‘The situation is now at a tipping point for customers…’ CP Kelco weighs in on soaring locust bean gum prices

Thomas Worm, senior product manager for carrageenan, locust bean gum, and Simplesse (a branded microparticulated whey protein concentrate ingredient) at CP Kelco was speaking to FoodNavigator-USA as the price of locust bean gum – a widely-used clean-label thickener and stabilizer from carob seeds – reached record highs, with somecommentators reporting prices topping $60/kilo.

Worm said: “We can suggest short-term contingency options. However, even the option of using crude locust bean gum instead of refined does not affect pricing that much anymore.

“We have heard from some customers that they are tired of the flux and ready to discontinue products where locust bean gum is used. Others are reaching out and asking about alternatives.

“Since locust bean gum is used in a range of products as diverse as baked goods, pet food, dairy products and plant-based dairy alternatives, knowing the application is key to understanding whether suitable alternatives already exist, or if further R&D is needed to find a clean label-friendly alternative that delivers similar functionality.”

Replacing locust bean gum

Neil Morrison, head of global sales technical service at CP Kelco added: “For example, NUTRAVA Citrus Fiber can help formulators attain stability, body and texture in cream cheese and even its plant-based dairy alternative variations.

“KELCOGEL DF Gellan Gum is also an excellent, dual function ingredient for dairy and plant-based dairy alternative milks. It provides long-term suspension and can replace the body and mouthfeel traditionally provided by LBG.

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