Emulsifying Starch Offers Alternative to Gum Arabic
by Donald E. Pszczola
An emulsifying starch, EmulTru from Cargill, Booth 4629, reportedly provides food and beverage manufacturers the same functionality in products as gum arabic, while delivering a potential cost savings of 25%. The new texturizing ingredient, made from waxy corn, was showcased in a sports drink prototype at the company’s booth.
“The beverage industry is fiercely competitive, and the instability in the gum arabic market is a serious challenge for many of our customers,” said Wen-Juin Shieh, Technical Manager, Fruits and Vegetables, Cargill Texturizing Solutions, at a press conference held on Tuesday, July 20. Although gum arabic functions as an emulsifier, giving beverages consistent flavor and appearance features such as cloudiness or coloration, the supply of the ingredient has presented challenges in recent years. “The largest supplier of this gum is Sudan, where drought, locust infestations, and conflict have affected the price and supply of Sudanese production,” Shieh said. “Supply is expected to be down in 2010 and beyond while prices will be up. In addition, gum arabic can perform inconsistently because of challenging growing conditions in that country.”
According to Shieh, the emulsifying starch can offer a true replacement for gum arabic, and can help customers manage ingredient pricing and supply chain-related risks. “It delivers the same type of functionality that gum arabic does in flavor emulsion or cloud beverages, but a lower cost, with longer term emulsion stability and with more consistent quality performance,” he noted. Furthermore, it can remain liquid at high solids and in cold storage conditions, which presents a potential for cost saving when shipping concentrated emulsions.
With the starch, the stabilizer usage level can be decreased, pre-hydration becomes unnecessary, and foaming and pre-homogenation waiting time is reduced. Shieh added that overall, this starch outperformed other starches targeted at replacing gum arabic.