WILMINGTON, Del. - Tortilla makers are rolling up record sales as the ethnic flatbread once considered a Hispanic specialty item now finds itself firmly entrenched in America's increasingly diverse diet. At a whopping $11 billion per year, tortilla sales in the U.S. have surpassed other ethnic and specialty bread items, including bagels, croissants, muffins and pita breads.
That explosive growth has led to a baker's dozen of opportunities for food ingredients suppliers such as Ashland Specialty Ingredients, a commercial unit of Ashland Inc. (NYSE: ASH). Its Aqualon™ and Blanose™ cellulose gums are used in masa flour mixes to improve water absorption and retention in tortilla dough, both cooked and uncooked. Masa flour is sold for home, restaurant, and commercial production of tortillas and other masa-based products.
"The increase in water absorption creates a tortilla with improved texture and extended shelf life, which are critical advantages in a high-speed production environment," explains Julie Masker, nutrition scientist, Ashland Specialty Ingredients.
This year, the International Bakery Industry Exposition in Las Vegas, Nev., Oct. 6-9, is once again joining forces with the Tortilla Industry Association to provide greater access to new suppliers, new ideas and networking opportunities. Experts from Ashland Specialty Ingredients, a commercial unit of Ashland Inc., will be on hand at the Mitsubishi International Food Ingredients booth to share their latest grades of cellulose gums developed for increased rollability specifically for corn tortillas.
Ashland is a world leader in cellulosic- and polyvinylpolypyrrolidone- based food and beverage ingredients, with our products meeting formulation customers' health, convenience, quality and processing requirements in major food applications. Ashland creates value through applications knowledge, market insight and a powerful product portfolio that includes: Aquacel™, Aquasorb™, Aqualon™, Blanose™ and Bondwell™ cellulose gum (CMC); Benecel™ MC and HPMC, Klucel™ and AeroWhip™ HPC, Supercol™ guar gum and Polyclar™ stabilzers.
About Ashland Specialty Ingredients
Ashland Specialty Ingredients offers industry-leading products, technologies and resources for solving formulation and product performance challenges in key markets including personal care, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, coatings and energy. Using natural, synthetic and semi-synthetic polymers derived from plant and seed extract, cellulose derivatives and vinyl pyrrolidones, Ashland Specialty Ingredients offers comprehensive and innovative solutions for today's demanding consumer and industrial applications.
About Ashland Inc.
In more than 100 countries, the people of Ashland Inc. (NYSE: ASH) provide the specialty chemicals, technologies and insights to help customers create new and improved products for today and sustainable solutions for tomorrow. Our chemistry is at work every day in a wide variety of markets and applications, including architectural coatings, automotive, construction, energy, food and beverage, personal care, pharmaceutical, tissue and towel, and water treatment. Visit ashland.com to see the innovations we offer through our four commercial units - Ashland Specialty Ingredients, Ashland Water Technologies, Ashland Performance Materials and Ashland Consumer Markets.
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