Gelita has expanded its gelling agent portfolio by presenting what it claims is a world-first: agar-agar sheets.
Historically, it says, plant-based agar-agar has only been available in powder form often as a mixture with other gelling agents.
Now, using a new manufacturing process, Gelita has succeeded in producing pure agar-agar as a standardized sheet. This format is said to offer numerous advantages in culinary applications. Agar-agar sheets eliminate the ambiguity of spoon measurements and complicated conversions of different powder solutions. Every sheet has an exactly defined and identical gelling strength, greatly simplifying its use in recipes, ensuring a successful dish every time.
Agar-agar is said to have a higher melting point than many gelling agents. Dishes prepared with agar-agar are able to maintain stability (not melt) for longer periods of time – even under the most extreme conditions. As agar-agar is plant based, Gelita says it is ideal for creating the most tempting vegan or vegetarian dishes where gelling is required. And, now with the ease of agar-agar in sheet form, users can prepare vegan foods without the mess and guesswork of using powder agar-agar.
"We have worked intensively on this matter over the past few years and launched in-house technology development programs. We knew that consumer-friendly products had to be extremely easy to use. This is why we applied the long-established advantages of the standardized sheet format to agar-agar," said Dr. Franz-Josef Konert, CEO of Gelita. "Our core business remains classic gelatine, but we are keen to meet regional requirements and consumer preferences, and offer optimal solutions."
The presentation of the new product is said to be attracting great interest from potential customers, because consumer dissatisfaction with the agar-based powder products currently on the market is very high. According to Gelita, the Dekoback company, which is based in Helmstadt-Bargen, Germany, was immediately impressed by the concept after seeing it presented and decided to integrate the agar sheet into its range of products. Dekoback is aspecialist in baking decorations and accessories, and will adopt the agar-agar sheet in its Decocino product line later this year for distribution in German supermarkets.
"When Gelita approached us with the concept, we were spontaneously enthusiastic. After our cooking and baking experts convinced us of the product's extremely easy handling and "success reliability", we decided to add it to our Dekocino series," said Sascha Hohl, Managing Director of Dekoback.