Commercially introduced in the late 1930’s, the coating process and seasoned breading mix for seafood has evolved greatly. Today, almost every imaginable food has been coated and commercial coating formulations have become more sophisticated and elaborate.
Through continued research, coatings now incorporate a vast array of flours, seasonings, batters and breaders that deliver a more desirable product appearance and texture, while locking in more flavour and moisture.
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Pre-Dusts Pre-dusts are typically a blend of finely ground grain-based breaders, or dry batter. They’re applied as the first layer in the coating system. A pre-dust provides a good binding surface to which batter can attach, and contributes to increasing the total coating pickup. Agents are often added to pre-dusts to help other coatings bind better to the substrate.
Standard batter Batters are generally a blend of several ingredients, such as flour, starches and water. They provide an adhesive surface to which flour or breadcrumb coatings can stick. Adhesive agents are often added to batters to coat specialty products that are slick or have a dense surface. Batters with flavours and colours help to create final taste and appearance characteristics. Batter viscosity is key to obtaining the desired coating pickup, adhesiveness and texture.
Tempura batter Tempura batter is prepared and blended like any other batter, except that leavening agents are added to form gas in the mixture. The gas expands when fried, resulting in puffing of the coating and the hard-bite texture that is typical of tempura-battered products.
Wash batter Combinations of water, eggs, starches, adhesion agents, colour agents, and flavour agents are ordinarily found in wash batters. They provide a unique surface texture to fried products like french fries, spring rolls, several types of seafood products, and many specialty foods
Breaders Each breader has a characteristic flavour, size, texture and colour. Adding spices, nuts and other natural and artificial flavourings, as well as different flours, starches and crumbs, can augment breading taste and appearance in nearly limitless combinations.
Flour Flour is a natural for carrying flavours and colours, so it is often mixed with various spices, starches and other ingredients. Flour is one of the most widely used coatings. It produces a home-style appearance that is popular with consumers, while its flexibility and tolerance to frying make it successful for producers.
Extruded crumb Extruded crumb is produced from high starch ingredients cooked continuously under pressure. At the end of the process, the sudden release of pressure causes the quick expansion of moisture, which in turn expands the extrusion. The inexpensive process allows high production volumes of crumbs that have light to medium density.
American crumb American crumb is usually baked as a continuous bread loaf, while manufacturers attempt to minimise the presence of crust particles, this is a typical feature of this type of crumb. Because of its hard texture, American crumb is largely used to coat products such as croquettes and fish. To enhance appearance, colouring agents such as paprika and turmeric are used to develop a rich brown colour during frying.
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