Clean Label, Confectionery, FAQ, Health & Wellness, Pecmate™ Pectin Enhancer, Plant-based, Vegan

Pecmate™: FAQ

General Questions

What is Pecmate™ Pectin Enhancer?

Pecmate™ Pectin Enhancer is Bartek’s trade name for Sodium Hydrogen Malate. Sodium Hydrogen Malate is the buffer salt of malic acid. Please click here to download the technical data sheet.  

How do I label Pecmate™ on my ingredient statement?

The specific ingredient statement declaration is at the discretion of your company. The following names have been used by customers in different market segments: “sodium hydrogen malate,” “monosodium malate,” and “sodium malates”. In EU, monosodium malate is covered under E350(i). A list of products launched containing sodium malate and their respective label declarations is available upon request

What are the effects of Pecmate™ on the gummy’s sensory properties?

This is a current area of development for Bartek, and we will be publishing more information on this in 2022. We suggest that you fill out your contact information at this link (www.bartek.ca/pecmate), to put you among the first to learn new findings from developmental work that is underway. In tasting sample observations, Pecmate has demonstrated a fuller and more well-rounded flavor profile than sodium citrate in limited testing to date

Did you test more than one pectin supplier, or was all testing done on the same buffered pectin?

There are many pectin suppliers and types. Our primary objective was not evaluating different pectins or pectin sources. Our developmental work included pectins from Ceamsa, TIC, and Herbstreith & Fox. We are very confident that Pecmate™ will resolve the main problems pectin formulators face, which is producing gummy candies that set at the right time and with more consistency. Evaluating the impact of different types of pectin is also an area of focus in 2022.

Sales Questions

How is Pecmate™ packaged?

Pecmate is offered currently in a 50 lb fiber drum. We expect to offer the product in a 50 lb paper bag in the second half of 2022. In the future, we will consider smaller package sizes as well. Please contact us to learn more. We’d be happy to discuss your requests to support your needs.

Where do you produce Pecmate™?

Pecmate is produced in the US presently however, we expect to be produce in Canada as well by the end of 2022.  NOTE – All Bartek products are 100% North America-based.

Who are your distributors in the U.S. and Canada?

While we have an extensive set of distributors for malic and fumaric acid, none are currently marketing Pecmate. We anticipate this changing over time, but Bartek is directly handling all inquiries and sales at this time.

As you know, there are many small producers of pectin gummies, especially in the cannabis market. Do you have any plans for smaller packaging, or someone who will repack for smaller quantity sales? Maybe a distributor or a Modernist Pantry-type customer?

Yes, we are looking at this currently and would love your input on what types of small packaging and sizes might be a good fit for the market. Please contact us at info@bartek.ca, so we can discuss your specific needs.

Do you have a distributor with 1 bag MOQ?

Bartek is filling one drum orders on a direct basis presently, but we expect to have an E-commerce site up and running by January 2022 for 1-5 drum/bag orders.

Formulation Troubleshooting

How much Pecmate should I use in my formulation and when and how it should be added in the process?

Make a 20% solution of Pecmate™ Pectin Enhancer.  This is added at the end of the process but prior to adding the acid, flavor, or color. The typical sequence is Pecmate then acid.  We highly recommend you consult our formulation sheet to start, which provides you a starting point to optimize Pecmate’s performance in your system.

Why do most gummy and jelly manufacturers use sodium citrate as the standard buffer when working with pectin?

Many manufacturers are unaware of the benefits of other buffer salts like Pecmate. Sodium citrate has been the only option in the formulation tool kit for a long time so customers use what they know.  Bartek launched Pecmate to give customers better tools for their formulation toolbox in a market where gummy systems are becoming more complex to formulate and increasingly more difficult to manufcature.  

Further, as plant-based foods have gained popularity in recent years, gummy formulators have shifted from gelatin and adopted pectin as their primary alternative. Pectin is harder to work with and requires a narrower pH range of 3.4 – 3.6 to set properly.  Deviation from this pH could lead to a weak gel (if the pH is too high) or pre-gelling (if the pH is too low).  

Can you clarify the use of monovalent vs divalent buffering systems (sodium/potassium vs calcium) and its impact to pectin pH and gelling?

We are not aware of anyone who has tested this in commercial application in relation to pectin gelling. Bartek’s work has focused exclusively on the use of monosodium malate because the physical and chemical properties align very well with the needs of pectin gummies. Divalent salts will have very different chemical and physical properties including disodium malate which could alter performance and taste.

What type of pectin is appropriate for a glucose-sugar syrup and what pH would be recommended?

For mid-size producers with a traditional process, a slow set pectin likely will work best.  For manufacturers with larger capacity and longer dwell times in process, we’d recommend using a super slow set High-Methoxyl (HM) pectin. The ideal pH target range remains 3.2-3.6 regardless of which pectin type is used. 

NOTE – The use of specialty syrups such as tapioca or fiber can change the performance of the entire gummy system. If using one or more of these products, please contact us for further assistance.

For pectin to set, what is the range of pH and temperature of the gummy slurry in the depositor when using HM slow set pectin?

pH should be 3.2-3.6, and temperature should be 180-185F. Please note that pH is VERY temperature sensitive! pH should always be read at room temperature. Therefore, to test a slurry, a small portion is removed from the kettle, and mixed 50:50 with cool distilled water. That should drop the temperature to within ambient boundaries and give accurate readings. Bartek can provide a specific procedure for how to do this in your process. Please contact us at info@bartek.ca for more information.

How do you keep gummy texture over time with high payloads of vitamin C?

The acidity of vitamin C affects the shelf life. Keeping gummy texture over time with high payloads of vitamin C will depend on the load, the pKa of the system, buffers used, and whether the vitamin C is encapsulated. A buffer will help control pH, but any acid that isn’t encapsulated will invert the sugar in the system over time.

I am using a pectin/gelatin blend. Would Pecmate™ work the same? Also, how does the amount of total solids come into play?

Yes, it does work similarly in pectin/gelatin blends. The choice of main gelling agent will determine how critical it is to hold the pH in the proper range. Total solids are critical in combination with pH and temperature. Higher solids must have a higher temp at deposit to prevent pre-gel.

Can you provide more in-depth information on final texture effects due to optimum pH and other factors such as sugar inversion)?

Pectin itself will set at pH=2.8. However, the farther you get away from pH=4.0, the faster the acid will invert the sugar. Therefore, keeping the pH at or near the high end of the pectin setting pH of 3.4-3.6, without exceeding the upper limit and sending it well above the point that the pectin won’t set, is very critical. In general, if you are over pH=3.8, your mass likely won’t set, or will be too soft. Keeping the candy mass at 3.2-3.6 is the ideal range for limiting sugar inversion while allowing pectin to set up properly. It’s important to note that these two factors must be balanced together when formulating the system.

Does Pecmate™ work with buffered or unbuffered pectin?

Most of our lab trials and the results published in our white paper (download here: bartek.ca/pecmate) used buffered pectin. This is because much of the industry uses buffered pectin currently. However, limited trials using unbuffered pectin obtained very similar results.

Processing

Can buffering systems help control pectin pre-gel in kettle and lines?

It definitely can! However, your water quality will have an impact on the performance of your system. If you are using tap water without an RO (reverse osmosis) system, you are likely bringing in dissolved minerals and metals, and these can change during the year (when the city flushes the water system periodically). Minerals and Metals can also cause cross-linking in pectin, so there can be contributing factors that a buffer doesn’t address. Starting with a consistent water source like RO water (doesn’t need to be distilled – just RO so you have a standardized starting point) and adding Pecmate can bring stability to your process and help control pectin pre-gel in kettles and lines.

How can I combat sweating gummies once packed into bottles?

This can be caused by many things and impacted by several variables. Formula, process problems leading to sugar inversion, not using buffers, and poor curing room conditions are just a few of the reasons why sweating may occur in finished packaging.  A buffer alone is not likely to solve this problem.

How do you face limitations during the process, like low setting temperatures, calcium content in vitamins, viscosity once that you add some supplements? Also, do you have  recommendations to avoid adding vitamins at high temperature to ensure a good performance?

Add the vitamins just before adding the acid, so they are in the hot candy mass for the shortest amount of time possible. If using a starchless depositor, a cooling plate under the mold can rapidly drop the temperature. Curing rooms are critical in making a stable piece. Temperature can be dropped if solids are dropped slightly, allowing more flexibility at deposit. Again, the curing room then must make up for this. For low setting temps, a good buffer like Pecmate™ will help!

In your formulation sheet, the Pecmate™ solution was added after the cook. Did you try adding before cook/with the buffered pectin? Why or why not?

We did not add before the cook. We chose to add it at the end of the process like acids and flavors to minimize pH fluctuation.  Order of addition is a variable we intend to evaluate further in 2022

Do you have any data on the pH during the cook with/without Pecmate?

We have limited data on pH during the cook with Pecmate. This is something we plan to look at more closely with future tests. Please sign up on our mailing list to be among the first updated!

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