Choosing pectin alternatives
Pectin’s functional benefits make it difficult to replace in applications. TIC Gums, White Marsh, Md., does offer options, particularly in beverages.
To add texture to beverages, Ticaloid 310 S replaces the viscosity and mouth-coating commonly provided by pectin, said Karen Silagyi, product manager for TIC Gums. Ticaloid 310 S is a blend of natural gums, including gum acacia and xanthan.
“It takes advantage of gum-gum synergies to add to the viscosity and mouth-coating in common applications such as juice and tea beverages,” Ms. Silagyi said.
The usage level of Ticacoloid 310 S in juice and tea beverages is generally between 0.05% and 0.07%, which compares to a usage level of 0.15% and 0.2% for pectin, she said.
In acidified protein beverages, Dairyblend Acidified Beverage 120 from TIC Gums provides stabilization, increases the rate at which the beverage clears the mouth and reduces the awareness of particulates without relying on pectin alone, she said.
Extenders may reduce the amount of pectin used in applications, said Albert Cianci, product line manager for functional systems and hydrocolloids in North America for Cargill, Minneapolis.
“There is no alternative that we’ve seen that is a turn-key or drop-in,” he said.
Food and beverage companies might use a little more starch and a little less pectin, or they might use a little more gum and a little less pectin, he said.
“Perhaps you may use some extenders, but in the end you need pectin’s functionality,” Mr. Cianci said.
Food and beverage companies may enter into longer term contracts with ingredient suppliers to secure pectin supply, Ms. Gizzi said. Also, ingredient alternatives might make sense in certain applications and provide some relief from the current high costs of pectin.
|Valentina Gizzi, global product manager of pectin for DuPont|
“As an example, we work with food and beverage manufacturers to create tailored ingredient systems,” she said. “By combining functional properties of diverse ingredients in highly specialized and synergistic ways, we can help our customers enhance product performance and quality and also reduce formulation costs.”
When choosing pectin alternatives, clean label issues may arise.
“Pectin is generally recognizable to consumers and viewed favorably,” Ms. Silagyi said. “While there is no regulatory body defining the term ‘natural,’ some grades of pectin undergo processing that may not be viewed as such. Additionally, pectin is non-G.M.O. but is often standardized with other carbohydrates that may not meet the clean label parameter.”
Like pectin, Ticaloid 310 S is non-bioengineered/non-G.M.O., according to TIC Gums.“When recommending pectin alternatives, we work with our customers’ specific clean label requirements,” Ms. Silagyi said. “Although there is not a clear definition of clean label, we have developed a clean label chart to help our customers determine which hydrocolloids can meet their specific parameters.”