It says the ingredient matches the functionality of gelatine and has similar cost in use.
"Our competitors used to say that they have the perfect solution to match gelatine, but we know if we are honest it is something very difficult to achieve." Thierry Laurent, business development manager for confectionery at Roquette, told ConfectioneryNews at Food Ingredients Europe (FiE) in Paris last week.
Roquette has worked closely with sister company AGI to develop Matgum PAM, a plant-based gluten-free and non-GMO gelatine alternative derived mainly from starch.
Vegetarian solution based on starch
"We target first the chewy candy but we are also working in the jellies sector. We wanted to replace gelatine for a more stably priced ingredient and a cleaner ingredient for markets with concerns for vegans, halal and kosher," said Laurent.
"There's no change in the way it's processed and there's no addition of any other ingredient."
First finished products to hit store shelves soon
Roquette’s starch-based Matgum can also be used to create a confection with a longer chewing experience. Laurent said such products are already on the market in Japan, but are gelatine-based. Matgum can also be used to produce chewing gum without the need for expensive lamination equipment. More to follow on this development on ConfectioneryNews soon.
Roquette initially sold maltodextrin as a gelatine-free ingredient for chewy candies. "But this solution was not 100% successful from the technical point of view. We wanted to enhance the performance of this solution,” Laurent.
Roquette is already working with an industrial confectionery producer that plans to replace gelatine with Matgum Pam for its chewy candy range in certain markets like the Middle East. Products are expected to hit store shelves in the next two months.
Laurent said the finished product looks and tastes much like the gelatine version.
"You have something very close,” he said. “Of course depending on your experience and expectations you will always find a slight difference, but I think they are very very close."
Is the price right?
Laurent added that Matgum Pam had a similar cost to gelatine in the final formulation, but added prices are far less volatile.
"The price of gelatine is very wide-ranging depending on the year, the geographical origin between Western and Eastern Europe and you have wide price differences depending on the animal source,” he said.
"The price of gelatine is between €3-7 euros per Kg. We want to offer a similar cost in use in the end recipe to offer the producer the possibility to launch the product on the market without a big gap in price."
Matgum PAM is declared as 'starch and emulsifier' on ingredients lists in the EU. "We have a light emulsifier content, but emulsifiers are generally already in the regular formulation,” said Laurent.