Alpha-cyclodextrin, produced from starch by an enzymatic process, can be used as a carrier for natural colours, flavours and vitamins, a solubiliser of lipids, a stabiliser of oil in water emulsions, or a flavour or aroma modifier in a variety of processed foods.
The German firm introduced a new version of the ingredient, Cavamax W6 alpha-cyclodextrin, derived from starch, in the US earlier this year. It is a non-digestible, but fully fermentable dietary fibre, targeted at clear beverages, dairy products, baked goods, and breakfast cereals.
Dietary fibres are thought to support gut health and may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and other diet-related disease. Nutritionists recommend a daily fibre intake of 25 - 30g but most people in the western world do not get enough fibre in their daily diet.
Wacker claims to be the world's leading producer of cyclodextrin products, marketed under the Cavamax brand name. The company, which generates annual sales of €2.7 billion, also makes the OmegaDry omega oil powders and has launched the first non-animal and non-human derived L-cysteine for the food market.
Comments on the novel foods application should be sent to Food Standards Australia and New Zealand by the end of February. Further details can be obtained from the website.