Using acacia gum in petfood and animal feed is popular nowadays, as this safe and well-known additive will help with the formulation or the process of pet food. But acacia gum is also an organic, natural and sustainable ingredient that meets the increasing demands of consumers for healthy and environment-friendly products.
Acacia gum is a texturing and water-retention agent. It acts as a texture improver and can increase the softness, texture and water retention of the finished product. Formulating pet food and reaching satisfactory organoleptic profile can be challenging. As a texturing agent bringing low viscosity, Acacia gum can be an asset in formulation.
In addition, Acacia gum is a natural source of fiber and due to its physical and functional properties, it is a good ingredient to enhance the fiber content of pet food without compromising the appearance or flavor of the product. On the contrary, the addition of fiber will help balance the nutritional mix of products. For this specific application, French company Alland & Robert, worldwide leader of acacia gum, provides a specific range of Acacia Fiber that offers a guarantee of minimum 90% fiber content (international method AOAC 985-29).
Acacia gum is often used as a processing aid in extruded pet food. Nowadays, technologists in the pet food industry apply complex and nutritional formulations including proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals and vitamins. The mix for any extrusion is a pulverulent matrix with flour and starches blended with colorings, spices and flavors. The type of starch will confer on the finished product its main functional properties: texture, volume, structure, capacities of rehydration.
To improve both process and finished products, acacia gum is used as a processing aid for its lubricating properties. Its incorporation at low level significantly impact the homogeneity and the machinability of the mix as well as the texture of the extruded products.
The use of acacia gum in extrusion is also based on its capacities of food processing improver. Its incorporation into the mix which will be extruded has a direct positive and significant impact on the process of extrusion itself. Moreover, gum acacia impacts desirable rheological properties to the product by stabilizing, thickening and emulsifying.