Full-bodied mouthfeel and low syneresis with the optimal pectin 

People’s awareness of the importance of eating a healthy diet has been increasing for years. The reductionof sugar is playing a key role in this. The development of products and foods is therefore moving towardsreduced sugar varieties which still offer added value, such as valuable nutrients, wherever possible. Toolslike the Nutri-Score provide a simple visualisation that aims to help consumers make their decisions. Therepurchase of a ‘healthier’ product, however, tends to be based more on emotion and enjoyment. A fullbodied, long-lasting fruit flavor and appealing appearance are key factors in ensuring that the sensorycharacteristics of fruit spreads are positively received.

Classic jams and marmalades have quite a high legally prescribed sugar content of at least 55% soluble solids. The range of ‘lighter’ fruit spreads has also been growing for many years. These usually contain significantly less sugar and therefore have more room for fruit. In the meantime, there are now lots of products being retailed with a sugar content of approximately 40%. Many consumers find the reduced sweetness agreeable in comparison to jams and marmalades, with the flavor of fruit spreads tending to be perceived as ‘fruitier’, ‘lighter’ or even ‘more natural’ as a result.

New challenges in terms of texture when sugar is further reduced

The current trend is moving even more towards products with a significantly lower sugar content, including fruit spreads that have no added sugar at all. The balance between sweetness, acidity and fruit is very different in these products in comparison to traditional jams, marmalades and fruit spreads. Apart from the proportions of the individual ingredients and the production process, it is mainly the texture that is responsible for creating the unique taste experience. The texture characteristics of gel firmness, yield stress and viscosity are of key importance in controlling the perception of taste. In fruit spreads containing very little sugar, low ester amidated pectins or low ester pectins combined with an added source of calcium are used to form the gel. If sufficient gel firmness can be achieved in this way, the resulting texture is usually rather short and brittle. The large volume of liquid does not always fully bind together and syneresis then occurs.

The aim is minimal sugar with maximum sweetness

The use of conventional amidated pectins is not ideal for achieving the desired product properties when there is a big reduction in sugar. Perfect fruit spreads therefore require special solutions, which Herbstreith & Fox, an experienced pectin specialist with a great deal of expertise in this area, is now developing. The focus here is not only on the technological requirements, but also the creation of the impressive sensory characteristics.

Herbstreith & Fox has solved precisely this problem with its newly developed Pectin Amid CF 005-AC. The innovative functionality of this new pectin sets it apart from conventional amidated pectins. This new development focuses on creating a particularly distinctive mouthfeel combined with minimal tendency for syneresis to occur. The gel-like, viscous, smooth texture covers the tongue and influences the taste perception accordingly. Maximum sweetness is obtained from the low amount of sugar.

The result is a consistently spreadable fruit spread that comes close in sensory terms to conventional spreads that contain more sugar.

Pectin with innovative functionality: no added calcium required

The specialised H&F pectin can be used  for fruit spreads with a solids range of approx. 10 – 35% and does not require any added calcium. The calcium from the fruit is enough to produce a firmly gelled, spreadable gel with a with a beautiful smooth and shiny surface. A low sugar content combined with a correspondingly high fruit content makes it possible to produce fruit spreads with the coveted Nutri-Score of A.