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New Texture System R...

26th September 2022  Content supplied by: Kerry Taste and Nutrition

New Texture System Delivers up to 50% Cost Saving for Hard Pack Ice Cream

Kerry, the world’s leading taste and nutrition company, has launched Sherex™ Supreme, a newly developed, innovative texture system that replicates the functionality of locust bean gum (LBG) in hard-pack ice cream.

Over recent years, high demand, limited availability, and extreme price increases for LBG have led to a search for solutions to deliver and match LBG’s functionality at a reduced cost. Sherex Supreme does just that: Kerry’s validation trials on premium, budget, and standard hard-pack ice creams show that Sherex delivers the texture, mouthfeel and other taste attributes consumers expect from traditional ice cream, all at up to a 50% lower cost and with no change to the label or manufacturing process.

Ice cream is an enormous and growing global market that Euromonitor estimates holds a $21 billion retail value globally and $4 billion in Western Europe. Innova notes that in 2021 LBG was used in 50% of new global ice cream launches and 64% of western European ice cream launches. Demand for LBG has grown rapidly in recent years due to its exceptional functionality and suitability for many rapidly growing plant-based product applications, but supply has not kept up given the 10-year growth period required for the carob tree to bear the LBG-producing pods. This imbalance has led LBG prices to ratchet up by 800% over the last five years—and a staggering sixfold increase just since 2020.

Commenting on the launch, Tricia Hayes, Global Senior Director, Emulsifiers, Texture Systems, and Gum Acacia, Kerry, said: “LBG is a highly valued ingredient in ice cream manufacture that offers extensive functionality but over the last few years has also seen increasing demand and cost increases. Kerry’s Sherex Supreme is a texture system that delivers the creamy mouthfeel, good aeration, desired viscosity and controlled meltdown that consumers expect from ice cream while offering up to 50% cost savings versus standard texture systems. Most importantly, Sherex Supreme maintains the indulgent rich ice cream taste so prized by consumers.”

Sensory testing on Sherex shows no difference from control ice creams.

In each recipe tested, Kerry’s validation trials on Sherex Supreme - examining such attributes as viscosity, particle size, mix stability, overrun, meltdown behavior, and sensory appeal - found that it achieved or exceeded the desired results in three categories: premium, budget and standard hard-pack. In a blind tasting conducted to assess sensory qualities (texture, mouthfeel, aftertaste, smoothness, sweetness, etc.), 9 out of 10 panelists could find no difference when compared with the control product. In addition, Sherex Supreme is comprised of ingredients (LBG, guar gum, and mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids) already listed on ice cream labels, meaning that no changes are required to the label.

Locust bean gum a highly sought-after natural ingredient

Locust bean gum is cultivated from the carob tree that grows in drier, hotter regions around the coastal Mediterranean in Portugal, Spain, Italy, etc. Carob trees are drought-resistant, require little maintenance, and are long-lived. After approximately ten years of growth following planting, the tree’s seed pods can be separated into pulp and seeds. LBG is obtained from the split milled seeds through minimal processing, meeting the labeling requirements for both “clean” and “natural.” Due to its impressive functionality, LBG is used as an integral component in many ice cream products and, in recent years, new plant-based beverage products. LBG functions as a natural, plant-sourced thickener, stabilizer, emulsifier, and gelling agent that enhances texture and allows for clean labeling. Until more newly planted carob trees reach maturity over the next decade, there will be an urgent need for solutions to the LBG price/supply challenge.

Hayes added: “Sherex Supreme decreases both dependence and pressure on LBG raw material supplies, mitigates price inflation for ice cream products, and helps protect market share for manufacturers - all with no changes to the label or manufacturing process. We’re proud to release this innovation to address a pressing economic issue for ice cream makers, delivering a highly positive benefit: a 50% savings that can help ice cream manufacturers combat growing cost pressures. Kerry’s research and development team continues to work intensively on a wide range of similarly exciting innovations for use in many different foods and beverage applications.”

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Date Published: 26th September 2022

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