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.


5 Formulation Challenges You Can Solve with Gellan Gum

Made through fermentation, gellan gum is a nature-based, multi-functional ingredient that’s great for all kinds of formulations. We’ve compiled a list of the top five customer challenges we hear, and how KELCOGEL® Gellan Gum can solve them.

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Gellan Gum is your multi-functional, go-to ingredient for conquering protein beverage formulation challenges.

Here’s how we can help solve five challenges when working with neutral pH milk and plant-based protein drinks, smoothies and drinking yogurts:

1. Suspension.

Innovative KELCOGEL® Gellan Gum is a master of long-term suspension. It suspends insoluble ingredients, such as cocoa powder, calcium, minerals and protein, while contributing minimal viscosity. So, you don’t have to worry about sediment on the bottom of your formulation. Gellan gum also offers no adverse impact on flavor. You just get a uniform pour with a clean, pleasant mouthfeel in shelf-stable UHT and refrigerated, neutral pH protein drinks, smoothies and drinking yogurts.

2. Stabilization.

Maintaining product consistency over the course of shelf life is what we call stability. Your beverage must deliver the promise of the ingredient benefits in every sip, and it must taste and look good, without separation and settling. As new alternative protein sources come along, so do new stabilization challenges. For instance, protein powders can be difficult to hydrate and sensitive to heat and pH, so there’s the threat of protein instability in the finished beverage. KELCOGEL Gellan Gum forms a fluid gel to stabilize your beverage and prevent phase separation with minimal impact on viscosity. No matter if you’re using dairy milk or plant proteins, KELCOGEL Gellan Gum provides stabilization.

3. Tailored texture.

Great texture can be compared to making a memorable first impression. It can be hard to describe what you’re expecting, but we encourage formulators to try to address their texture needs up front and work backwards in the process to achieve them. Define the richness, creaminess and other specific attributes you want consumers to experience when tasting your beverage and we can help you attain them. Innovative KELCOGEL Gellan Gum should be the first tool in your texture toolbox. It plays well with other hydrocolloid texturants so we can help you achieve your desired mouthfeel. Remember, most consumers won’t even think about texture – unless it’s inferior. A gelatinous chocolate milk (dairy or alternative dairy) could turn off a customer for good.

4. Reducing ingredients.

KELCOGEL Gellan Gum supports the development of your innovative products with shorter ingredient lists to meet ever-changing consumer demands. Discovered on a water lily plant and commercialized by CP Kelco over 25 years ago, KELCOGEL Gellan Gum is a naturally derived, highly effective, soluble dietary fiber. It’s multifunctional, so a little accomplishes a lot in terms of suspension, stabilization and texture. And it comes in a variety of grades to meet your specification. Because nature-based ingredients form the core of everything we do, quality and sustainability is built into our DNA. We’re proud to be leading the way in how nature-based products are produced.

5. Achieving clean label requirements.

“Free-from” food products are a huge consumer trend. This has led to a rise in vegan/vegetarian, gluten-free and other label-friendly claims. Plant-based, fermentation-derived KELCOGEL Gellan Gum can help you meet your clean label requirements with grades that are non-GMO, vegan, kosher, halal and more to eliminate any consumer concerns.

Let Us Help Find Your Solution

How can we help you satisfy your unique challenges? Whether it’s suspending botanicals in an energy drink, creating an indulgent, creamy smoothie or recovering body in a reduced-calorie beverage, CP Kelco is the perfect partner for the beverage category. With 25 years of gellan gum innovation, world-class application knowledge and regional expertise, our global team of nature-based ingredient enthusiasts love to collaborate with you on good-for-you beverages that range from light and refreshing to rich and decadent.

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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7 Ways to Clean Up Your Label

Making Sense of ‘Clean Label’

One thing is certain: consumers are paying more attention to the label. But the term ‘clean label’ embraces a range of concepts. Understanding your consumers’ perceptions will allow you to better tailor product innovation. Take a quick look at seven ways to meet the challenge.

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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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