Gum Guru Blog

We are currently accepting applications for Ice Cream University 2018. Click here to apply

Sheilah Kast from WYPR's On The Record radio show interviewed Tim Andon, senior technical service manager, and Whitney LaRoche, a past participant, about our Ice Cream University program for high school students. Click here to listen to the show

Listen to the show on WYPR



SHEILAH KAST: We’re on the record.

Ever imagined creating your own ice cream flavor? What would it be?

Creamy caramel or maybe simple vanilla? What would you add? Ribbons of raspberry jam? Crunchy pecans? Dark chocolate truffles? How about all three?

Designing an ice cream flavor requires both balance and a sweet tooth. Marketing that flavor requires a whole other set of skills. Take coffee, for example, that flavor would most likely appeal to adults while bubble gum or cotton candy confections are more kid friendly options.

This is the kind of inside scoop Harford County High School students learn when they take part in something called Ice Cream University at TIC Gums in White Marsh and joining me to tell us more about the making and marketing of ice cream is Tim Andon, business development manager for TIC Gums which manufactures ingredients that improve the texture and stability of foods for the food and beverage industry. Tim Andon, welcome to On the Record.

TIM ANDON: Thanks, Sheilah, it’s good to be here.

KAST: Ice Cream University is run in association with Cornell University and based on their food science 101 course. Tell us about Ice Cream University.

ANDON: As a Cornell University food science graduate myself, all of the freshmen that attend the program there basically are given an introductory course in food science that walks them through the commercialization of an ice cream flavor. It’s meant to be a really nice teaser for freshmen who are often taking chemistry courses, biology courses, a lot of prerequisites but this serves as an entrée into some of the more exciting parts of product development for those students.

KAST: So that’s the 101 course at Cornell, now you’ve taken that somehow and made it into a kind of weekend spring learning experience for high school kids from Harford County. Tell us about that.

ANDON: Exactly, we really try to pare down to get the most important parts of that class. Obviously, it’s an entire semester at the college level but we’ve really tried to pare that down and translate that into a five weekend session for high school students to really try to increase their interest in food science as a potential field of study. Even when I was at Cornell which has one of the highest ranked food science programs in the nation, I would tell people “Oh, I’m a food scientist” and a lot of kids at the university wouldn’t even know we had that. They think you’re a nutritionist or a dietician or something like this. Really it’s everything between the process of food that comes from a farm and how it gets to our tables

KAST: So that’s a lot of boiling down to get that into 5 weekends. How do you start Ice Cream University?

ANDON: It is a challenge but really we’re trying to give students a taste of entrepreneurialism, a taste of how to not only design a really good ice cream flavor but how you go about marketing that.

One of the things that we found, we’re now in our fifth year of the class, a lot of these high school students maybe hadn’t necessarily had the opportunity to present in front of not only adults but their peers and Industry experts. We have professors that come down from Cornell and teach a class about how their actual dairy manufacturing plant is run and we’ll teach them about these kinds of things but it’s really an opportunity for the kids to follow an idea from its creation stage. Every week they’re trying out new flavors at the end of the class. Experimenting with different combinations. How much flavor they need to put into the specific ice cream they’re making and then they go through and try to develop a marketing plan. Very much like you said at the beginning of the show where if they’re going to be making some sort of bubble gum style flavor their marketing plan really needs to be targeted towards kids or it’s not going to make any sense. We really try to teach the kids about the idea creation process and then how you go about pitching that to a larger audience pretty much like Shark Tank for ice cream.

KAST: What do students learn about items added into an ice cream? Candy, chocolate

ANDON: This is one of the more enlightening parts of the class. A lot of people think you can take normal nuts, inclusions is the technical term, and you can just put them into frozen ice creams and eat them. But a lot of these ingredients have been specifically designed in order to function well and not break any teeth at those really low temperatures so we talk to them about freezing point depression and how that makes things like chewy caramel that you see in ice cream to actually make it chewy and not rock solid.

KAST: What about preventing freezer burn?

ANDON: That’s one of the things the ingredients that TIC Gums supplies will actually help to control and address. Obviously nobody’s going to describe ice cream that they like as being gritty or grainy or having freezer burn. Things like gum…they come from natural sources like seeds or tree saps. They help to bind up that extra water that would otherwise show up as freezer burn if it’s left in the freezer for too long.

KAST: You’ve talked about students being exposed to professors who can walk them through a marketing campaign. Part of Ice Cream University is a competition. The kids form teams and design their own flavor and then present that idea to judges.

ANDON: Definitely usually there’s anywhere between four or five teams and depending on the number of students in the class. But, yes, it’s very much a friendly competition because at the end the winning flavor is actually then produced at Broom's Bloom Dairy up in Harford County so that students not only get to you know have the enjoyment of having won one of the things that I think is actually a lot of fun for both parents and students is actually going to a real creamery and seeing their actual ice cream flavor be produced, being able to taste it, and being able to brag to all their friends and family members that this was something that they actually designed.



Videos in the Common Issues with RTD Beverages Series

  • Age gelation (runtime 1:54)
  • Emulsifying RTD beverages (this video)



After years of reduced fat efforts, an ever increasing challenge for manufacturers of Ready-to-drink beverages has been the inclusion of fat and other healthy oils. An increasing number of teas, coffees and similar beverages are including ingredients like MCT oil, vegetable oils or butter fat to develop new, never-before-seen beverages.

fats oils rtd beverages 600

While consumers enjoy these new trends and innovations, product developers are struggling with the stress that these ingredients place on the stability of the beverage; specifically when it comes to emulsification.

Emulsification refers to the successful mixing of multiple (normally unmixable) ingredients together. Soda, ice cream and salad dressing are emulsion examples that we enjoy every day. And with RTD beverages in particular, emulsification is vital for both stability and a successful shelf-life.

food emulsion examples 600

So to achieve the required stability, product developers need an emulsifier. But, a single ingredient emulsifier will likely do little to maintain the appropriate texture. That’s where a gum system comes in to play.

A gum system can help address multiple beverage concerns at the same time. Our systems are blends of multiple gums which work in tandem to address issues like emulsification and texture.

For example, Ticaloid Pro 181 AG is a gum system that emulsifies and modifies the texture in RTD beverages. When used in dairy-alternative beverages (like almond-milk), the system will emulsify the residual oils from the almonds while enhancing mouthfeel providing consumers with their preferred drinking experience.

Ticaloid Pro 192 AGD provides stability for dairy-based beverages, even when they include high protein and healthy fats. Despite increased levels of these ingredients, this gum system prevents separation and decreases awareness of particulates.

So don’t struggle any longer with poor emulsification and texture. Talk with a Gum Guru to get started today!  Call our technical support hotline +1-800-899-3953 / +1-410-273-7300 or chat live online.

RTD Dairy Beverage Tech Sheet Download

video emulsifying rtd beverages 600


Instant Beverages on the Rise

With consumers busier than ever, there is a continued need for solutions that can be taken on the go and enjoyed over a longer period of time. In addition to convenience, consumers are also seeking products that align with the health and wellness trends that continue to penetrate the instant beverage category. Subsequently, product developers are challenged with creating innovative, clean label instant beverages that maximize nutritional value without negatively impacting sensory attributes. With a product that must abide by common clean-label guidelines, as well as deliver on consumer texture and flavor expectations, challenges do arise. One particular challenge when working with an instant beverage is producing a consistent and optimal hydration rate.

What do you mean by hydration rate?

Hydration rate is described as the rate by which an instant beverage powder hydrates when moistened and the optimal consistency the beverage maintains. An ideal hydration rate would feature a beverage that hydrates quickly and remains at a consistent viscosity so it can be consumed immediately or over a longer period of time, if desired. Conversely, a beverage that suffers from less than ideal hydration rate may continue to hydrate as the beverage sits. Creating a thick, undesirable texture for the consumer. 

Hydration rate in action

In order to see the true and real-time effects that hydration rate has on instant beverages, TIC Gums created an instant chocolate protein beverage formulation to compare the textural benefits of Ticaloid® Ultrasmooth CL to xanthan gum alone. The video below shows the formulations with Ticaloid Ultrasmooth CL and xanthan gum alone during different points of hydration: 30 seconds and 20 minutes. It is easiest to see the difference between the two solutions by taking a look at the amount of residue that is left on the spoon after 30 seconds and 20 minutes respectively. The solution with xanthan gum alone shows that over time, the product continues to hydrate past the 10 minute mark and becomes more viscous compared to the solution with Ticaloid Ultrasmooth CL.

How can Ticaloid Ultrasmooth CL help with my instant protein beverage?

Ticaloid Ultrasmooth CL from TIC Gums is a hydrocolloid system that enhances texture and suspension in instant protein beverage applications. This clean label, cold water soluble system dissolves easily into a solution allowing consumers to experience the textural benefits upon reconstitution.

instant protein drink bag 600

What other benefits does Ticaloid Ultrasmooth CL have to offer?

Fortified instant beverages have an increased amount of perceivable particulates due to the addition of vitamin-mineral blends, fiber, protein and other nutritional ingredients. These ingredients, especially the protein selection, can also increase the astringency of the beverage. As a result, the textural properties of the finished beverage are impacted. To target texture in these protein beverages, product developers can leverage the benefits found in hydrocolloid systems.

TIC Gums used the instant chocolate protein beverage to test the textural benefits of Ticaloid Ultrasmooth CL with six trained descriptive analysis panelists. While the sample with xanthan and the sample with Ticaloid Ultrasmooth CL both provide viscosity and suspension, the sample with Ticaloid Ultrasmooth CL masked the awareness of particulates in a way xanthan alone was not able to, avoiding an undesirable, gritty mouthfeel and dispersed in liquid more easily than the alternative samples, while exhibiting the highest hydration rate. 

instant protein beverage sensory analysis
Texture Attributes of Instant Protein Beverages
Texture Terminology Definitions  Typically Associated Consumer Terms
Viscosity [Initial] Rate of flow per unit force: the force to draw between lips from spoon, and the rate of flow across tongue  Thickness
Slipperiness [Manipulation] Ease to slide product over lips Slickness or sleekness
Astringency [Chemical] The feeling on the tongue or other skin surfaces of the oral cavity described as puckering/dry and associated with tannins or alum Mouth drying associated with products such as strong brewed tea
Awareness of Particulates [Breakdown] Amount of grainy, gritty, or lumpy particles or other inclusions in the mass Not smooth, gritty or grainy
Mouth Clearing The speed with which the sample clears from the mouth after swallowing or expectorating  Easy to swallow

 What other benefits does Ticaloid Ultrasmooth CL have to offer?

Fortified instant beverages have an increased amount of perceivable particulates due to the addition of vitamin-mineral blends, fiber, protein and other nutritional ingredients. These ingredients, especially the protein selection, can also increase the astringency of the beverage. As a result, the textural properties of the finished beverage are impacted. To target texture in these protein beverages, product developers can leverage the benefits found in hydrocolloid systems.

formulation comparison instant beverage


Selecting gums for your beverage formulation

To talk with a Gum Guru about your specific application, call our technical support hotline +1-800-899-3953 / +1-410-273-7300 or chat live online.

instant protein beverage white paper

Brian Briggs, TIC Gums PresidentFor over 108 years, TIC Gums has focused on providing our customers with solutions for their food texture and stability challenges. From time to time, this commitment has meant adding new product offerings to our portfolio.

I am pleased to announce that as of October 2, 2017, our team has completed the relocation of the Gum Technology business from Ingredion’s Illinois and New Jersey facilities to our Maryland locations.

The integration of Gum Technology, along with TIC Gums’ robust portfolio and Ingredion’s offerings, allows us to continue expanding the tools and resources we have available for solving your food innovation needs.

Welcome Customers of Gum Technology!

If you were previously a customer of Gum Technology, you should have already heard from a member of our team. Every effort has been made to ensure a smooth transition and we plan to provide you with the same high level of service you’ve come to expect.

Key Contact Information for All Customers

Customer Service: For immediate customer service regarding orders, please call (800) 221-3953.

Documentation Requests:

Emergency Contact: (410) 273-7308

Director of Customer Experience: Joe Eason –

Planning for the Future

We have progressively increased our manufacturing and R&D capabilities at our Maryland locations in order to serve you better and to provide for future growth. In fact, recently completed upgrades to our blending operations allowed us to quickly bring the Gum Technology business on board. Heading into 2018 we plan to further invest in additional capabilities to meet the steady demand for gums and stabilizers for food and beverage applications.

Answers to Your Texture & Stability Questions

Whether you are developing a new product or reformulating an existing one, our Gum Gurus® are available to talk with you about specific applications via our technical service hotline or online chat.

Gum Guru Technical Service Hotline: (800) 899-3953 or chat at

We value your business, so if you have concerns which haven’t been addressed, please contact me directly at or (800) 899-3953 x3422. I’m always happy to discuss how TIC Gums can be a better a partner in helping your business grow.

I also encourage you to talk with your TIC Gums contact regarding the breadth of our solutions portfolio to see if there are additional areas where we can add value to your organization.

TIC Times newsletterThe TIC Times newsletter is your source for the latest news on food texture & stability.

In this issue:

Tips for Formulating Dairy-Based Sauces

Briggs: Gum Technology Stabilizers Now Available from the Gum Gurus

Update: Status of Gum Acacia as Fiber

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beverage application guide