Videos in the Food R&D Roundtable Series

Part I

Clean Labeling (runtime 12:10)

Part II

Ingredient Replacement [this video] (runtime 9:50)

Part III

Organic Foods (runtime 4:40)

Part IV

Future of Hydrocolloids (runtime 5:09)

Part V

Hydrocolloid Benefits (runtime 7:19)

Part VI

Food Industry Developments (runtime 5:18)


Matt Patrick: Okay. The next topic we're going to hit has to do with using hydrocolloid technology in the area of ingredient replacement. So frequently for nutritional reasons or maybe even marketplace issues, there's a particular nutrient or a particular ingredient that is problematic either for the moment or for the long-term. An example of that is trans, the trans debate that occurred several years ago. And many food companies reformulated their products to eliminate trans. But, of course, that in a way only kicked the can down the road because in some cases trans was replaced with saturated fat which has it's own issues. So what I'd like to talk about is how hydrocolloids can help us in these types of reformulation products around an existing material or nutrient. So Steve, I'll start off with you. What's been your experience in ingredient replacement and using hydrocolloid to do that?

Steven Baker: Well, it's really dependent on what application you're talking about. I'll just target, say, tortillas. Most people are doing clean label as you would imagine for tortillas and one of the things they've targeted is a sodium stearoyl lactylate which is known dough strengthener and dough conditioner. It will allow the dough piece to go through the press and it's more relaxed so it machines better without any tears and allows it to bake in a nice even pattern. Now when a customer says I don't want sodium stearoyl lactylate in my tortilla manufacturing, now you start getting some problems with manufacturability. So you could use some gums which can actually bring more moisture into your dough and it allows the dough to be more relaxed and go through the machinery just as well. So that's just one example of using a gum. Read about using gums in tortillas

Matt Patrick: Okay. So it sounds like sometimes you can use gums to get the same final effect even though they might be utilizing a different mechanism, a different technical mechanism to make that happen.

Dan Grazaitis: What I've noticed a lot of times when I'm replacing one ingredient with gums is usually with gums you have a lot of different chemistry, a lot of different functionality. If you're trying to replace one ingredient that might have a certain function, you take two or three different gums and blend them to get the different functionalities to match that one. So usually it's really hard to match it one for one, but usually if you use the synergies and combine some gums, you can kind of get as close as you can to that original product.

Matt Patrick: Would you say that most of the time when you're replacing some non-gum component that you're having to rely on a blend of gums to do that? Is that pretty common?

Dan Grazaitis: If you want to make it as close as you can to that product, usually you're mixing and matching the functionalities. The reason they use that is because it has a specific functionality. So your gum might have a little bit of this, a little bit of that. But when you combine them, you can then match it almost one for one.

Matt Patrick: Okay. I know one material or nutrient that's in the press a lot right now is sugar and there's a lot of discussion about taking sugar out of products. Now gums and hydrocolloids, they're not sweeteners. They don't really impact flavor profile. So do they have any role in the sugar replacement activity that's going on, or are they not relevant?

Karen Constanza: Definitely. Gums are really effective at modifying textures. So again kind of similar to what Dan was hitting on sometimes you need multiple gums to achieve say the same body and mouth feel that you would in a full sugar beverage versus a low sugar beverage. So it would have to be in conjunction with things like artificial sweeteners or high potency sweeteners. Learn more about modifying texture in low sugar beverages

Matt Patrick: Okay. So if somebody wants to take sugar out, they'll use some other technology to manage the sweetness profile.

Karen Constanza: Yes.

Matt Patrick: But they can use hydrocolloids to help manage the texture profile. Okay. Great. Are there other materials out there that you guys are busy trying to replace right now? Is there something that gum is particularly effective at helping with?

Steven Baker: One of the biggest things right now is gluten. People want to go gluten free and wheat gluten is very characteristic and that is you are able to get a nice airy product that can entrap gases and is very soft texture, very desirable mouth feel. Once you remove gluten, you get products that are very dense and very hard and can be grainy. So you can use gums, many different combinations, to mimic the functionality of gluten which is entrapping the gases as it's being created so you can make a finished baked product that has higher volume, it's lighter in texture, it has better bite. Read about replacing gluten in baked goods

Matt Patrick: Okay. A slightly different tack. I actually lived through the whole trans issue when it cropped up many years ago and one of the elements that I remember from that is the sense of panic that kind of rippled through the industry when it happened. So I'm curious do you feel like you get a lot of time to do these types of reformulations when someone is asking you to replace an ingredient, or are the time pressures becoming more difficult? What's that development environment like? Do you get a lot of time to come up with a solution?

Dan Grazaitis: I think it depends on the problem. Some, I think it's more of this is what customers want, like gluten free. But there are options out there. Maybe we can strive to make them even better than they are currently, but they have options out there. Then there are other issues where, I know right now egg whites for example is short supply. People are worried they're not going to be able to get them and their factory is going to shut down. Usually when you get problems like that where you're going to run out of an ingredient, your timelines are extremely short.

Matt Patrick: So how do you handle that? If you're working on projects for a variety of customers and some of them are long-term and then you get a customer saying I need this day after tomorrow, what do you do? How does TIC handle that?

Dan Grazaitis: Teamwork. A lot of people usually have to come together, experience, team work, communication to try and make it happen. Basically, the whole group gets on board and just make it happen.

Matt Patrick: Okay. Great. A slightly different tack again. As opposed to taking ingredients out or replacing them, sometimes it's learning how to work with ingredients that are relatively new. And something that I see a lot in the literature is protein. And while fortified products have been around for a while, I sense there's a lot of attention around protein right now and it's starting to be formulated into a variety of products. Protein is a different component, it's a different macro nutrient from hydrocolloids. Do we play a part in protein fortification?

Karen Constanza: Definitely. Protein is a huge, huge trend, especially in the beverage world, and hydrocolloids are really effective at not only creating appealing textures in these products but also for stabilization. Now that protein is becoming more mainstream, consumers don't want a product just that will get them the protein. They actually want to have an enjoyable beverage experience. So they don't want to just mix powder in and chug it back. They actually want to have something that tastes like a beverage. And we have a bunch of products that actually can help alter the texture, improve the texture, reduce things like grittiness and astringency, some of the negative sides of formulating with extra protein. 

Matt Patrick: And is that primarily with dairy proteins or can we do that with a variety of types of proteins?

Karen Constanza: A variety of types of protein. I think dairy protein is probably one of the more popular protein choices as of late. But the vegetable proteins, alternative proteins, are definitely picking up steam, and things like grittiness and astringency with protein products doesn't seem to be going away so we definitely can use gums to improve those aspects of the product. Stabilizing RTD protein beverages

Matt Patrick: Okay. Great. Any other comments or views on this topic around replacing ingredients or technologies for the addition of new ingredients to the industry?

Mike Flemmens: Well, sometimes it's beyond just a replacement. Maybe it's a like in kind. Many people, whether they're making a socially conscious decision not to drink milk or they have some medical reason that they can't drink milk but they'd like to have a milk like experience, people will come up with almond milk or soy milk. Well, milk is a mysteriously beautiful component with all the fat and the protein and all the chemistry that's in that. So simulating a product like milk to have that milk drinking experience with just pressing almonds is often difficult. So that's where our company can provide products to help build the mouth feel that's in milk or give you the textural attributes and the sensory attributes that are almost as good as a milk product. So many times it may be a like in kind replacement more so than an ingredient replacement.

Matt Patrick: Okay. Great. Great.

Dan Grazaitis: And I guess the most important part is gums are so unique you usually can't go ahead and replace them. So if you are using gums, just make sure you're buying them from TIC.

Matt Patrick: Good point, Dan. Excellent.