Gum Guru Blog

The Guar Off-Note Experience

Formulator: We’re formulating a commercial vanilla ice cream with guar gum, and I’m definitely picking up an off-note. We really want to avoid using more vanilla, but love the cost-effectiveness of guar.

Formulator: We love the texturizing qualities of your guar gum, but we’re noticing that it’s conflicting with the vanilla flavor we have in our ice cream. What options do we have to maintain texture but also protect the flavor?

Formulator: We are currently using guar gum to keep our label simple, but it feels like we need to keep adding more vanilla to combat the grassy/beany flavors coming from the guar gum. Is there anything we can do to avoid this?

ice cream formulator questions guar 600

If you’re asking these questions, you’re not alone.

The Gum Gurus® at TIC Gums have been fielding many of these flavor masking questions from ice cream formulators recently. In order to confidently answer these requests, TIC Gums initiated and executed a sensory study that was specifically geared towards ice cream developers facing flavor and taste challenges associated with guar gum.

If you remember from our blog post dedicated to GuarNT® USA Flavor Free 5000, TIC Gums developed a flavorless guar gum to enable formulators to use guar in more of their applications without concerns over flavor masking.

What do we mean by flavor masking?

Using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis, an analytical method that identifies different substances within a test sample, several volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were identified as natural contributors to the beany or grassy flavor and smell associated with standard guar gum. Of these VOCs, hexanal and hexanoic acid were identified as the main sources of these perceivable off-notes. The proprietary manufacturing process for GuarNT USA Flavor Free 5000 significantly reduces the VOC levels present in the finished product. Comparing this innovative variation to standard guar gum powder, the hexanal concentration and the total measured VOCs were reduced by nearly 90%.

What does this have to do with ice cream?

When formulating ice cream, many developers take advantage of the texturizing and stabilizing capabilities of gums, which give ice cream the eating experience consumers have come to expect. To optimize freeze thaw stability, enhance texture and allow your special flavor to shine through, we suggest our Caragum® 200 FF blend which includes GuarNT USA Flavor Free 5000.


Download the white paper

Show me the data!

In order to better showcase this VOC data in action, we conducted additional sensory testing in vanilla ice cream. The Gum Gurus worked with sensory experts to demonstrate that when we suggest Caragum 200 FF for your ice cream needs, we can say with complete confidence that you will see a difference in flavor perception.

We sent our ice cream that featured the Caragum 200 FF to a sensory panel that used a 0-15 point intensity scale to test such attributes as flavor, overall aroma, cooked/milky taste, viscosity when melted and mouth coating.

The panel tested 3 variations of vanilla ice cream:

  1. A control vanilla ice cream featuring a blend with standard guar gum

  2. A vanilla ice cream with Caragum 200 FF and 5% reduction in vanilla flavoring

  3. A vanilla ice cream with Caragum 200 FF and a 10% reduction in vanilla flavoring

Vanilla usage reduction chart

When using Caragum 200 FF in the ice cream formula, a trained panel determined that a 5% reduction in vanilla flavoring achieved a comparable flavor experience to that of the control with an improved overall aroma. The 5% reduction also showed an improvement in the mouth coating attribute without negatively affecting viscosity when melted.

For the more aggressive flavor reduction at 10%, vanilla flavor perception was lower than the control and 5% reduction, but the overall aroma was high and textural attributes were maintained. Data indicates that a 5-10% flavor rate use reduction should be tested and evaluated for best results.

ice cream sensory data

What does this mean?

Unpredictable vanilla prices is a challenge that formulators have been facing in recent years. In their article, Madagascar vanilla crop improves, but prices may stay high, Food Business News reflects on the expectations and realities of sugar pricing, noting that, “’Industrial demand for extraction grade Madagascar vanilla remains strong enough to support the record high prices that show no signs of abating in the near term.’”

Up against the often fluctuating and frequently increasing vanilla prices, formulators can now reduce the amount of vanilla flavoring they are using in delicately flavored applications that previously used standard guar, or a blend that includes standard guar. Formulators are able to achieve cost savings while maintaining flavor, texture and stability.

How does this affect production costs?

We calculated the cost of hydrocolloids and flavor based on a standard vanilla ice cream formula (figure 1). We then calculated the cost savings that can occur by using Caragum 200 FF and reducing the amount of vanilla flavoring by 5% and 10% (figure 2). The results show considerable cost savings per gallon. The Gum Gurus encourage formulators to calculate their own cost savings based on their own formulations and production capabilities.

vanilla cost savings analysis

See how Customer A found significant cost savings!

vanilla flavor reduction cost savings 600

Need help formulating with Caragum 200 FF?

The Gum Guru team can help solve your texture and stability formulation challenges with our hydrocolloid expertise and ingredient portfolio. We’ll guide you every step of the way to ensure your delicately flavored applications reach their highest potential.



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

In this issue:

Boosting Your Binding Syrup and Bar Formulations

Podcast: Designing Flavors at Ice Cream University

Video: Achieving Consistent and Optimal Hydration Rates for Instant Protein Beverages

Subscribe to the TIC Times newsletter and we'll deliver it right to your email box! 


beverage application guide

Whether it’s a protein, breakfast, or granola bar, more than ever are bars serving as snacks or even convenient meal replacements as the on the go lifestyle continues to take hold. Almost 40 percent of the millennials surveyed by Mintel for its 2015 report said cereal was an inconvenient breakfast choice because they had to clean up after eating it. From this example, it can be seen that millennials want grab-and-go meal options to match their fast-paced lifestyles.

From a business standpoint, the bar category has some of the highest prices per unit in retail stores, opening up larger profit possibilities.

granola bar binding syrup formulations

Our Gum Gurus® often field questions about using stabilizers and thickening systems to make an ideal nutritional, granola, or cereal bar. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about bar formulations:

What gum should I use for a binding syrup?

In product development, one main goal for a snack or meal bar is to keep all of the ingredients bound together. In many bars a general binder is needed, while in granola bars specifically, the film forming ability of a binding system is the key to cohesiveness and stability through processing and transit. For most granola bars, we recommend our Add-Here® line, a proprietary line of hydrocolloids that replaces the texture and binding qualities needed in bars, but with significantly less sugar in addition to other functional benefits. TIC Pretested® Gum Arabic FT is also suitable for creating binding syrups.

How should I incorporate the gums into my product?

Because sugar can compete with the gums for water in the mixing tank, it’s often helpful to disperse the gum in the tank and allow it to hydrate before adding sugar.

After the mixture is heated to boiling, while still hot, the binding syrup should be mixed into the dry ingredients and the bars should be allowed to cool in their desired shapes. Most of our hydrocolloid systems will work well in both chewy and crunchy granola bars. The major difference between the two is that crunchy bars will be put through a baking step, as opposed to chewy bars that must instead go through a drying step.

I am formulating a reduced sugar granola bar. What textural properties are important, and what binding options do I have?

Replacing sweetness can be accomplished with high-intensity sweeteners like aspartame or stevia but what is not easy to replace is the texture, stability, gloss, stickiness, and film forming attributes sugar provides and that are necessary to form and hold separate ingredients together. Dissolved sugar provides these because it can dry into a solid, and these solid properties are what bind the parts of the dry ingredients together.

In reduced sugar bars, TIC Gums’ Texture Terminology attributes that are important to monitor and maintain include, but are not limited to:

  • Awareness of Particulates
  • Fracturability
  • Moisture Absorption
  • Noise
  • Surface Roughness
Texture Attributes of Cereal Bars
Texture Terminology Definitions  Examples
Awareness of Particulates

The amount of particles (grit, grainy, seeds, skins) perceived in the mass

Chocolate truffle center vs chewy granola bar with chocolate chips
Fracturability The force with which the sample ruptures when placing the sample between the molars and biting down at an even rate Corn muffin vs hard boiled (glass) candy
Moisture Absorption Amount of saliva absorbed by sample during chew down perceived as the degree of change in mouth moistness

Shoe string licorice vs pound cake


The loudness of the sample during chewdown

Sliced white bread vs tortilla chips
Surface Roughness

The amount of particles perceived in the surface

Water dessert gel vs thin crisp rye wafer


The following products were developed specifically for reduced sugar systems:

  • Add-Here 3200
  • Pre-Hydrated Gum Arabic FT

Do you have stabilizers that meet the definitions for all-natural, organic, and/or Non-GMO?

Top factors for consumers choosing a bar to buy are often focused on label claims including natural, organic or non-GMO. According to Innova Market Insights, the number of cereal and energy bars launched in the US bearing a clean label claim has dramatically increased in the last 5 years with 50% of those launches now bearing a GMO-free claim. Also notable is the drop in launches bearing a natural claim.

cereal bar launches bearing label claims


In the absence of definitions or standards for some claims, our Gum Gurus can work closely with you to select a gum system that meets your labeling requirements.

  • Add-Here 3200 Non-GMO
  • Add-Here 4300 P: An all-natural* alternative to Add-Here 3200 that does not contain cellulose gum
  • TICorganic® Gum Arabic SF: A certified organic gum acacia that can be used to replace corn syrup as a binder
Gums for Cereal  & Granola Bars
Product Special Features Typical Usage Level
Add-Here 3200

Superior binding syrup strength for crunchy baked granola bars and reduced sugar baked crunchy granola bars. Improves particle binding through its film-forming properties.

5-20% of binding syrup

Gum Arabic FT

Synergistic with polyol syrups to improve binding syrup strength in reduced sugar granola bars. Synergistic with glycerin after heating to form a very good binding syrup.

20-40% of binding syrup
TICorganic® Gum Arabic SF Certified organic replacement for corn syrup as a binder

20-40% of binding syrup

My bars are drying out. What can I do to retain moisture in my bar?

The softness in a chewy granola bar is often a function of the moisture retention properties of the bar; the more moisture that is retained, the softer the bar will be. To aid in moisture retention, we recommend that you blend our dry mixtures into the dry ingredients before mixing into the syrup. 

Selecting gums for your bar formulations

To talk with a Gum Guru about the specific texture and stability needs of your bar formulation, call our technical support hotline +1-800-899-3953 / +1-410-273-7300 or chat live online.

Download bar & binding syrup formulation

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