18 Sep 2017 --- Late last year, TIC Gums and Ingredion entered into an agreement to offer the widest range of texture capabilities, superior formulation expertise and rapid response to customer needs. For Ingredion and TIC Gums, the acquisition has expanded their higher-value specialty portfolio and customer base in the fast-growing segment of food and beverage companies that are driving industry innovation. Since then, TIC Gums has been on their own journey to diversify their range of ingredient profiles so that they can provide solutions that match up with customers concerns.
FoodIngredientsFirst caught up with Donna Klockeman (pictured, below), Senior Principal Food Scientist at TIC Gums who discussed how the business potential has flourished since the acquisition with Ingredion. “The acquisition has really opened up additional possibilities across even more applications.The future is very bright with respect to the acquisition, and working with our colleagues at Ingredion.”
“At TIC Gums we can now combine starches and hydrocolloids together to deliver various texture and stability solutions for a broader base of customers that we weren’t able to work with, in the past. To me, that is the biggest opportunity for us moving forward,” she explains. Click to Enlarge
The main trend continuing to dominate the market is that of “clean label.” According to Klockeman, the guidelines or definitions of clean labeling tend to differ throughout the market. “This makes formulating a little tricky if we are not on the same page as our customers concerning clean label. What really matters is the customer’s interpretation of what they want, or don’t want, in their clean label formulation.”
“We offer a diversified ingredient portfolio and can provide solutions that fit multiple customer definitions and expectations,” says Klockeman.
“We find that when customers seek “clean label” ingredients they are avoiding or limiting certain ingredients because of regulatory, personal or religious reasons. Since this is such a large worldwide trend, some ingredients are not allowed in every country, so we must know both where the product is manufactured and where it will be consumed,” she notes. “One of our strengths is that we help people select the best hydrocolloid system for their application with their ingredient restrictions, formulations and processing.”
When Klockeman joined TIC Gums in 2008, the department was much smaller, but they were looking to diversify and expand the application knowledge of the R&D team. Since she had been an active user of hydrocolloids in a wide variety of foods in the dairy category, there was a good fit.
“My botanical background helps me understand the original functionality of hydrocolloids which helps me select the correct hydrocolloid for the finished product application. I am currently part of a team within R&D that works directly with customers. Our main activities include customer specific projects and training. We aid customers by mocking up manufacturing processes and formulations to speed up new product development timelines and troubleshoot issues.
Klockeman also reveals one of the challenges in reformulating products for “clean label” involves understanding the differences in functionality between the original modified ingredients and their “clean label” counterparts. “Scientists have become very good at modifying the functionality of starch to fit very diverse processing environments and to deliver distinctive textures. In order to create an alternative that fits in the clean and simple space, they will combine a clean and simple starch with other texturizing agents,” she comments. “The synergy between TIC Gums and Ingredion run parallel to the need for clean and simple in that space – you can build a system so that the functionality gaps between the modified starch and the clean label starch can be filled by bolting on functionality from synergistic hydrocolloids.”
These systems will deliver the desired combination of texture and stability and remain clean and relatively simple. It may require a starch and multiple hydrocolloids to replace the modified ingredients in the original formulation. “We can deliver the desired product texture and stability while removing modified ingredients from the label which is very powerful,” adds Klockeman.
Looking forward Klockeman confirms, “It’s an exciting time for food texture. In this part of the industry, you always have something new to try or investigate, whether that comes to flavor and texture combinations from various cultures or different methods of food processing and how they impact the ingredients we offer.”
“TIC Gums and Ingredion we are always likely to be half a step ahead because we interact with companies developing foods from perspectives ranging from entrepreneurs to multinational corporations. This allows us to identify gaps and proactively work on solutions,” she states.
“What we aim to do at TIC Gums is understand the global marketplace and how trends affect what our texture and stability solutions need to deliver. Understanding how and why the combination of ingredients and processing provide texture to the finished product and are key to us. Applying the work we have done across the food category using hydrocolloid blends allows us to make the necessary adjustments in our recommendations in response to these global trends,” Klockeman finalizes.
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