Innovations in Dressings, Sauces and Dips

Consumer preferences are changing. A few years ago, convenience was the most important feature desired for foods. Today, people are looking for products that are organic, give high energy, are natural and produced from whole grains. Incorporating an ethnic twist to the product certainly does not hurt, either. Of course, these products must taste good and provide a feeling of satiety. In a presentation entitled “Modified Gum Acacia: A Potential Replacer for Gum Arabic and Modified Food Starch,” presented at Prepared Foods’ 2007 R&D Seminars--Chicago, presenter Nabil Naouli discussed these concepts.

Historically, there is a high failure rate of new products. A lack of marketing or a poor marketing campaign are among the reasons for these failures. To ensure success with new products, companies must do their homework. This includes developing products that consumers really want, which in today’s market, includes supplementation without sacrificing flavor. Of course, one must be able to manufacture the product efficiently and at a reasonable cost, so utilizing ingredients that are easy to work with in production operations is an essential element for success. 

Hydrocolloids or gums are macromolecules that are water-soluble. They may be proteins or carbohydrates. Gums such as the TIC Pretested product line may be used to increase viscosity, as gelling agents, as emulsifiers, to stabilize proteins or to control migration of water. Plus, many are excellent sources of dietary fiber, such as the TIC Pretested Nutriloid® series of products. Natural gums may be obtained from plant exudates such as gum Arabic, seaweed (agar, carrageenan and alginates), chitosan, starches and from seeds. Guar and locust bean gum are examples of the latter. Natural gums can also be modified chemically to enhance desirable characteristics and functionality. TIC’s patented modified gum Arabic products, TIC Pretested Ticamulsion A-2010 and TIC Pretested Saladizer Max, are excellent emulsifying agents for use in flavor emulsions and salad dressing and sauce applications, respectively.

There are a number of factors that affect gum functionality. These include hydration time, concentration, pH of the medium, the presence of alcohol, salt concentration and temperature. The finished product will affect stability. The ingredients in the final formulation, the processing conditions that are used, the type of packaging and target shelflife all have an impact on how the product and the gum system performs. Real-world processing conditions must be factored into the development process. A commercial, high-shear mixer will perform much differently than a bench-top model. Each of these factors must be considered when selecting a gum for use in a product, which is why it is advisable to work with the vendor. Utilizing a vendor can save time, effort, money and aggravation, as there are many gums with which to work.

For example, the chart entitled “pH Tolerance of Gums” shows the pH tolerance of different gums. If one is looking to utilize gums in fruit drinks, like TIC Pretested Dairyblend 603-EP (label declaration pectin, guar, PGA) or TIC Pretested Gum Arabic FT Powder (label declaration is gum Arabic), the chart makes it clear that gums like acacia and pectin would be the best choices.

Hydrocolloids or gums provide food product developers with a multitude of functional options. They will bind water, increase viscosity, add fiber, help stabilize proteins and act as gelling agents. Selecting a gum system should be based on the type of product, its formulation and how it will be processed.
--Richard F. Stier, Contributing Editor 

For more information:
TIC Gums Inc., Belcamp, Md.
Maureen Akins, 410-273-7300, ext. 3363
makins@ticgums.com, www.ticgums.com