch (e.g. 0.8-2g) to provide an increase of viscosity of 180-320cP at time= 7 min calculated from the base line viscosity Visc(BL) at time =1 min. The amount of concentrate to be added to 25g of water will depend on the type of starch and amount of starch present in the concentrate and can be easily adjusted by a person skilled in the art, for example by testing a range of amounts of concentrate added to 25g of water. The characteristic delayed swelling of the starch in a food concentrate can be measured using a method comprising the following steps of:

i. Adding a suitable amount of concentrate to 25g of water, said amount of

concentrate adjusted to provide an increase of viscosity to 180-320cP at time= 7 min calculated from the base line viscosity Visc(BL) at time =1 min

ii. Carrying out the RVA test under "STD1 " conditions as described above or

similar;

iii. Determining the ViscRef defined as Visc(7) - Visc(BL) expressed in centiPoise (cP), whereby the ViscRef is between 180-320cP

iv. Determining T1 defined as the time necessary to first achieve ViscRef (starting t= 1 min) and T2 defined as the time necessary to achieve half of the ViscRef (starting t= 1 min)

Whereby the T1 and T2 are as defined supra. Standardised wet lumping test

For the purpose of the present invention lumping of a concentrate according to the invention is preferably measured in the test below. The chosen test conditions favour the formation of lumps, i.e. adding the gelled concentrate in boiling water and with very mild stirring. This will allow to provide preferred food concentrates according to the invention which are more robust in use, even when consumers deviate from the instructions of use.

• A kitchen food preparation machine (Kenwood Cooking chef major KM070 series or similar), with temperature control with major sized Anchor Flexi beater stirrer attachment or similar.

• Stirrer moves at a stirring speed of ~ 22 rotations per minute

• 25-30 g of gel food concentrate (cylindrical shape with 2 parallel surfaces, with height between 8-15 mm and diameter between 30-45 mm) is added to 250ml of water at 98°C in the Kenwood Mixer

· Stirring is continued for 1 min at 98 °C

• Stirring is stopped and product is maintained for 1 min at 98 °C. Product is sieved and amount undissolved material is weighed (1 mm mesh sieve) The concentrate according to the invention used in this lumping test is without particles of vegetable, meat or herbs or other solid ingredients with a size larger than the mesh (1 mm) and that would remain in the sieve. , n , weiqht material undissolved

Standardised wet lumping (%material undissolved) = 100 weight of initial concentrate

It is understood that the % of material undissolved can be higher than 100% in cases in which the amount of material retained in the sieve is higher than the initial amount of concentrate (e.g. 25g concentrate is tested and the amount weighed in the sieve is 28 g) . That is because the starch lumps also absorb water during cooking and that would be reflected in the amount retained in the sieve. The preferred non-gelatinised starch used in the invention shows a surprising decrease in lumping compared to the same concentrate with the same amount of native starch of the same botanical source. Since the lumping test overestimates the lumping, it is expected that in real use including the addition of the concentrate to water at lower temperatures and/or e.g. intensive stirring with a hand whisk, as can be expected from some consumers, would lead to far lower absolute amount of lumps. However, a difference between preferred starches that are part of the invention and native starches of the same botanical source that are not part of the invention would still be observed.

Test Dissolution time

The dissolution time of the concentrate in absence of the non-gelatinised starch is measured by a conductivity measurement. The conductivity is measured according to the following method:

Equipment:

• Conductivity meter with data logging capacity

• Magnetic stirring (and magnetic stirrer) plate with heating function

• 1 L glass beaker

· Temperature probe

• Meshed metal grid (4mm) with a support to suspend the grid inside the beaker 500 ml of tap water is heated to boiling temperature and added to 1 L glass beaker. The beaker is placed on magnetic stirring plate with heating function. The temperature and conductivity probe are placed in the beaker.

A magnetic stirrer (smooth surface 64mm x 10mm) is placed at the bottom of the glass beaker.

Test conditions:

a. The temperature of the heating plate is set so that the temperature can be maintained between 95-100°C throughout the test.

b. The stirring is started and kept at 300rpm

- Once the temperature reaches boiling (~98°C), the conductivity measurement is started.

28 g (cylindrical shape with 2 parallel surfaces, with height between 8-15 mm and diameter between 30-45 mm) of a gel product in one single piece (shape stable * ) is placed onto the meshed metal grid.

- The metal grid which holds the gel is then gently immersed in the hot water until it is suspended 3 cm above the bottom of the glass beaker.

Stop the test when the value appears to stabilise on the conductivity meter

The 90% dissolution time is determined as the time at which 90% of the plateau value for the conductivity is reached (using conductivity curve)

- Measurements are made in duplicate or triplicate (n = 2 or 3).

Preferably, the concentrate according to the invention has a dissolution time (measured without the non-gelatinised starch) of preferably at least 4.5 min, more preferably at least 5 min, and preferably at most 12 min and more preferably at most 10 min. Viscosity of the readv-to-eat product

It is desirable that the ready-to-eat product obtained after diluting the food concentrate according to the invention has a certain viscosity. The viscosity of ready-to-eat product is preferably measured as detailed below.

Dilute the concentrate in the required amount of warm water of 70 °C to obtain the ready- to-eat product (e.g. 28g concentrate in 250g water). Stir well and then heat the product for 1 min at 98°C, assuring that no water evaporates during the preparation. For the measurement of the viscosity of the ready-to-eat product the product is prepared under mild conditions so no lumps are present (i.e. recommended water temperature and suitable stirring). As some starches will take more time to reach full viscosity, the same experiment is repeated with stirring and heating for 5 respectively 10 minutes and the highest viscosity measured is noted.

The viscosity is measured in a Physica MCR rheometer 300, 301 (Anton Paar GmbH, Graz, Austria) or similar, with the following geometry:

• Measuring cup (ridged cylinder): Part number 21736

• Vane: Part number. 21888 ridged cylinder

Method:

1 ) Equilibration step: Shear rate at 30 s "1 at 75°C for 2 min

2) Cooling step: Shear rate at 30 s "1 from 75°C to 20°C at 2.04 °C/min

If necessary, a solvent trap should be used during the measurement to avoid water evaporation.

The viscosity at 60 °C on cooling is recorded as and expressed in mPa.s. (milli Pascal second)

Examples

The invention is further exemplified in the examples below. The different starch samples are denoted as S1 and S2. A savoury flavour mix was used to add savoury taste booster compounds to the concentrates. The amount of NaCI in the savoury flavour mix is in wt% by weight of the savoury flavour mix.

Example 1

The following process was used to prepare the gravy concentrates in table 1 in a Thermomix (Vorwerk, Germany):

Steps

Add water to the vessel and heat to 50°C

Start mixing

Add agar and optionally other gum(s) and allow for hydration

Add all dry ingredients (except starch) while mixing

Heat up to 90°C

hold for 2 min while mixing

Cool to starch addition temperature (adapted depending on the starch) (58 °C)

Mix for 2 min

Filling containers for measurement.

Cooling for gel setting (24h at least before measurements)

Speed was adjusted throughout the process between setting 2-4 to allow for optimum stirring and low air incorporation. Table 1 Gravy concentrates using different gelling agents

onion, beef flavourings, paprika powder, onion flavoring, pepper, thyme, bay leaf. The savoury flavour mix contained 18.7% wt NaCI.

# total water content in the concentrate (added water and water derived from other ingredients) ~ 44% wt

The lumping reduction compared to the same composition with non-gelatinised native sago starch was 50%. The comparative example with non-gelatinised native corn starch resulted in a similar high level of wet lumping as the native sago starch. Starch characterization

Sago and annealed sago starch (ex Ingredion Inc (USA)) were analysed using RVA and DSC as described above. For the RVA analysis respectively 1.2g native sago and 1.2g of annealed sago starch were used.

Dissolution time of composition minus the starch)

Example 2

A delayed swelling physically modified starch according to the invention was prepared with the following process.

A water slurry of non-gelatinised native sago starch (excess water, e.g. 4-5% wt starch) was heated to a temperature of 64°C and kept (incubated) to this temperature for about 2h or about 3h. This step can be performed under mild stirring.

The excess water was removed (e.g. by sedimentation and filtering) and the starch was dried at temperature and conditions to remain non-gelatinized, (e.g. vacuum dried, T< 60°C).

The result was a delayed swelling annealed starch with a RefTonset of higher than 79°C. Example 3

Comparative experiment with heat moisture treated potato starch.

A food concentrate with the following composition was prepared as in example 1 with the exception that the starch was added a 50-52°C.

* Savoury flavour mix composition contains (powders): beef flavouring and yeast extract. The savoury flavour mix contained 18.7% wt NaCI.

# total water content in the concentrate (added water and water derived from other ingredients) ~ 44% wt

Starch characterization

Heat moisture treated potato starch and other comparative starches were analysed using RVA and DSC as described above. For the RVA analysis respectively 1.2g native corn, 0.8g of native potato, 1.2g of native tapioca, 1 g of annealed tapioca starch 1.2g of heat moisture treated potato starch and 0.9g of waxy corn starch was used.

RVA DSC

Comparative Starches ViscRef T1 T2 Delayed RefTonset swelling

(cP) (min) (min) (°C)

Native potato 206 6.7 4.9 Yes 61

Native Tapioca 243 4.0 3.7 No 75

Annealed tapioca (S4) 225 5.3 4.4 No 83 Native corn 237 5.4 4.9 No 75

Native waxy corn 262 5.0 3.8 No 73 (Comp)(S5)

Heat moisture treated 283 7.1 6.1 Yes 63 potato starch

A concentrate in the form of a gel with agar and non-gelatinised heat moisture treated potato starch was not achieved. The starch gelatinised during the production (starch addition at 50-52 °C). Adding the starch at lower temperature was not possible as the agar gelation started to take place.

Example 4

A comparative experiment with sorbitol and non-gelatinised starch

Example 1 of WO 2004/049822 discloses a liquid fluid thickener composition with 32% non-gelatinised starch and 43.4% sorbitol as shown below. As sorbitol is not acceptable for many consumers, an attempt was made to produce a thickener according to example 1 of WO 2004/049822 but without sorbitol.

Example 1 in

WO 2004/049822

(g)

Sorbitol 43.4

Native potato 32.0

starch

Water 17.9

Kitchen salt 3.0

Potassium acetate 3.6

Xanthan 0.1

TOTAL 100 Without sorbitol the product could not be processed as the mixing equipment was blocked by the addition of the non-gelatinised starch.