Dispatches from IFT

IMR updates on carrageenan, alginates and gum arabic

By Jess Halliday

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Gum arabic, Sudan

IMR updates on carrageenan, alginates and gum arabic
At the IFT expo this week FoodNavigator.com caught up with hydrocolloids industry experts Dennis Seisun and Christine Seisun for their latest observations on the state of the market.

Over the last six months the price of carrageenan has made progress back towards normal levels after a period of marked shortages – but the latest indications are that it is inching back up again in the latest quarter.

Alginates, too, are suffering from a dire shortage, which could impact beer producers (as well as other beverages and dressings). Since acquiring ISP’s alginates business in 2008, FMC BioPolymer has become a “gorilla in the alginates business”, and has consolidated production in Norway.

And this week news has broken about the Sudanese government scrapping a government monopoly on the production and export of gum Arabic.

Will this have a significant impact on the market? Not according to the experts, who say instability in Sudan means big users are unlikely to change course – and several hydrocolloid suppliers are working hard on gum Arabic alternatives.

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