Addition of pectin to cooked down sugary fruit syrups can produce a gummi bear like glaze.
The supply of gum arabic, also known as acacia gum because it comes from Acacia trees in the gum belt of Africa, is variable due to political and climatic factors in the primary producing countries like Sudan and Nigeria and this has led to spikes in the price of the ingredient.
Gum arabic is widely used by the food and beverage industry and the top producers (mainly Sudan) bring about 50,000 tonnes of the gum to the market each year.
Attempts have been made to find an alternative that could be used as a thickener, adhesive, and stabilizer for food and beverage applications.
One recent study from Malaysia, which was published in the journal Carbohydrate Polymers, suggested that replacing gum arabic with low levels of pectin can lead to more stable orange beverage emulsions.
And United States Department of Agriculture scientists are continuing to expand the potential of a gum produced from corn fiber to replace gum arabic in beverages, with a new study pinpointing the emulsifying properties of the gum.
The study, recently published online in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, highlighted its potential to eventually replace gum arabic as an emulsifying agent.