In response to a petition filed by Nexira, the FDA is amending the food additive regulations to provide for the expanded safe use of acacia (gum arabic) in foods. The rule became effective Dec. 6. The announcement detailed that written regulations now allow for higher maximum usage levels of acacia gum permitted in products, and they also include distinctions allowing for even greater use of acacia gum.
Nexira, a global leader in natural ingredients and botanical extracts sustainably sourced from nature for the food and health industries, petitioned the FDA in December 2011, recognizing the benefits the amended regulations could have to consumers as well as a number of food and beverage categories.
From beverages and some soups, to breakfast cereals, baked goods and more, the FDA is increasing the allowable amount of acacia gum exponentially. As an example of an increase in permitted levels thanks to this new ruling, the maximum level of acacia gum in grain-based bars, such as breakfast bars, granola bars and rice cereal bars is now 35 percent.
Additionally, the FDA confirms that acacia gum supplies dietary fiber, thus allowing for even higher fiber promotion on labels. “Nexira's Fibregum™, which has the unique benefit of being the only range of acacia gum with a guaranteed minimum dietary soluble fiber content of 90 percent, has been increasing in demand for years, and we expect this ruling to grow that demand even further,” said Mathieu Dondain, Nexira director of business development. “With no objections from the FDA, acacia gum has always been recognized through traditional analysis as a fiber, but to avoid any source of confusion with the fact that it is also a texturizer, emulsifier, stabilizer and thickener, we requested to have the FDA specifically write it into record.”
Nexira has spent decades researching acacia gum and one result of this effort was the development of a unique and innovative product line branded as Fibregum. A gentle dietary soluble acacia fiber, Fibregum represents one of Nexira’s flagship brands. Very early in its history, Nexira began to focus its scientific research on the nutritional benefits of acacia gum as a native source of soluble dietary fiber, and numerous studies have been performed since the late 1970s to further understand the relationship between acacia fiber and the human colonic micro-flora. The Fibregum portfolio is an all-natural and GMO-free dietary fiber range sourced from carefully selected acacia tree gum. Fibregum offers the value of a clean label, consumer appeal thanks to its 100 percent vegetable origin, and the added value of also being available in certified organic grades.
“We’re excited about what this means for the food and beverage industry and for our customers,” continued Dondain. “From being able to promote fiber benefits more strongly, to re-labeling certain products, to being able to produce more innovative products, this ruling allows customers to use even greater amounts of acacia gum and leverage more of the advantages of Fibregum.”
With a presence in Africa for over 115 years, Nexira has become the world leader and expert in acacia gum at all levels. Strong and solid partnerships in 17 producing countries allow for high quality raw material sourcing, supply assurance, quality and traceability. With these resources, the Nexira R&D team continues to improve the functional performance of acacia gum in order to innovate and develop new products for high value-added applications.