A new fat replacer from stabilizer firm Gum Technology Corporation claims to offer texture and moisture binding benefits to manufacturers of low- or no-fat products.
The company, which first introduced its Coyote Brand Stabilizer CKX-Fat Replacer at the IFT show in June, has said that it has already made "significant sales" of its new product in the US.
Marketed with an "all natural" tag, the gum blend combines cellulose gel, konjac and xanthan, and contains soluble and insoluble fiber.
It mimics fat, creating a creamy mouthfeel in products such as dressings, sauces and ice creams, while replacing up to 10 percent fat, according to Gum Technology's vice president of sales Joshua Brooks.
"We're also able to market this product for its moisture binding capabilities. Konjac alone holds up to 200 times its own weight in water, and this makes the CKX-Fat repalcer ideal for extending the shelf life of dough and other baked products," he told FoodNavigator-USA at the World Grains Summit in September.
Microcrystalline cellulose (MCC), konjac and xantham gum react synergistically to create a cold water soluble blend that becomes a fatty-like substance when stirred. This can be either a thermoreversible or a non-thermoreversible gel, meaning that depending on its processing conditions, the gel will either melt into a liquid when heated and reset into a gel upon cooling, or it will remain a gel even when heated.
If the gums are mixed using high shear in cold solution, a thermoreversible product will be achieved. This property is especially beneficial for filled dough products, such as buns with cream filling. The ingredient allows manufacturers to achieve a heat stable filling by preventing it from seeping out of the dough or losing water when heated, while also allowing the product to retain the required texture and mouthfeel when it cools.
But if the blend is pre-treated with alkali and heated to 185 degrees F, it will form a non-thermoreverssible gel, suitable for reformed foods and meat analogs.
According to the company, the MCC in the gum blend helps it to act as a foam and emulsion stabilizer, creating a physical barrier and preventing coalescence in emulsions. Additionally, the konjac and xanthan incorporated in the blend form a network, which in conjunction with the MCC is effective in suspending particles.
This makes the ingredient suitable for use in whipped toppings, dairy deserts, dressings, dips, imitation mayonnaises and ice creams, said the firm.
An off-white powder, the CKX-Fat Replacer has typical usage levels of less than 1 percent, and claims to have no impact on a product's flavor. It is currently priced at $4 per pound.
According to Brooks, primary interest in the product so far has come from manufacturers of low fat dressings and low fat muffins, and it has already churned out 12,000 pounds of its ingredient to a salad dressing firm since the product's launch at the end of June.