Meat+Poultry - June 2020 - 74

INGREDIENT ISSUES

In the era of "chicken
sandwich wars," many
fast-food restaurants rely
on batters and breadings
to keep their fried chicken
sandwiches crispy for their
drive-thru customers.

MEAT+ POULTRY | 06.20 | www.meatpoultry.com

LITTLE EXTRAS
"A variety of flavors can be added to predusts, batters and breadings," Krawczyk
said. "Generally, the more volatile flavors, such
as cheese, mushroom and wine, do not survive
long in a deep fryer, but other profiles such as
Italian, curry, smoke, sautéed, grilled and spicy
can be added successfully.
"Spices, such as paprika and whole herbs,
may end up burning, so spice extractives may
need to be used instead. Whole wheat and
ancient grain batters are possible but can
produce a darker finished color and possibly
heavier texture. Seeds like fennel, anise,
caraway and peppercorn, hold up well in
the deep fryer. Natural colors will burn but
artificial colors survive."
With the rise in food delivery service,
there's a need to improve holding times of
battered and breaded foods.
"Our customers are looking for ways
to get a fried product to stay crisp from
the restaurant to the consumer's home,"
Radermacher said. "Then there's the holy grail
of frozen convenience food. That's to create
a frozen chicken nugget that becomes crispy
when microwaved."
Briess Malt & Ingredients, Chilton, Wis.,
offers a range of ingredients for use in breaded
and battered meat and poultry. Pure malt
extracts, for example, add sweetness and
color to batters and breadings. If the product
is formulated to be gluten free, then white
grain sorghum extract is a better choice. It's a
natural gluten-free sweetener distinguished by
light color and a clean, wildflower honey-like
flavor. It's uniquely made by Briess from the
starchy grain heads of white sorghum. Other
sorghum syrups are typically produced from

Wendy's

74

Krawczyk said, "Batter adhesion may also
be improved if protein, such as egg, milk or
soy, is added to the pre-dust or batter system."
The viscosity of batters used for adhesion
is another place to troubleshoot.
"If it's too thin, like the consistency of half
and half, you'll get little breading pickup," Qian
said. "If it's too heavy, like a pancake batter,
the coating may be too thick and you will have
uncooked batter on the finished product."
Radermacher agreed that viscosity of a
batter is key for breading pickup and adhesion.
"Gums are used to help control the
viscosity of batters, keeping them consistent
throughout the manufacturing process and
reducing run-off," Radermacher said. "Gums
also help suspend particulates like salt evenly
throughout the mixture. They even help retain
moisture during freezing, enabling proteins
to retain succulent, juicy bite throughout the
product's shelf life. Xanthan gum is a popular
choice for these applications."
Batter viscosity can be monitored through a
quality assurance step.
"This can be done by checking the flow of
the batter with an instrument like a Bostwick
consistometer or Zhan/Stein cup, sometimes
called a D-cup," Ramseyer said. "To account
for the natural variation of the flours and
starches in the formula, the amount of water
added to hydrate the batter then can be
adjusted to obtain the correct viscosity."
Discoloration can typically be managed by
adjustments in cooking time and temperature.
Some discoloration cannot be controlled by
the manufacturer.
Freeze-thaw during distribution and
storage, for example, may result with moisture
migrating to the surface. This may produce
uneven surface browning and burning during
frying, according to Qian.

"Blowouts (holes) in coating systems
can be caused by ice crystals on the frozen
protein surface," Krawczyk said. "You need to
eliminate these as much as possible. A strong
adhesive batter system can help form a shell
that is not easily broken."
Consumers will often be disappointed
when protein has excessive breading. This is
quite common in chicken strips.
"Tailings of batter are generally caused by
excess batter viscosity or equipment issues,
such as air blow-off velocity, belt rates, etc.,"
Krawczyk said.


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Meat+Poultry - June 2020

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Meat+Poultry - June 2020 - FC - 1
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