Mixing It Up with Dry Sauce Blends
What is a dry sauce blend and how do you use it? What are the benefits? The simplest answer is that a dry sauce blend is the entire sauce in a dry form sans water. That’s it!
Before you start using dry blends, make sure it fits in your and your customer’s process. Do you want to add this dry seasoning to water and “voila” a thick sauce is instantly made? Or do you want to add it to a kettle and cook it to provide a kill-step? What about the thickness and texture? Will you be replacing any gold standard ingredients? Before you start looking for your dry sauce blend, you need to ask these questions upfront; knowing your needs and the function of your end product will help us properly formulate the blend and provide the safest and best product possible to your consumer.
Your process will determine if you need an instant sauce or a cook-up sauce; the former does not apply heat to the water mixture, while the latter does. Each type of sauce can contain a different type of starch, which is the backbone of a dry sauce blend, based on what qualities the product wants to imbue. It’s key to know what properties we have to work through, for example, are we dealing with a high shear, low pH, thick or thin? This will also help us identify if gums, such as Xanthan or Guar are needed. Used in combination with starches, gums can provide a synergistic effect that allows you to use less of both to achieve the desired thickness.
Along with providing viscosity, which is the measure of flow based on a specific time period, starches and gums can provide texture to a sauce. Do you want a short texture or a thin, long texture. Are you looking to maximize mouthfeel with added fat? Another functional benefit of using starches is they aid in many issues such as syneresis (expulsion of water from food gels) after a freeze-thaw cycle once the sauce has been made. Using a dry sauce blend can easily solve the issue of syneresis by incorporating the correct type of starch that won’t squeeze the water out after it has been absorbed and gum to absorb any water that does drain off.
When replacing some of the expensive gold standard ingredients such as cheese, buttermilk, sour cream or tomato paste, we can use more cost-effective dry dehydrated forms of these ingredients that mimic the flavor, texture and appearance of these gold standard ingredients. We can incorporate spices, herbs, vegetables, flavor enhancers, flavors and colors. They can be natural, non-GMO or clean label.
There are many benefits to using a dry sauce blend. For starters, water is typically the first ingredient in any liquid sauce. It’s the one ingredient most people have on hand and is typically the cheapest. So in most cases, it’s not necessary to invest in transporting water around the country or world when your customer can easily add it. A second benefit is energy. A dry seasoning can be stored at room temperature and have a shelf life of six months to a year, depending on ingredients. Contrast that to a liquid sauce which will most likely need to be refrigerated or frozen and generally has a 15-day shelf life once in refrigeration. The third benefit is space. A compact dry seasoning will only take about 15 percent of the space a larger liquid sauce container would take, clearing up any lack of storage issues.
If you would like learn more about how to reap these common sense and monetary benefits, contact Asenzya today. We’d be delighted to show you the near magical properties of a dry sauce blend.