Alland & Robert launches vegan texture agent

Published: 19-Jan-2023

The Syndeo Gelling texturising agent enables the reformulation of several types of traditional gelatin-based products

Aware of changing consumer trends, the food industryhas been studying alternatives to gelatin for several years in the hydrocolloid sector. However, few of the existing alternatives to gelatin achieve the expected standards in terms of texture and elasticity. Developed by Alland & Robert, the Syndeo Gelling texturising agent addresses these issues and enables the reformulation of several types of traditional gelatin-based products, including the “famous” jelly confectionery.

What are its benefits? Its composition based on 100% plant-based hydrocolloids and gum acacia, whose combined properties provide a compromise between gelatin and pectin. This means that while gelatin provides high elasticity and reduced stickiness, pectin helps achieve firmer, stickier textures with little or even no elasticity. Syndeo Gelling offers both low hardness and higher elasticity than pectin, without creating any stickiness. 

Syndeo Gelling therefore offers an alternative choice for vegan sweet recipes and health supplements such as gummies that look like sweets. Indeed, this market is rapidly developing, and is not immune to the quest for healthier products. 

Syndeo Gelling is composed of gum acacia mixed with natural hydrocolloids of plant origin.  

It can therefore be used in the formulation of vegetarian or vegan food products,” said Dr Isabelle Jaouen, R&D director at Alland & Robert.

Our study found that gum acacia improves overall digestive well-being, making it an effective ingredient in the formulation of gut-friendly foods and drinks

The properties of Syndeo Gelling provide an innovative solution for confectionery manufacturers looking for gelatin substitutes. Being of plant origin, it improves the image of confectionery and has a lower environmental footprint than products of animal origin. 

The use of this product does not alter the sensory characteristics of jelly sweets as it offers thickening, stabilising, bulking and binding qualities to recipes for confectionery, jelly sweets and marshmallows. It preserves the tasting experience and even feels pleasant in the mouth. It is odourless, colourless and neutral-tasting. Its versatile formulation is suitable for a wide range of confectionery applications, and even for other textured products with gelatin such as mousses or creams. 

The Alland & Robert R&D team has already expanded its research into texturing and the development of mousses; dairy specialities and cream desserts (both plant- and non-plant-based) and food supplements will be among the next areas of development. 

A recipe for jelly sweets

To develop the Syndeo Gelling formulation, Alland & Robert’s R&D team used multiple texture profile analyses during its experiments. This analysis technique characterises the texture aspects of a product. It also simulates the behaviour of products during chewing. 

In this connection, Alland & Robert has defined and evaluated four key attributes for characterising texture and consumer sensory perception in confectionery: hardness, stickiness, cohesiveness and resilience. These are essential to design a gelling agent that meets the expectations of the general public and the specific requirements of formulators. 


38.3 Water  

19.2 Sucrose 

11.5 Glucose syrup 40 DE  

26.9 Glucose syrup 60 DE 

3.1 Syndeo Gelling 

0.6 Citric acid (E330) 

0.4 Sodium citrate (E331) 

Colouring agents/flavourings 

1. Mix together the water, glucose syrups and sodium citrate and bring the solution to 80°C. Keep them at this temperature for 2 minutes. 

2. Add the sucrose and Syndeo® Gelling while mixing, and blend for 8 minutes at 120 °C. 

3. Add and mix in the citric acid just before the starch deposition phase. 

4. Pour into the starch moulds and dry the sweets for 72 to 96 hours at 32 °C. 

In the United States, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) granted gum acacia dietary fibre status in December 2021. It can therefore be included as a fibre in nutritional labelling in the United States. This endorsement confirms the beneficial physiological effects of this fibre observed on human health. The studies forming the basis of the FDA’s decision showed, among other things, a reduction in blood glucose and insulin levels in people who consumed gum acacia as part of a high-carbohydrate diet. 

In Europe, gum has already been considered a fibre for many years, enabling claims such as “source of fibre” or “enriched with fibre” to be made depending on the dosage used. Comprising gum acacia mixed with natural hydrocolloids of plant origin, Syndeo Gelling can therefore potentially help improve the nutritional profile of confectionery recipes. 

"Our study found that gum acacia improves overall digestive well-being, making it an effective ingredient in the formulation of gut-friendly foods and drinks,” continued Dr Isabelle Jaouen.

A brief explanation of the product

Alland & Robert has developed Syndeo Gelling, a texture agent formulated on the basis of gum acacia. 100% natural and of plant origin, it is particularly well suited to the needs of confectionery and jelly sweet manufacturers looking for alternatives to gelatin of animal origin. Syndeo Gelling provides texturising, thickening, stabilising and binding qualities to recipes, offering a solution to substitute gelatin. This is just the right response to market developments and consumer expectations. 

Gum acacia also contributes to good gut health

The links between gastrointestinal health and digestion, weight management, immunity, chronic diseases, sleep problems or skin health have been extensively documented in recent years. This is why, in 2022, Alland & Robert conducted a study in cooperation with Merieux NutriSciences, an institute specialising in clinical studies and the analysis of consumer needs for the development of innovative products. 

The study involved 240 volunteers with bowel problems such as stomach ache, bloating and slow or fast transit. Each of them ingested one dose of gum acacia powder a day at breakfast time. After 60 days, 88% of the consumers observed a reduction in their intestinal pain, and over 80% perceived an improvement in their intestinal discomfort. Overall, 78% of consumers reported that daily consumption of gum acacia had a beneficial effect on their intestinal well-being.  

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