Our newest video explains how to reduce "gritty" or "grainy" textures in instant protein shakes by using a system of multiple hydrocolloids.


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No matter what the industry, projecting trends can be enormously helpful. Forecasting changes in the marketplace helps to better guide efforts, resources and manpower. But what good is capitalizing on a rising pattern of consumer interest, if your product isn’t up to par? That’s the problem we’re determined to help you tackle.

The market is seeing quite an increase in demand from consumers for nutritionally fortified products, including instant beverages. Now within that instant beverage umbrella, protein drinks is one sub-category that has experienced a significant rise in popularity over the last year. Instant protein drinks have always been popular but the consumer base for it has expanded. Now we’re seeing a growing interest from consumers buying these fortified instant protein beverages to supplement their lifestyle.

That’s great, right? A little effort to rebrand and you could easily take advantage of this emerging market. Unfortunately, like many things, it won’t be that simple because we’re dealing with a crowd that’s used to certain qualities in their food and beverages. Ice cream with a smooth rich taste, breads with ideal crust and moisture content and fruit juice blends with the right amount of sweetness and pulp. Instant protein beverages originated with body builders and athletes; individuals who could’ve cared less if the drink tasted like cardboard or felt like sand in their mouth. They sacrificed quite a bit to reach their goals so a little cardboard wasn’t a big deal. These new consumers on the other hand have a level of textural quality that they’ve come to expect and it’s essential to keep that in mind as we alter products in order to accommodate these expectations.

So here’s the solution: to maximize permeation of your product in this growing consumer market, we have to target texture. Texture is a critical, often overlooked characteristic in food and beverages. In protein beverages the increased amount of perceivable particulates, resulting from the added vitamins, fiber and protein, as well as the increase in astringency are factors that produce an aversion rather than an attraction to the beverage. Improving taste alone will not rectify these issues.

How do we then improve the texture of these beverages? We use a hydrocolloid or system of hydrocolloids to “smooth” out that rough, aversive texture. We have developed many hydrocolloid systems here at TIC Gums, but when dealing with protein beverages one of our products truly shines and that’s Ticaloid Ultrasmooth. Through sensory panel evaluations we found that Ultrasmooth does several major things. It significantly reduces the awareness of particulates, it diminishes the astringency, and it builds viscosity rapidly while also being cold water soluble.

In order to reduce what consumers refer to as “gritty” or “grainy” we use the synergy of multiple hydrocolloids working in one system. It’s truly the best of our systems for this application because although a single hydrocolloid could help, the ability to decrease the perception of those particles ultimately comes from Ultrasmooth.

So to successfully reach this new consumer market, TIC Gums and our gum synergies can help to obliterate those texture issues which stand between you and your new, delighted customers.

Order a free sample of Ticaloid Ultrasmooth now to see how it can enhance the texture in your instant beverage or if you’re having other texture issues, call our technical service hotline at +1-800-899-3953 / +1-410-273-7300 or chat live online

Protein Drink Video