FRANCE – French multinational ingredients company Alland & Robert has launched its new tailored ingredient using acacia gum that seeks to help food manufacturers, and in particular manufacturers of confectionery, gummies, and other marshmallows, be able to tap into the ever-growing veganism trend.

According to Alland & Robert, Syndeo Gelling’s composition is based on 100% plant-based hydrocolloids and gum acacia, whose combined properties provide a compromise between gelatin and pectin.

This means that while gelatin provides high elasticity and reduced stickiness, pectin helps achieve firmer, stickier textures with little or even no elasticity. Syndeo Gelling offers low hardness and higher elasticity than pectin, without creating any stickiness.

“Syndeo Gelling is composed of gum acacia mixed with natural hydrocolloids of plant origin. It can therefore be used in the formulation of vegetarian or vegan food products,” said Dr. Isabelle Jaouen, R&D director at Alland & Robert.

One major challenge faced by the manufacturers is that many of those products call for gelatin as an ingredient, usually made from animal-derived collagen.

However, Dr. Jaouen explained that since Syndeo Gelling is of plant origin, it improves the image of confectionery and has a lower environmental footprint than products of animal origin.

In addition, the ingredient does not alter the sensory characteristics of jelly sweets as it offers thickening, stabilizing, bulking, and binding qualities to recipes for confectionery, jelly sweets, and marshmallows.

The product is said to preserve the tasting experience, has a pleasant mouthfeel, odorless, colorless, and neutral-tasting. Its versatile formulation is suitable for various confectionery applications and even for other textured products with gelatin, such as mousses or creams.

In the US, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) granted gum acacia dietary fiber status in December 2021. It can therefore be included as a fiber in nutritional labeling in the US. This endorsement confirms the beneficial physiological effects of this fiber observed in human health.

The studies forming the basis of the FDA’s decision showed, among other things, a reduction in blood glucose and insulin levels in people who consumed gum acacia as part of a high-carbohydrate diet.

In 2022, Alland & Robert conducted a study in cooperation with Merieux NutriSciences, an institute specializing in clinical studies and the analysis of consumer needs for the development of innovative products.

The company reported 88% of 240 volunteers with bowel problems who ingested one dose of gum acacia powder a day at breakfast time for 60 days had a reduction in their intestinal pain. Over 80% perceived an improvement in their intestinal discomfort, while 78% of consumers reported that daily consumption of gum acacia had a beneficial effect on their intestinal well-being. 

This was a continuation of already expanded research into texturing and the development of mousses; dairy specialties and cream desserts (both plant- and non-plant-based) and food supplements will be among the next areas of development.

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