Gum Guru Blog

What you need and the right resources to ease the process

Whether you’re looking for gluten-free, vegan, or more, the Gum Gurus® can help

Consumers continue to show increased interest in the sources and purposes of the ingredients on their food labels. Those same consumers are also seeking foods perceived to be more healthful with such attributes as boosted levels of protein, vitamins and minerals. This combination of added nutritional elements with a limited label declaration intensifies the complexities formulators face.

Food and beverage developers are constantly working to innovate their formulations to align with their labeling goals, which in turn align with the requirements of consumers. Whether it is the need for an organic label, a “free-from” or even an ingredient substitution due to supply shortage, formulators have their hands full protecting the integrity of their end product.

download the Formulating Made Simple guide

What formulating complexities are you up against?

Many times, you as the formulator rely on your own team’s expertise or utilize familiar outside resources to address product development objectives. There is a corporate expectation that these resources can handle the complexity around flavor, texture, stability, appearance, quality and overall acceptance of your products. This makes sense as companies have invested significantly in their R&D teams but often times these expert teams have limited time to develop additional outside relationships to broaden their knowledge base.

It becomes even more challenging as consumers demand cleaner product labels and forces in the market weigh in on the debate. Since there is no universally accepted definition of clean label, formulators are forced to be agile and flexible to answer to a changing market with changing needs. Additionally, formulating new products, or reformulating existing ones, is not as easy as simply replacing traditional go-to ingredients with 1:1 alternatives.

When you are faced with limited resources or time, these challenges that arise around label demands and the complexities of formulating and reformulating can hinder go-to-market goals.

So, what do you need to be successful?

  1. Experience: Having a talented and experienced R&D team that can handle the complexities of product formulation with extensive knowledge of hydrocolloids, ingredient interactions and regulatory implications is crucial to success.
  2. Portfolio: Access to a large portfolio of ingredients including hydrocolloids, proteins, sweeteners and more provides the right solution for your specific application.
  3. Communication: Throughout reformulation, product requirements like label claims, nutritional parameters and expected texture must be kept top of mind. It is imperative to have a means of communication that simplifies formulating into definable terms that can be assessed and rebuilt within the new formula.

formulating ingredient systems 600

What to Bring to the Formulating Table

It can be difficult to foresee the various effects that processing, ingredient selection and other elements of formulating will have on an end product. The team of Gum Gurus at TIC Gums works with our customers to help guide their formulation process, taking into consideration the various factors necessary to ensure a stable, reproducible product. When developers are able to understand how each component interacts and impacts the product as a whole, the process becomes much more effective and efficient.

Our goal is to take the complex process of formulating or reformulating and turn it into something accessible and navigable. That’s why we have created our Formulating Checklist to help you better understand the composition of your finished good. The formulating checklist is designed to help you formulate better and faster. It includes some key information that is helpful to know about your product early in the formulating process. Download the full blog post to gain access to the formulating checklist.

Texture Terminology Help

In order to have more effective communication during the product development process, we have compiled a set of lexicon of terms called the Food Texture Terminology to standardize the way product texture is described. This allows our food scientists to deconstruct terms like “creamy” into individual texture attributes such as mouth coating, cohesiveness and mixes with saliva to help determine the specific attributes most important to our customers. With these individual attributes defined, we can pinpoint the best product and the perfect se level to create or enhance what is desired.

We utilize our texture terminology in many ways to help formulators understand the benefits of different ingredients. For instance in the example below, which shows the texture and flavor benefits of using Caragum 200 FF.

In this case, to determine the impact of guar on flavor and texture in vanilla ice cream, we engaged a trained sensory panel to perform a descriptive sensory evaluation of a control sample vanilla ice cream and ice cream using our Caragum 200 FF. You can see in Figure 1. that the samples were tested for two of our textural attributes: viscosity and mouth coating.

The Typically Associated Consumer Terms chart (Figure 2.) helps our customers make a connection between our texture terms like viscosity and more universally known terms like thickness.

ice cream sensory data

food texture terminology ice cream

How can TIC Gums help drive formulating success?

Our team can help formulators like you design products that meet specific label requirements and also deliver an ideal eating or drinking experience. Whether it is basic texture attribute mapping, functional stabilization, or access to an even broader portfolio of solutions as part of the Ingredion family, we can help.

A systems and services approach 

Simplistica™ ingredient systems provide formulators with the tools to solve the complexities of formulating in a one stop shop. Simplistica systems deliver optimized solutions by combining ingredients such as hydrocolloids, starches, plant proteins, sweeteners and more, depending on the need of the application.

Having access to an ingredient system makes it easier for you to meet optimal ingredient functionality without the worry and constraints of troubleshooting. The team of Gum Gurus is trained to understand the nuances and complexities of how all ingredients work together, helping with a number of common formulating necessities:

  • Synergies between ingredients to promote formulation optimization
  • Ratios of certain ingredients when mixed together
  • Selecting ingredients to meet label goals and functionality needs
  • Leveraging certain ingredients as reformulation replacements

food scientists tic gums 600

Food and beverage developers are now able to better align their formulation and label claim goals with the attributes of the ingredients they use, by leveraging formulating support. With Simplistica ingredient systems, developers can provide a nutritionally and texturally sound product using ingredients that have been selected for product optimization.

What does the Simplistica line look like in action?

In order to better showcase the functionalities behind a Simplistica ingredient system, TIC Gums created two prototype formulations with very unique label needs: a snickerdoodle cookie using Simplistica BK 6202 and a coconut milk yogurt using Simplistica YG 3206. These prototypes specifically align with market trends in their categories. Download the full blog post to learn more about these prototypes. 

Reach out for help!

Our Gum Gurus have been helping customers across all food categories. Now that TIC Gums is a part of Ingredion, customers have access to complete ingredient systems. We encourage formulators to reach out with their specific needs and engage with our Gum Gurus on their formulation.

Talk with a Gum Guru about your specific application by calling our technical support hotline +1-800-899-3953 / +1-410-273-7300 or chat live online.


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

In this issue:

Let Your Vanilla Flavor Shine Through

Stabilize Non-dairy Yogurt with Simplistica™ YG 3206

Video: Agglomerated Gums Improve Powder Dispersion

Download: Gum Reference Chart

5 Things to Know about Tara Gum

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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