Ingredients Insight talks to Robrecht De Baets, Flinn's general manager, about the clean label possibilities in food coatings.
Robrecht De Baets: Flinn specialises in developing and producing mixes used as coatings or texturisers in food. One of the most innovative companies in its sector, Flinn has its own heat treatment plant for wheat flour.
Consumers are pushing food producers towards clean label, which means fewer or no E-numbers, and a comprehensive and recognisable ingredients list. Flinn produces heat-treated flour (HTF) in different clean label grades. HTF is the most important component of its coating mixes. In addition to this, other innovative clean label ingredients of vegetable origin have become available over the past few years.
With its 'E-free' concept, Flinn offers an additive-free tempura system. The innovative aspect of this development lies in the conservation of the crispy texture of the tempura coating, despite the absence of leavening agents and other more conventional artificial additives.
The crispiness is measured and confirmed using state-of- the-art scientific instruments - such as the newest texturometers - as well as panel tests. The E-free tempura system can be applied to chicken nuggets, fish fingers, chicken fillets, fish and chips, and other substrates.
Flinn's R&D team is extrapolating the same scientific approach to the complete portfolio of its food coatings and texturisers. All kinds of batters, tempuras, predusts and even gluten-free and seasoned product mixes can be developed without E-numbers. As well as focusing on customer bespoke developments, Flinn is always looking for new creative challenges.