We test pectin versus starch in a pastry filling
How to put a fruit filling in a soft pastry and keep it stable is a challenge known to every one of us who bakes long shelf-life products.
Solving the issue means choosing a stabiliser with just the right ability to stop fillings from migrating into the pastry or drawing moisture out of it – essential to preserving the fresh feel and look of soft pastries for several weeks after baking.
On top of that, you need a stabiliser that gives your filling a good taste and texture and makes for easy pumping through bakery processing systems.
So what opportunities are available?
For bakery fillings injected into soft pastries after baking, the choice is often between starch or pectin, which both produce a pumpable gel. While starch is the cheaper, more conventional alternative, pectin has a number of advantages – particularly an improved ability to regain its texture after pumping and injection. Pectin also returns an enhanced flavour release and mouthfeel, permitting a lower addition of flavourings and colour.
But neither pectin nor starch are the key to preventing migration. Instead, this is about choosing a stable pastry filling with the same water activity as the dough – typically around 0.8.
Our 30-day trial
To evaluate the performance of the two stabilisers, we decided to run our own trial – testing a filling stabilised with pectin against a filling stabilised with starch. Both fillings match the dough with regards to water activity.
Day 0 (left: Starch, right: Pectin)
Day 30 (left: Starch, right: Pectin)
The pectin we are using is GRINDSTED® Pectin PRIME 139 from the DuPont™ Danisco® range.