Whether it is to adopt a vegetarian diet, out of concern for the environment, to combat intensive farming, or out of religious conviction, an increasing number of consumers are looking for products formulated with plant-based ingredients to substitute those of animal origin. This is one of the challenges facing the food industry, and in particular manufacturers of confectionery, jelly sweets, and marshmallows. Syndeo Gelling, the texture agent developed by Alland & Robert, provides a solution.

Aware of changing consumer trends, the food industry has been studying alternatives to gelatin for several years in the hydrocolloid sector. However, few of the existing alternatives to gelatin achieve the expected standards in terms of texture and elasticity. Developed by Alland & Robert, the Syndeo Gelling texturizing agent addresses these issues and enables the reformulation of several types of traditional gelatin-based products, including the “famous” jelly confectionery.

What are its benefits? Its composition based on 100% plant-based hydrocolloids and gum acacia, whose combined properties provide a compromise between gelatin and pectin. This means that while gelatin provides high elasticity and reduced stickiness, pectin helps achieve firmer, stickier textures with little or even no elasticity. Syndeo Gelling offers both low hardness and higher elasticity than pectin, without creating any stickiness.

Syndeo Gelling therefore offers an alternative choice for vegan sweet recipes and health supplements such as gummies that look like sweets. Indeed, this market is rapidly developing, and is not immune to the quest for healthier products.

"Syndeo Gelling is composed of gum acacia mixed with natural hydrocolloids of plant origin. It can therefore be used in the formulation of vegetarian or vegan food products," says Dr. Isabelle Jaouen, R&D director at Alland & Robert.

The properties of Syndeo Gelling provide a solution for confectionery manufacturers looking for gelatin substitutes. Being of plant origin, it improves the image of confectionery and has a lower environmental footprint than products of animal origin. The use of this product does not alter the sensory characteristics of jelly sweets as it offers thickening, stabilizing, bulking, and binding qualities to recipes for confectionery, jelly sweets and marshmallows. It preserves the tasting experience and even feels pleasant in the mouth. It is odorless, colorless, and neutral-tasting. Its versatile formulation is suitable for a wide range of confectionery applications, and even for other textured products with gelatin such as mousses or creams. The Alland & Robert R&D team has already expanded its research into texturing and the development of mousses; dairy specialties and cream desserts (both plant- and non-plant-based) and food supplements will be among the next areas of development.

To develop the Syndeo Gelling formulation, Alland & Robert’s R&D team used multiple texture profile analyses during its experiments. This analysis technique characterizes the texture aspects of a product. It also simulates the behavior of products during chewing.

In this connection, Alland & Robert has defined and evaluated four key attributes for characterizing texture and consumer sensory perception in confectionery: hardness, stickiness, cohesiveness, and resilience. These are essential to design a gelling agent that meets the expectations of the general public and the specific requirements of formulators.