Adding acacia gum – and reducing sugar content – is a very effective way to improve the “Nutri-Score” of industrial biscuits.
The clear health advantages align with consumer expectations; the French government-backed Nutri-Score nutritional rating system has become a benchmark for those looking to achieve a balanced diet.
The Alland & Robert R&D team did tests using a standard multigrain cookie recipe with a “C” Nutri-Score.
Adding 3% acacia gum and reducing sugar content by 30% led to less fat and sugar, a lower calorie intake, and more fibre. From an initial “C” score, the modified recipe obtained an “A.”
The final recipe was adjusted to consider the impact of acacia gum on texture, appearance and sensory experience.
To support these findings, Alland & Robert then conducted consumer tests, which showed that the acacia gum cookies were generally preferred and classed as high quality during sensorial analysis.
Their characteristics and nutritional value were improved compared with “control” recipes that did not contain any acacia gum.
Similar results were achieved for other recipes. By adding acacia gum and reducing sugar, the Nutri-Score for muffins was upgraded from “D” to “C” and a gluten-free chocolate cake moved from “E” to “D.”
In the face of rising obesity levels and growing consumer demand, the food industry is being urged to limit the amount of sugar in products.
As a low-viscosity texturing agent, acacia gum improves the mouthfeel of sugar-free and reduced-sugar recipes. When partially or totally replacing sugar, it induces a low glycemic response owing to its high fibre content.
Remaining stable at different temperatures, it can be easily added to a wide range of recipes.