Usage of flour and starch in instant food and food industry – check more here!

Flour is these days one of the main ingredients of meals, as we want to have meals that are easy and fast to make. Since humans discovered that cereal and vegetables can be changed into flour, they used it to make food. The basic result is of course bread. It can be made out of wheat and rye.
Flour is made from many types of cereal and vegetables and used to various kinds of food.

Flour can be also made of triticale (hybrid of wheat and rye), barley, oat, corn, millet, sorghum, buckwheat, amaranth, rice, quinoa, pea, cicer, soyabean, potatoes, manihot and other vegetables.Flour products like bread or pastry used to be made since many centuries. These days there are not many people who make them by themselves. Both men and women work and they do rarely have enough time to bake meals that take hours to make. The modern solution are instant meals that take minutes to be ready to eat and also can be easily kept for a long period before being used.

snacks

The best example are chinese noodles that you can use in different types of instant soups and also sold as an ingredient of asian meals. They are made of wheat flour with a relatively big amount of water what makes them soft by comparison to regular hard noodles that have to be boiled for at least some minutes. The instant soup with chinese noodles needs only to be poured over by hot water to be ready. You can also soften the noodles on a frying pan with other ingredients of the meal to spare time.There also rice noodles and soyabean noodles (that are accually made of mung beans flour). They have the same attribute – being easy to prepare just pouring them over with boiling water for some minutes.

Similar invention was developed in snack industry. There are companies that sell dry snack forms to the snack companies – check snack pellets. So called snackpellets can be changed into ready to eat snacks that we can buy in every shop. The process of changing a snackpellet to a ready snack is frying or baking. Baking is more healthy beacuse the snack contains in effect less fat, is lighter and has less calories. The flour used in snacks is mostly made of corn, potatoes, rice, wheat or mixes of some of them.

Flour is also used as a thickening agent in ready sauces, sandwich sauces, dips and salat dressings (like ketchup, garlic sauce, barbecue sauce, vinaigrette etc.). The flour used to thicken the sauce or soup is not a new invention. In traditional recipes it was often used, mainly the potato flour and starch. Potato starch is often called potato flour although it is not precisely the same.The difference between flour and starch is how they are being made – the flour is made of boiled potatoes, the starch from raw ones – snackpellets.

In ready sauces that you can buy in local shops is mainly used corn starch. Some sauces need to be thicken because otherwise they are too loose. But on the other hand flour and starch are being used too often because they are inexpensive way to produce more food.

As we see, the flour is present in most of the ready meals that we prepare daily. Also industry uses its advantage – it is easy to keep fresh for a long period of time when it is dry and it is also fast to prepare. Unfortunately it can be also a danger for our health because eating too much flour can cause obesity. So it is important to have a choice between fast and slow food and take time to cook for ourselves at least once a week.

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