Stabilizing Dairy Alternative Products with Nature-Powered Solutions

We partnered with Innova Market Insights and Food Ingredients First to share useful insights about the global dairy alternatives market, key challenges when formulating these products, and how KELCOGEL® Gellan Gum serves as a unique, multifunctional solution. Learn more about ingredient innovation with plant proteins in this webinar.

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Plant-based proteins have the market buzzing, with food and beverage innovations arriving frequently on store shelves. But formulating beverages with alternative protein sources—whether soy, almond, oat, pea or rice – can present challenges, especially in meeting consumers’ expectations for taste, texture and visual appeal. We partnered with Innova Market Insights and Food Ingredients First to share useful insights about the global dairy alternatives market, the key challenges when formulating these products, and how KELCOGEL® Gellan Gum–a nature-based, fermentation-derived ingredient–serves as a unique, multifunctional solution in the product developer’s toolkit.


Helping to Improve the Dysphagia Diet

We tend to view swallowing as a simple reflex, but it actually requires the use of 26 muscles and six nerves. Disease, head/neck injuries and aging can deteriorate these muscles and make swallowing difficult. The medical term for this condition is dysphagia. We’ve all felt that disturbing sensation when food “goes down the wrong pipe.” For someone suffering from dysphagia and constantly worried about choking, mealtime can be both embarrassing and terrifying.

Dysphagia affects more people than we think, especially with our growing aging population. According to the National Foundation of Swallowing Disorders, it’s estimated that up to 22 percent of individuals over age 50 and most individuals by the age of 80 will experience it to some degree. CP Kelco is proud to play a part in the management of dysphagia, helping people to enjoy food and beverages again with less risk of choking.

Manufacturers use our ingredients to create three kinds of dysphagia diet texture modifications:

  1. We help thicken liquids so they flow more slowly, which gives the muscles more time to react and protect the airway. Fluids have always been an essential part of any diet – up to eight glasses of liquids per day is recommended. In the past, these liquids would have been thickened with starch, which had a chalky after-taste as well as a tendency to solidify and cause bloat. We offer nature-based ingredient solutions instead and can ensure the patient is receiving a tastier option.
  2. We help with the creation of soft foods. The innovation in this fast-growing segment is amazing! In Japan, where we’ve been working with manufacturers for 20 years, necessity has led to the invention of sophisticated, pureed meals for the elderly that are molded to look and taste like their original counterparts.
  3. We help with formulas for enteral tube nutrition. For those who can’t accept food and beverages by mouth, we modify the rheology of the tube feeding fluid to enhance nourishment delivery. Exciting progress is being made with plant-based protein formulas that use organic-compliant ingredients for increased tolerance and more complete nutrition.

Besides providing sensory/texture benefits, CP Kelco’s ingredients are exceptionally easy to use. We offer several, convenient, nature-based thickening and gelling agent solutions:

KELCOGEL® Gellan Gum is a soluble dietary fiber produced by fermentation that enables the preparation of soft-gel foods such as fish, soups, meats, vegetables and desserts. Available in two types, low acyl or high acyl, gellan gum can produce a wide variety of textures and provides excellent suspension of insoluble ingredients.

GENU® Pectin is extracted from citrus peel and is another superior stabilizer that can protect proteins and other nutrients in food formulations. It can often support organic label claims too.

GENUGEL® Carrageenan is derived from red seaweed and can be used to reconstitute a broad variety of foods into a cohesive, easy-to-swallow form.

For beverages, KELTROL® Xanthan Gum is optimized for use in hot, cold and acidic beverages with a consistent, gel-like viscosity and no off-taste.

Contact CP Kelco for more information to meet your dysphagia ingredient needs.



“How Aging Affects Our Swallowing Ability,” The National Foundation of Swallowing Disorders, March 2013.


Formulating Acidified Beverages with Pea Protein

We can address your pea protein-enhanced beverage challenges, including how to deal with aggregation and sediment at an acidic pH. Download our new whitepaper to see which protein-protecting hydrocolloid solution can help.

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Getting Texture Right

Tap Into Texture Trends Across The Globe

Texture is at the forefront of food and beverage innovation today. While some trends are global, there are still some unique cultural variations. How thick is too thick in your region? And how are popular culture trends affecting consumer texture preferences? Discover 10 ways texture is driving market success in North America, EMEA, Latin America and APAC regions.

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Answering Protein Appetites

Protein Problem-Solving, Insights & Innovation

Nutrition. Energy. Diet. Consumers are clamoring for protein! But is dairy protein popular in your region? Or do your consumers prefer plant-based sources? Gain helpful insight on what’s driving protein innovation around the globe and how we can help you unlock your next protein-powered success.

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Sugar Reduction

Shifting consumer preference for healthier products, new labeling laws, and sugar taxes all have contributed to making the reformulation of reduce sugar a top priority. While the demand to lower or even eliminate sugar is clear, developing formulas that meet consumer expectations is not.

Learn more about our unparalleled innovation and expertise in replacing sugar without comprising on mouthfeel, texture or taste. We offer a broad portfolio of nature-based ingredients that working alone, or in combination, enable formulators to mimic the mouthfeel and texture of a full-sugar beverage without a bitter aftertaste. Our application scientists offer years of research, development and application knowledge to reach sugar reduction targets with all the desired sensory and taste profiles expected of a quality product. Let us help you rethink existing or develop new recipes with optimal market appeal.

GENU® Pectin

GENU® Pectin is a preferred choice to reduce sugar and recover mouthfeel in fruit-based beverages. This well-known product is derived from nature-based occurring structural components in fruits and vegetables. GENU Pectin provides body and mouthfeel in fruit juice products when used at levels of around 0.2%. When consumed, a reduced-sugar beverage containing GENU Pectin can have a mouthfeel which mimics its full-sugar counterpart as well as an enhanced fruity flavor.

KELCOGEL® Gellan Gum

KELCOGEL® Gellan Gum offers unique suspension properties in drinks via the formation of a fluid gel network. This extremely pseudoplastic network consists of a low concentration of weakly associated molecules. At rest, KELCOGEL Gellan Gum provides a weak gel structure, resulting in excellent suspension of insoluble ingredients such as minerals, fruit pulp and eye-catching inclusions. Due to the weak molecular associations, the structure is easily disrupted upon agitation, resulting in low viscosity when pouring the drink and a completely natural sensation when it’s consumed.

KELTROL® Xanthan Gum

KELTROL® Xanthan Gum has a highly pseudoplastic flow behavior that provides high viscosities at low shear rates to help improve suspension, while still providing good flow properties when poured. The slight increase in viscosity imparts the sensation of enhanced body which is ideal for cordials and sugar-free or reduced sugar juice drinks. Due to its molecular structure, KELTROL Xanthan Gum has excellent pH stability, down to pH 2.7 that allows high tolerance to the high-acid environment of fruit-based system.

CEKOL® Cellulose Gum

CEKOL® Cellulose Gum is a cold-water soluble polymer which imparts viscosity to aqueous solutions. Produced in a wide range of viscosity grades, CEKOL Cellulose Gum can produce a flow that ranges from thin, almost Newtonian when simple body is desired, to higher pseudoplastic viscosity that produces a thicker mouthfeel, such as mango or guava drinks.

As consumers shift toward healthier and sustainable beverage consumption, the demand for variety and desire to meet individual consumer needs is driving the dairy milk substitute market. These needs vary from awareness of food allergies and intolerances, to the desire for vegetarian options, along with seeking nature-based ways to gain other types of nutrition. These products aren’t just for vegans anymore, and demand will continue to grow!

Soy is no longer the only contender in this space and formulators are becoming more and more creative with protein sources. When formulating beverages from various grains, nuts or other plants sources, developers must contend with a variety of issues.

Grinding the nuts or grains into a fine powder can leave some residual solids that can settle to the bottom of the container. Adding fortification ingredients like calcium to improve nutrition content can also present a settling issue and therefore, not deliver what is promised on the label. Some milks like those made from coconut have nature-based occurring fats that may separate and rise to the top of the container. Others are very thin and need additional body and creaminess to create the right mouthfeel that consumers desire in milk substitutes.

Whether it’s suspending botanicals in the latest new-age energy drink, stabilizing protein in fruit smoothies, creating an indulgent creamy liqueur or recovering body in a reduced calorie beverage, the possibilities of stabilizers and texturizers are truly amazing.

At CP Kelco, innovation is key. Using groundbreaking methods like microbial fermentation, extraction from land and sea plants, and modification of cellulose-based raw materials, we’re changing the way polysaccharides are produced. And we’ve created quite a portfolio. CPKelco’s vast assortment of ingredients can take the most challenging – and creative – beverage prototypes from the lab to the shopping cart.

But for all the time we spend inside the lab, our ingredients are quite comfortable in the great outdoors. Which makes sense, since each product is derived from nature-based, renewable raw materials with minimal modification. Thanks to rheology control, these products can be used for thickening, suspension, stabilization and even gelation.

Rheology control has become a popular topic among developers. The amount of commercially available modifiers can be overwhelming, to say the least. So which rheology modifier is the right one for your product? A few factors should be considered, like the desired flow behavior or texture, the required shelf-life, the production equipment available, compatibility with other ingredients, and product end-use characteristics. It may seem intimidating, but don’t worry. That’s what we’re here for.

Based on evolving consumer preferences to get nutrition from novel sources, try new flavors and reduce sugar, juices and juice-based drinks have shifted in positioning over the years. Whether it’s a staple in a diet or a treat, there are many fun ways to work with juice and juice drinks!

For beverage formulator, incorporating vitamins, minerals and other nutrients presents both challenges and opportunities to create innovative solutions.

Our nature-based ingredients are ideal for reducing or eliminating sugar without losing mouthfeel or taste. Our experts have worked with juice and juice drinks all over the world and can find a solution for your innovative beverage.

We offer a wide range of nature-based, renewable raw and clean-label ingredients to meet multiple product functions such as thickening, suspension and stabilization.