The gum is a hydrocolloid system designed to help beverage formulators faced with the challenge of developing a soy drink that remains smooth and stable over its shelf life.
This new type of Kelcogel has been specially designed to suspend and stabilise the soy proteins, in addition to other ingredients such as cocoa for flavoring, and fortifying ingredients like calcium and fiber.
CP Kelco said that the gum disperses well without lumping, hydrates easily and is heat stable, making it compatible with standard UHT and HTST equipment.
The use of gellan gum in this capacity is a new concept, according to the company, as microcrystalline cellulose is usually used to aid the suspension of soy in beverages.
"Microcrystalline cellulose changes the texture of the product and is not a natural substance," spokesperson Kathleen Deely told FoodNavigatorUSA.com.
She explained that unlike microcrystalline cellulose which is created through a chemical process, gellan gum is made by fermentation. Deely admitted that there may still be a slight change in the mouthfeel of the original product, but that gellan gum provided the "best suspension with the least change in texture".
Moreover, the gum is competitively priced at $14 a kilo and the use level is low at around 0.12 percent per formulation.
"This is a product which food manufacturers have wanted to help keep their products more homogenous," said Deely. She added that manufacturers have been using carageenan and xanthan, but have still been finding sludge in the bottom of their beverages.
This is the third launch in CP Kelco's gellan gum portfolio and the company plans to extend it further still throughout its global markets.
The last product launched in this series was Kelogel HM-B gellan gum back in November 2004, a hydrocolloid system designed to provide suspension of cocoa and minerals in ready-to-drink dairy based beverages.
CP Kelco, formed in September 2000 from Hercules' Food Gums division and Kelco Biopolymers division of Monsanto Pharmacia, is currently the number one supplier of pectin and xanthan gum, both used extensively by the food industry as thickeners and stabilisers. The company was bought by JM Huber for around $1 billion last October.