Blueberry muffin
Citri-Fi citrus fiber is baking stable and has been shown to replace pectin in high brix and low pH applications.

Pectin problems

Pectin, a hydrocolloid sourced from citrus peel, has risen in price after poor crop years in Argentina. High methoxyl (HM) pectin was priced at $9 per lb in an IMR Quarterly Review of Food Hydrocolloids earlier this year, which was more than double its price in 2006. Low methoxyl pectin (LM) was priced at $10.60 per lb. San Diego-based IMR International puts out the quarterly review.

Pectin works as gelling and texturizing agents for use in bakery fillings as well as jams, jellies, dressings and beverages, according to CP Kelco, a hydrocolloids company based in Atlanta.

Citri-Fi, a citrus fiber ingredient from Fiberstar, River Falls, Wis., has been shown to provide assistance for companies wanting to alleviate the current high costs of pectin. Citri-Fi has high water-holding capacity and emulsification properties, said Jennifer Stephens, vice-president of marketing for Fiberstar. It provides multiple benefits, including textural improvements, nutritional enhancements and potential cost-savings in various food products.

Citri-Fi 100, a citrus pulp, is comprised of both insoluble and soluble fiber, which contains the highly esterified native pectin that gels under certain conditions with low pH and high brix being examples.

“Because the Citri-Fi is not pure pectin, the usage ranges from 1% to 2%,” Ms. Stephens said. “At the same time, Citri-Fi is easy to incorporate. It does not need to be pre-hydrated, which can save manufacturers a process step, and this natural fiber, when mixed with sugar, disperses easily into solution.

“Moreover, Citri-Fi is baking stable so that it can also replace the more costly low methoxyl pectins in high brix and low pH applications. Citri-Fi can extend/replace added pectin in fruit fillings, fruit spreads and fruit preparations for yogurt. Moreover, this natural fiber can be used to replace or used in conjunction with other hydrocolloid blends to replace pectin. Citri-Fi 100 is offered in several particles sizes to provide textures ranging from smooth to pulpy.”

Citri-Fi also has been shown to reduce oil and/or fat in baked foods such as cookies, cakes and muffins.

Pectin peel supply conditions will remain challenged, and peel costs are expected to remain at elevated levels, according to CP Kelco. The company said it is building a new peel processing plant in Brazil that is scheduled to be operational in 2017. The plant should reduce CP Kelco’s exposure to peel availability and price fluctuations.

CP Kelco already has completed an expansion of pectin capacity in Europe and expanded capacity at a manufacturing facility in Brazil. Debottlenecking projects in Europe, already in progress, should lead to additional capacity during 2017-18.

“Pectin is a highly functional and complex stabilizer that provides targeted performance in specific product markets,” said Drew Kleven, product line manager, functional systems and hydrocolloids for Minneapolis-based Cargill. “While there is no replacement for pectin’s robust functionality in these markets, we have the deep well of expertise and a broad toolbox to partner with our customers to create the best possible system in order to promote success.”

Food formulators also may want to keep up to date on the price of xanthan gum, another hydrocolloid. Transparency Market Research, Albany, N.Y., expects the global xanthan gum market to have a compound annual growth rate in revenue of 7.7% from 2016 to 2024, possibly reaching $1.25 billion. The C.A.G.R. in volume could be 7.3% from 2016 to 2024.

“The key end users of the global xanthan gum market include the industries of food and beverage, oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, personal care, and other minor end users such as lab research prospects and agrochemicals,” the report said.

Xanthan gum is used as a thickening and emulsion stabilizing agent in various food applications such as sauces, dressings, bakery and dairy products. The food and beverage industry was responsible for consumption of over 50% of the xanthan gum produced globally in 2015, according to the report. Growing preference for xanthan gum from pharmaceutical and personal care industries as a bio-based stabilizer is anticipated to bring opportunities in the market.