Two forms of the ingredient are available: TICorganic YG Cup Set is for cup set organic yogurt products, while TICorganic YG Vat Set is for stirred yogurts. Both are certified 100 percent organic.
TIC Gums is the only US provider of 100 percent organic agar. According to the company, TICorganic YG Cup Set is a high gel strength fine mesh extract from red seaweed, which is said to improve gel structure of yogurt with increased control of syneresis for improved product quality throughout the shelf-life. TICorganic YG Vat Set is said to offer the same benefits of YG Cup Set, but was specially developed to stabilize stirred style yogurts, added TIC Gums.
“Some organic yogurts lack the texture and overall quality of non-organic yogurts,” explained Tim Andon, business development specialist. “We set out to produce a 100 percent certified organic yogurt that could compete with the best-selling organic and organic-compliant yogurts on the market.”
Proof in the pudding
The company has performed consumer testing of products formulated with the YG Cup Set ingredient, comparing this with a nationally-sold organic-compliant yogurt. According to the company’s results, the consumers ranked the YG cup and the control yogurt equally in overall liking scores, but the TG cup was deemed better for smoothness, while ‘grainy appearance’ was also improved, compared to the national brand.
“Many consumers choose foods perceived as healthier and more environmentally friendly. Organic food makers must maintain organic certification by identifying organic ingredients that meet USDA standards,” added Andon
Organic sector growth
A recent study from RNCOS, for example, found that the organic food industry grew by 5.1 percent in 2009, despite the struggling economy; and Organic Monitor has reported sales growth of just under five percent for the organic sector during the recession, following double-digit growth for several years previously.
However, such reports were challenged at the start of this year when research from TABS Group indicated that the percentage of US consumers buying organic products has remained steady at 38-39 percent for three years running.
The market research organization conducted a survey of 1,000 people aged 18-75 in its online panel in early January 2011, replicating an earlier poll conducted in November 2008. Its results show the percentage of consumers buying organic products stood at 38.4 percent in 2008, 38.0 percent in 2009, and 38.6 percent in 2010, and claims that other research indicating a growing US organic sector could be incorrect.