Functional native starches are described as starches that give similar food processing characteristics to modified starches. While modified starches are described by E numbers on product packaging, functional native starches can be called simply 'starch'. This means that they are in line with 'clean label' trends, as consumers are veering away from products described by E numbers. National Starch's latest offerings, called Novation 9260 and Novation 9230, are intended to help manufacturers meet another key trend in the food sector - for certified organic products. They are derived from organic waxy corn and are said to be suitable for use in products including ready meals, soups, sauces and dressings. "The organic trend shows no sign of waning," said Laura Goodbrand, marketing manager, wholesome, and National Starch Food Innovation. "The expansion of our trusted Novation range will help our customers differentiate their products and capture a greater share of the market." In the UK alone, Organic Monitor estimates that the UK organic food & drink market alone grew by an impressive 25 per cent in 2007 to be worth £1.97bn (c €2.9bn). National Starch's Novation range includes products based on waxy maize, tapioca and potato, which are suitable for different applications. Amongst these are non certified organic waxy maize based starches, suitable for the same applications. In fact, under the EU's 5 per cent rule, these can still be used in organic foods in the EU. "Here, the EC allows organic products to contain up to 5 per cent of ingredients, including ingredients of agricultural origin, that have not been produced organically," said a spokesperson for the company. The new 9260 and 9230 versions, on the other hand, come with organic certification so are suitable for use by manufacturers who wish to remain well below the 5 per cent limit, or who need to reserve their five per cent allowance for some other ingredient in the formulation. Also in the Novation range are two other certified organic starches, from tapioca, which are said to be suitable for delicate flavour systems like dairy products and baby food. National Starch says its new 9260 and 9230 products bring processing benefits including excellent batch-to-batch consistency and extended shelf-life stability. They are also said to be resistant to heat, acid, and resistant to the stress of the mixing process used by many food processors (shear). According to a spokesperson, the difference between the two is a result of processing differences, resulting in 9230 having a higher resistance to heat, acid and shear.