Gelatin-free winegums texture problems cracked with starch blend launch - Cargill

Starch texturizer can also cut winegums drying time in half, says Laura Goodbrand, product manager of starch at Cargill (right).

Cargill has developed a starch blend that it claims can more closely match the texture of gelatin and can cut drying time in half.

The company’s ‘C*Clearset 35426’ is a blend of modified potato starch and tapioca starch.

Matching softness

Speaking to ConfectioneryNews, Laura Goodbrand, product manager of starch at Cargill, said: "We were hearing from customers that they were trying to create new products in the gelatin-free or vegan space that would meet consumers' texture experience needs."

But she said manufacturers were struggling to match the texture of gelatin.

"The equivalents that they could be using - that generally were starch-based products - were delivering a slightly different texture, bite and flavor release.

"Starches were 90% of the way there, but they were having to compromise a little bit on the softness."

Cargill claims its latest starch blend closely matches the softness of gelatin in winegum applications and does not impact the flavor release. 

Goodbrand said it was not a 100% match, but was closer than existing starch offerings.

"Sometimes starch-based products are a bit cloudier than traditional transparent gelatin-based winegums, but our solution has shown equivalent transparency,” she claimed.

Drying times halved

Cargill also claims the new starch blend can cut the drying time - which typically takes 48 hours - by up to 50% compared to other starches used in winegums.

Goodbrand said this could lead to efficiency savings.

"They can better plan their production schedules....it's about flexibility. Reducing the drying time frees up equipment that can be used to make more of that product or making something else,” she said.

The starch blend can used on manufacturers' existing production lines without modifications, says Cargill.

Gelatin-free demand

The supplier says the starch blend could help confectioners cater to increased demand for gelatin-free wine gums from vegans, vegetarians and consumers avoiding pork-derived gelatin for religious reasons, particularly in the Middle East and some Western European nations.

"You see quite a lot of interest in the Germany, and the UK market is a really big market, you are seeing a lot more vegan and natural claims coming up in this space," said Goodbrand.

She added that Innova's new product database indicated that texture claims such as 'chewy' were popular front of pack claims among recent winegum launches. Goodbrand said such claims would not be diminished by using the latest starch blend.

Gelatin cost comparison

Cargill claims the cost in use for the starch blend (overall formulation cost) would not be significantly higher than gelatin, or common blends of starch and gelatin.

Cargill's C*Clearset 35426 must be declared on ingredients lists in the EU as E1420 and E1404.

The blend contains a modified potato starch. Goodbrand said it was stabilized with chemicals, but was not genetically modified.

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