Brief Description of the Product
Almost every child in America who grew up in the nineties has the knowledge of the popular cracker brand; Nabisco Ritz or as they are popularly known; Ritz crackers. I enjoyed this a lot in my childhood and at that time cared little about what this great snack was made of. It came in two different flavours which included cracked black pepper and bacon. It is the bacon flavour that I enjoyed the most. I am going to discuss some of the ingredients that make up the Nabisco Ritz crackers which applies to both flavours. The crackers are made up of a wide range of ingredients among which include corn maltodextrin, lecithin, ammonium bicarbonate and glucose syrup. This section of the paper will discuss the ingredients in detail explaining why they are used in the making of the Nabisco Ritz Crackers (Lundberg & Aronson, 2006).
Ingredient 1: Corn Maltodextrin; this ingredient is used in the making of the Nabisco Ritz crackers as a food additive. Various health questions have been raised about this ingredient but it however considered safe to be used as a food additive both in the United States of America and in Canada where the teddy Nabisco Ritz crackers are most popular. The ingredient is created by the means of hydrolysis. Starch from corn or potato is boiled and this starch is further broken down by means of enzymes or by the addition of acid. This creates a white powder which is the corn maltodextrin.
Figure 1: Chemical Compound of Maltodextrin
Why it is used in Nabisco Ritz Crackers: Corn maltodextrin is used as an ingredient in making of Nabisco Ritz crackers so as to act as a filler to the snacks packaged in the box. It adds more flavour aside from those presented in the simple sugars that form part of the crackers. These simple sugars include fructose and sucrose. Further, since it dissolves and absorbs oil easily, it is used to give the crackers its texture and Aroma (Lundberg & Aronson, 2006).
Other Interesting Information: An additional information about corn maltodextrin is that it does not necessarily have to be extracted from corn and potato but can also be extracted from wheat and Barley.
Ingredient 2: Lecithin; Lecithin used in the manufacture of the Nabisco Ritz crackers whether cracked pepper flavoured or bacon flavoured are extracted from a number of sources including Soy beans, egg yolks, canola oil and peanuts. The lecithin regardless of the source from which it is retrieved is used as an emulsifier.
Figure 2: Chemical Compound of Lecithin
Why it is used in Nabisco Ritz Crackers: In the making of Nabisco Ritz crackers, it is used for a number of purposes. One of the major purposes is so as to mix water and oil in the baking process since lecithin is an emulsifier so that the crackers can have a smooth texture and appear creamy. Further it is also used as a wetting agent as it reduces surface tension of the liquids used in baking, especially water and oil (Lundberg & Aronson, 2006).
Other Interesting Information: Additionally, Lecithin whether extracted from any of the mentioned sources are majorly used in the manufacture of oily foods and these may include but not to exclude others, food such as chocolate and salad dressing as they make them creamy and smooth.
Ingredient 3: Ammonium Bicarbonate; Ammonium bicarbonate is an ingredient that is mostly used for baking purposes both in homes and in commercial baking. The major purpose of this ingredient is that it makes dough rise during baking. This is through a reaction than produces carbon (IV) oxide which in turn results in to a leavening action within the dough. The same can be represented in the chemical equation shown below.
Figure 3: Chemical Reaction of Ammonium Bicarbonate
Why it is used in Nabisco Ritz Crackers: In the making of crackers, the ammonia gas released is not held up within dough and is instead released to the environment thus there is no the unpleasant smell of ammonia in the final crackers sold out, reason for preference in leavening in making of Nabisco Ritz crackers.
Other Interesting Information: This ingredient should not be mistaken for a complex ingredient but is found in the normal baking soda or baking powder that we are accustomed to in our kitchens for ordinary baking purposes (Lundberg & Aronson, 2006).
Ingredient 4: Glucose Syrup; Glucose syrup is essential in the making of Nabisco Ritz crackers, the bacon flavoured and the cracked paper flavoured. This is derived from the naturally existing simple sugar, glucose. Glucose syrup is extracted from starch foods such as potato, wheat, cassava and barley (Lundberg & Aronson, 2006).
Why it is used in Nabisco Ritz Crackers: It is use to sweeten the crackers because as it offers consumers sugar in its simplest form thus posing no health risks, something that Nabisco Ritz stands for. Further, it is used for softening of the texture of the crackers and thus the crackers come out sweet and soft.
Other Interesting Information: The process of hydrolysis applies in the extraction of glucose syrup just as to the first ingredient.
Lundberg, B. and Aronson, G., Fiberstar, Inc., (2006). Enhanced crackers, chips, wafers and unleavened using highly refined cellulose fiber ingredients. U.S. Patent Application 11/440,603.