Burgeoning trends can present a plethora of opportunities for companies. At the same time, they can introduce myriad problems for formulators and bakers. The rush toward gluten-free products is a prime ­example. While consumer desire for these new products opens up opportunities, it also provides some road blocks.

 “If you’ve ever tried to make, say, a gluten-free bread without using any hydrocolloid or gums, you’re going to get something that will collapse in the oven, and if it doesn’t collapse, you’ll get low volume and a very firm, dry texture,” said Steven Baker, a food scientist for TIC Gums, White Marsh, MD. “And you can get a lot of grittiness as you’re chewing it.”

To solve such problems, Mr. Baker and his colleagues developed proprietary blends of food gums that help formulators achieve the desired texture, volume and structure when dealing with gluten-free applications.

“When you add gums, you can somewhat mimic the functionality of gluten,” Mr. Baker said. “You can regain the volume of your loaf, the softness, the moist mouth feel.”

These new blends have been a year in the making, and Mr. Baker said work has especially ramped up over the last six months. The company introduced the products at the Institute of Food Technologists’ Food Expo in June.

It will then be available for companies who are in, or want to get into, the gluten-free world but may not have the time or resources to develop their own scratch formula.

“A lot of the gluten-free companies have been into the market for a long time. They’ve had time to test all their systems and ingredients separately. They’ve already come up with their own individual blends,” Mr. Baker said. “We’ve looked at a couple of different hydrocolloid solutions where we can cut down on [a company’s] research and development time and get them a better-performing product.”

Among TIC’s gluten-free products is Ticaloid GF 313, a hydrocolloid system developed for sweet baked goods. It will help achieve textural attributes lost when switching to gluten-free formulations. It is also cold-water-­soluble, which Mr. Baker noted as a key attribute.

“A baked good doesn’t [encounter] much heat until you actually get into the bake, so you usually need something that is cold-water-soluble,” he said. “That usually leads you to the common players of xanthan, guar gum and a lot of the cellulose derivatives.”

TIC’s gum blends can be added to a formula’s dry ingredients. Usage levels range from 0.5% (flour weight basis) for sweet goods and 2 to 5% for breads.

“Gums are very functional ingredients. They have a great impact at very low levels,” Mr. Baker said. “If you taste a product with and without, there is a big difference in terms of texture, softness and other attributes.”

And it all leads to a better formulation with less work for the formulator.

“We’re trying to shorten their development time,” he said. “We’ve run the tests so they don’t have to. We can help solve their problems.” For a white paper about gums in gluten-free baked goods, visit www.ticgums.com.