Gum Arabic, is obtained Acacia trees in the gum-belt of Africa, the top producers -Sudan, Chad and Nigeria - bring about 45,000 tonnes of gum arabic to the market each year. Sudan supplies more than two-thirds of global demand, which means that supplies – and therefore prices – are vulnerable to political upheaval in the region. OSA starch – that is, modified with octenyl succinate anhydride – meanwhile, originate from agricultural crops which are also traded commodities.
A spokesperson for DWC told FoodNavigator.com that the beverage industry has been dependent on these volatile ingredients. She described the new cellulose-based stabiliser, derived from wood pulp, as a “super new thing that will make their lives easier”.
Not only will industry be able to rely on stable prices, but they can also use as much as ten times less of the ingredient than is the case for gum Arabic or OSA starch. This means the cost in use is up to three times lower, the company claims.
The new stabiliser, called Methocel for Flavor Emulsions, is being launched globally after a year-old period of development. It is suitable for use in all beverages, but it is most likely to find uses in soft drinks, concentrates, carbonated beverages and functional drinks (such as high protein and high fibre).
The spokesperson said it is also possible to use it in alcoholic beverages, but that is not where the primary need lies for the industry.
Internal tests and analyses have been conducted by DWC, and the company says it provided “equal or better performance” compared to gum Arabic and OSA starch.
The company has other ingredients in its Methocel line, such as a fat replacer for use in sausages and an improver for gluten-free baked products.