Hydrocolloid giant CP Kelco has announced the first phase in a series of projects to expand its Brazilian pectin operation by 30% to cope with rebounding demand for the ingredient.
According to the company, the expansion project will significantly increase the facility’s capacity to produce grades of pectin with a sustainable new innovative technology leveraging the local cost-effective raw material sources.
Pectin is currently widely used as gelling agents in jams, confectionery, and bakery fillings, and stabilizers in yogurts and milk drinks. Global pectin demand continues to exceed regional GDP rates as consumers in all markets demand natural, safe, high-quality food ingredients.
Susanne Sörgel, marketing director for the product line at CP Kelco, told FoodNavigator-USA that industrial pectin products are mainly produced made from apple pumice, orange peel, lemon/lime peel, and some other smaller sources. CP Kelco’s products are mainly from citrus peel (apple pumice produces a different functionality).
“Due to global economics and population growth, some of the citrus sources are constrained while others are less so,” she said. “This expansion will allow us to better utilize those materials that are in more readily available and have a future projection for availability.”
Sörgel said that pectin demand has rebounded, and the company is experiencing high rates of adoption in new product launches in both emerging and mature markets. Sorgel told us that the ingredient is being adopted in more and more foods and beverages for several reasons: Firstly, there is the cost-benefit: a low inclusion level of this product produces a lot of functionality, she said.
Secondly, the mouthfeel mimics sugar: “In products like low-sugar jams, low-sugar fruit juices, diet carbonated beverages – where formulators are removing sugar for caloric content – pectin is a perfect fit for recovering mouthfeel lost when removing sugar, without the calories,” she said.
Finally, pectin is label-friendly. “Pectin is a very natural product and consumers know and relate to this,” said Sörgel.
Growth in beverage and yogurt
CP Kelco’s broad portfolio of pectin grades includes new patented forms, which provide higher functionality in solids and pH and the ability to create unique textures, said Sorgel.
“Because of the product’s capability to create customized textures and due to pectin’s natural association with fruit and fruit pulp, we’ve seen the application space broaden for GENU pectin,” she said.
This broadening of applications includes food, as well as areas such as pharmaceutical, personal care, even some industrial applications.
“Inside food, as the beverage markets grow and expand, in both emerging markets and mature (for different reasons of course), pectin can be used in almost every beverage,” said Sorgel.
“The newest market we’ve experience good growth in food is in yogurt (for texture development in the ‘white mass’ as people lower the protein content by reducing skim milk powder) and in neutral dairy (as producers look to use alternative milk sources such as almond, coconut, etc.) pectin can be used for stability and mouthfeel development.”