TIC Gums: When a gum arabic disaster plan proves a success

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Texture and stabilization specialist TIC Gums is now strong in gum arabic replacement for confection coatings, but this business shift started as a mere disaster plan, its president says.

The US firm has worked in texture and stabilization for more than 100 years and shifted into gum arabic (gum acacia) replacement around four years ago.

Speaking to ConfectioneryNews.com at ProSweets 2013, its president Greg Andon said this shift started as a “disaster planning exercise”.

“The question for us was; what would we do if we couldn’t get raw material acacia from the sourcing countries of Chad and Sudan which typically have a lot of issues with political stability.”

“So we fell back on our strength, which is really texture and stabilization and formulating… We were able to combine ingredients that did not contain gum acacia to be able to match the performance of gum acacia in certain applications like confection coatings,” Andon said.

The firm developed TicaPan and has since launched two versions – TicaPan 311 and TicaPan Quick Crunch – the latter formally launched to the European market at ProSweets in Cologne.

The TicaPan range uses locally-sourced ingredients and claims cost savings and functional advantages.

Cost savings and functional advantages

Ticapan 311 is really a 1:1 replacement for gum arabic, whereas Ticapan Quick Crunch is something slightly different to gum arabic as it is slightly harder in texture.

The harder shell that Quick Crunch creates means that formulators can use 5-10% fewer layers on the outside of a chewing gum piece as well as less sugar and sugar alcohols, Andon explained.

TicaPan is also white in color and thus suited to chewing gum formulations, he added.

European potential despite economic difficulties

“It’s really a matter of targeting the chewing gum. There’s a lot of chewing gum manufactured in Europe. We’d really be remiss if we weren’t here working with those chewing gum manufacturers,” he said.

Andon said that despite economic difficulties in Europe over the last few years, there is still a very strong chewing gum manufacturing base.

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