Gelita claims major breakthrough with agar-agar ingredients application
Ingredients and solutions business Gelita has expanded its gelling agent portfolio by presenting what it believes is a world-first in creating agar-agar sheets.
As the company explained, conventionally, plant-based agar-agar has only been available in powder form often as a mixture with other gelling agents, which has now been addressed.
Now, using a new manufacturing process, Gelita has succeeded in producing pure agar-agar as a standardised sheet, which the company said offered a number of advantages for food applications including confectionery and bakery.
This format offers numerous advantages in culinary applications. Agar-agar sheets eliminate the ambiguity of spoon measurements and complicated conversions of different powder solutions. Each sheet has an exactly defined and identical gelling strength, simplifying its use in recipes, including for vegans and vegetarians.
Agar-agar has a higher melting point than many gelling agents. Dishes prepared with agar-agar are able to maintain stability (not melt) for longer periods of time – even under the most extreme conditions. As agar-agar is plant based, it’s ideal for creating the most tempting vegan or vegetarian dishes where gelling is required. And, now with the ease of agar-agar in sheet form, users can prepare these delicious vegan foods without the mess and guesswork of using powder agar-agar “We have worked intensively on this matter over the past few years and launched in-house technology development programs. We knew that consumer-friendly products had to be extremely easy to use. This is why we applied the long-established advantages of the standardized sheet format to agar-agar,” says Dr. Franz-Josef Konert, CEO of Gelita. “Our core business remains classic gelatine, but we are keen to meet regional requirements and consumer preferences, and offer optimal solutions.”
According to Gelita, there has already been an early positive response to its new product, particularly owing to reportedly high levels of consumer dissatisfaction with the agar-based powder products currently on the market. Among those to have gained initial trials of the range is Dekoback bakery business based in Helmstadt-Bargen. A spokesperson for the company said: “When we were approached with the concept, we were spontaneously enthusiastic. After our cooking and baking experts convinced us of the product’s extremely easy handling and “success reliability”, we decided to add it to our Dekocino series,” says Sascha Hohl, managing director of Dekoback.