On the Street: Hydrocolloid Conference Announced

March 10/Berlin/Prepared Foods -- IMR International has launched the 14th business development forum: Food Hydrocolloids 2010. The International Conference on Food Hydrocolloids will be held April 25-27, 2010, in Berlin, Germany. Executives from key end-users of hydrocolloids such as Kraft, Nestle and Unilever are among the select range of speakers. The conference provides a neutral forum for suppliers and users of hydrocolloids to meet. They exchange views on the strengths, weaknesses and future requirements of this industry. About 100-120 high level hydrocolloid executives from all parts of the globe will attend the conference.

The global market for food hydrocolloids is valued at around $4.2-4.5 billion, with the market for many hydrocolloids growing at a healthy 4-6% in volume. Price fluctuations mean that growth rates in value can vary from zero or even negative to above 10-20% if not more. The price and availability of some hydrocolloids remain volatile each for different reasons. Locust bean gum prices depend on the harvest and harboring of seed in Spain and Morocco. Alginate prices are in a state of flux due to issues of capacity and/or raw material availability. Gum arabic prices are clearly split between senegal and seyal grades. At times senegal grades cost more than twice the price of seyal grades. Whilst at other times seyal prices have reached those of senegal gum Arabic. Other hydrocolloids have suffered severe price differentials simply based on their country of origin such as xanthan gum from China. 

Aspects of nutrition and health are being addressed by hydrocolloids in novel ways. Soluble fiber, encapsulation, coating, long term stability, all offer opportunities for innovation, not to mention the growing demand for organic, natural and/or GM free designation. The search for innovation has even brought competitors to review potential synergistic opportunities. Old marketing and product development methods are being re-written.

The IMR Hydrocolloid Conference in Berlin, April 25-27, 2010, will provide valuable information about what the key market players are doing to remain competitive and maintain profitability.

Complete conference details are available at www.hydrocolloid.com or by contacting Verena Seisun; PO Box 28993; San Diego, CA 92198; phone (858) 451-6080 or e-mail: vseisun@hydrocolloid.com

From the March 29, 2010, Prepared Foods E-dition