An economic alternative to pure pectin?

By Anthony Fletcher

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags E number Natural gum

A French company has developed what it claims are two economic
alternatives to pure pectin.

Marseille-based Caragum International has launched Carapec CG 227, a suspension agent for fruit juices containing pulp, and Caragellys CG 23 for jams with a high percentage of sugar.

"It was a conscious business decision of ours not to sell pure pectin,"​ commercial director Frederic Tur told FoodNavigator.

" The cost of pectin is very expensive, and we have responded to customer demand in the development of a more economic alternative."

Pectin, with worldwide production estimated at 35,000 tonnes a year, is widely used as gelling agents in jams, confectionery, and bakery fillings, and stabilisers in yoghurts and milk drinks.

The functionality of the pectin is dictated by the chemical fine structure, and the majority of the pectins used currently come from citrus peel and apple pomace. Other sources of the ingredient have remained largely unexploited because of certain undesirable structural properties.

But it remains expensive between nine and 11 euros a kilo. Caragum saw an opportunity in tapping this demand with a cheaper alternative one that offers lower costs but the same end results.

"What we've done is to mix pectin with natural gum,"​ said Tur. "The solution has to be at least 50 per cent pectin to produce good results."

The two products have now been on the market for six months, and Tur claims that the results have been very positive.

" Carapec CG 227 was developed in the Middle East, while Caragellys CG 23 was developed in France and Switzerland.

"We are specifically targeting developing markets such as Central and Eastern Europe and Latin America, though the products are available all over Europe."

The launch of these two products follows Caragum's development of an Arabic gum-based emulsifier, which is also targeted at food makers looking to cut ingredient costs. The company claims that the product can be used in much lower concentrations than conventional products.

"This product - CaraGum EM CG 108-2 - costs less than conventional gum Arabic products because it is concentrated,"​ said Tur. "This means that it can be used in doses 10 times less than conventional gum Arabic."

Gum Arabic, known as the Rolls Royce' of gums, is widely used by the food industry as a thickener, adhesive, and stabiliser and is heavily used as an emulsifier in beverages.

CaraGum exports more than 85 per cent of its products and is present in over 60 countries. It operates two divisions - a gum Arabic division for beverages and a food stabilisers division.

Production is based in Marseille, France and the company is certified to ISO 9001 standards. According to Tur, the company will soon receive ISO 22000 accreditation.

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