Videos in the Food R&D Roundtable Series

Part I

Clean Labeling (runtime 12:10)

Part II

Ingredient Replacement (runtime 9:50)

Part III

Organic Foods (runtime 4:40)

Part IV

Future of Hydrocolloids [this video] (runtime 5:09)

Part V

Hydrocolloid Benefits (runtime 7:19)

Part VI

Food Industry Developments (runtime 5:18)


Matt Patrick: So is the world using more and more hydrocolloids? Are we going to run out of hydrocolloids someday, Mat?

Mat: That's a good question. I know certainly some days it seems like it if you sit in my shoes for a while. As with any natural commodity, you go through shortages and periods where there's plenty of material. So as long as there's demand, we'll figure out how to provide enough material to meet that demand. It's just in periods of rapid growth, it sometimes becomes difficult for the short to midterm.

Blair Brown: But I think what puts TIC in a unique position in those scenarios is that we have the technology, the capability, and the supply chain to reformulate or come up with alternative solutions or different ideas. If there's an issue with one gum, we often have a solution that might combine two different technologies or a similar scenario or a similar product that can kind of overcome some of those challenges.

Matt Patrick: One of the things I've noticed over many years is the globalization of the food industry. And we've seen this in many other industries. Companies that were local have become national, companies that were only national or regional are becoming global. What's it like from a regulatory point of view managing customer product launches that are happening globally in lots of different countries with lots of different regulatory environments utilizing materials from a lot of different sources. What's that like and how do you manage that?

Blair Brown: The challenges can vary based on the product. Many hydrocolloids are globally recognized or internationally accepted. They're accepted in Europe, they're accepted in Asia, they're accepted by Codex. So often it isn't a challenge. I can say that this product is globally recognized, has international approval, and it's typically not an issue. But there are some days when it can be challenging and it can be exciting to try and navigate the regulatory approval process in certain parts of the world. So it depends on the product, it depends on the technology. But we have a really good relationship with our suppliers as Mat was saying and also with different government agencies and regulatory bodies to try and get those products approved. We have a good handle on what the process looks like to get a new product registered, so we're able to kind of overcome those challenges fairly quickly.

Matt Patrick: Do you have an example of some product that's recently gone through this regulatory process?

Blair Brown: Absolutely. One great example is our modified gum acacia. That product, it's a new compound and so we had to get complete regulatory approval beginning with US self GRAS Notification, all the way through to approval by Canadian Food Inspection Agency as well as the JECFA, Codex, and China as well.

Matt Patrick: And what is modified gum arabic?

Blair Brown: I'll let R&D take that question.

Mike Flemmens: The modified gum acacia is a better emulsifier than what the standard acacia products typically do. That enables customers, specifically in some applications like flavors, to have higher flavor concentrations or more stable flavor concentrations. Another trend we're seeing recently is with nutritional oils. Omega threes are a big thing so can we fortify beverages with omega threes. And one of the ways to get them to be stable in solution is to use an emulsifier. So we'll see a lot of companies are able to put a tremendous amount of omega three into a beverage by using this modified gum acacia over what they would traditionally be able to do with a standard acacia or a modified starch.

Matt Patrick: And what is the current regulatory status for TIC emulsion?

Blair Brown: So modified gum acacia, our Ticamulsion product line, it's approved for use globally for flavors. It's approved in the United States, Canada and Mexico as well. It has a flavor approval in China and our TIC China team is currently working on getting that product registered there. And then we have a few other countries and regions as well. We're currently the middle of our Codex approval and we're finalizing our EU approval.

Matt Patrick: Okay. Great.

Blair Brown: Very exciting.

Matt Patrick: Great example.