Joseph Bavone of Kerry Ingredients Inc. gained US patent 6194010 27 February for his "Compositions useful in preparing unified food serving products." This is a starch-based binder usful for deep fried foods and snacks.

Only two other firms, Bunge Foods and Penwest Foods are active in this field.

Abstract:

    Certain coating formulations provide an adhesive effect that enhances points of contact between the individual pieces of food to be joined in deep-fried unified food servings. Batter mixes for restaurant food coating compositions in accordance with the present invention contain 35%-75% adhesion component, 2%-11% viscosity component, and 5%-50% crispness component. Batter mixes for processor food coating compositions in accordance with the present invention contain 30%-70% adhesion component, 10%-25% film-forming component, 3%-9% viscosity component, and 8%-40% crispness component. Both compositions may additionally contain 0.1%-2% leavening component, 0.1%-15% flavoring component, 0.1%-1% coloring component, and/or 0.1%-1% processing aid. Also provided are unified food serving products that are characterized by a persistent crispy, crunchy texture and produced by a process that includes: providing multiple pieces of a food to be cooked; applying a "back of the house" food coating composition to each piece of food while in a mold; immersing the mold in a heated deep-frying medium to cook the food and join the pieces into a unified food serving reflecting the shape of the mold; and removing the unified food serving product from the deep-frying medium and the mold. Another process provides unified food serving products, characterized by a persistent crispy, crunchy texture, produced by the process of providing multiple pieces of a food to be cooked; applying a "processor" food coating composition to each piece of food; individually freezing each piece of food; adding the frozen pieces of food to a mold; immersing the coated pieces of food in a mold in a heated deep-frying medium to cook the food and join the pieces into a unified food serving reflecting the shape of the mold; and removing the unified food serving product from the deep-frying medium and the mold.

First of 8 Claims:

A batter mix for a back-of-the house food coating composition comprising 35%-75% adhesion component selected from the group consisting of tapioca dextrin, maltodextrin, adhesion starch, and/or corn syrup solids, a viscosity component selected from the group consisting of 2%-11% modified instant corn starch and/or 0.15%-0.5% xanthan gum, and 5%-50% crispness component selected from the group consisting of modified potato starch and/or rice flour.

By Navroz Havewala, just-food.com correspondent