Consumer nutrition knowledge study highlights untapped potential for acacia gum

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27 Sep 2017 --- Alland & Robert has released the results of a survey it asked the polling organization Toluna to carry out in the UK, Germany, Japan and the US. The questions asked were about the general public’s nutritional knowledge, in particular regarding acacia gum, and the varied results are described by Alland & Robert as “both surprising and unexpected.”

According to the survey results, 49 percent of British people asked are unaware of the practical uses of acacia gum. Furthermore, only 22.41 percent know that it is present in bread while on average, over 42 percent of Americans are aware of this.

 

Speaking to FoodIngredientsFirst, Violaine Fauvarque, Marketing Manager of Alland & Robert said: “We were surprised that roughly one-third of people surveyed think that all additives are chemical, not natural. This shows us that we still have a lot of work to do in order to educate consumers. We want to let them know that some additives are 100 percent natural, such as acacia gum which is a tree exudate – thus a totally natural product.”
 
“We already know that the public has a growing mistrust of additives, which don’t have a great reputation among consumers. As more and more people grow concerned about their health and what they eat, they are also better informing themselves, using today’s technological tools. However, the world of additives is very big, perse, and can be confusing. That’s why we believe it’s important to be transparent with our clients and final customers. We try to respond honestly to their requests for information and communicate more and more openly about our products and about natural gums in general,” she explains. 
 
“We are definitely trying to increase public awareness about acacia gum, its origin, its applications and its benefits,” Fauvarque continues. “Acacia gum is a healthy, safe, vegetal additive that can be used in a multitude of food and cosmetics applications. This is a miracle ingredient, and we believe that this is unique enough to mention. So we will continue helping to educate consumers, but for now, we can’t disclose our plans.”
 
“No, there aren’t any commercial implications. As an expert in and one of the leaders of acacia gum and natural plant exudates, our goal is to find out more about the final consumers’ behavior and expectations,” she adds.

 

Mixed results

The survey found that 58.47 percent of the 1,000 British people surveyed consistently read food labels before buying a product, while 35.36 percent do it occasionally. Moreover, more than 65 percent recognize that the letter E represents a food additive.

 

However, the question concerning the origin of these food additives proved to be more difficult for those asked. Almost 40 percent are unaware that food additives can be either natural or chemical, and 32.77 percent wrongly believe that food additives are solely chemical.

 

Many people also prefer products which are a source of fiber, according to the results. In Britain, 45.62 percent of the survey respondents are particularly drawn to food products that are rich in fiber, although in Germany this figure is even higher at 65.45 percent.

 

However, more than 82 percent aren’t aware that acacia gum is a very fiber-rich dietary additive. Furthermore, Alland & Robert points out that it ensures at least 90 percent fiber content.

 

As a source of fiber, Alland & Robert notes that acacia gum has many advantages, including resistance to acidity and heat, no side effects nor intestinal troubles, low in calories, and a very low glycemic index, as well as scientifically-proven prebiotic effects.

 

Alland & Robert points out that acacia gum (also known as Arabic gum) is a 100 percent natural additive and sap exudate taken from an incision in the acacia tree trunk. In addition to the product’s natural origin, the harvest – carried out in the Sahel countries in Africa – is also natural.

 

Guaranteed pesticide and GMO-free, acacia gum is also said to function as an emulsifier and a stabilizing agent and be ready for use in many applications:

 

• Confectionery (chewing gum, sweets, sugared almonds)

• Fizzy and soft drinks.

• Bakery goods and pastries.

• Dairy products and ice cream.

• Health products – snack foods.

 

By Paul Creasy

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