When customers first start using gellan gum, they may encounter several challenges, including:

  • Difficulty in Dispersing: Gellan gum has a tendency to form clumps when it comes into contact with water. This can make it difficult to disperse evenly in a liquid and can result in lumps or uneven texture in the finished product.
  • Sensitivity to Electrolytes: Gellan gum can be sensitive to the presence of certain electrolytes, such as calcium and magnesium ions. This can cause the gelling properties of gellan gum to be affected and can result in a weaker gel or a change in texture.
  • High Viscosity at High Concentrations: Gellan gum can have a very high viscosity at high concentrations, which can make it difficult to handle and process. This can lead to issues such as clogging of processing equipment, difficulty in pouring or pumping, and uneven distribution in the final product.
  • Syneresis: Syneresis is the separation of liquid from a gel, which can occur when gellan gum is used at too high a concentration or when it is exposed to temperature fluctuations. This can result in a loss of texture and a less desirable appearance in the finished product.
  • pH Sensitivity: Gellan gum can be sensitive to changes in pH, which can affect its gelling properties. For example, a decrease in pH can cause the gel to break down, resulting in a loss of texture.

To address these challenges, customers can take several steps, such as:

  • Pre-Hydration: Pre-hydrating gellan gum in water before adding it to other ingredients can help to disperse it more evenly and prevent clumping.
  • Optimize Formulation: Optimizing the formulation by adjusting the pH, concentration, and electrolyte content can help to overcome some of the challenges associated with gellan gum.
  • Mixing and Processing: Mixing and processing gellan gum at a slow and steady rate can help to prevent clogging and ensure even distribution in the final product.
  • Stabilizers: Using a combination of stabilizers, such as carrageenan or xanthan gum, can help to prevent syneresis and improve the texture of the final product.

In summary, customers may encounter several challenges when first using gellan gum, including difficulty in dispersing, sensitivity to electrolytes, high viscosity at high concentrations, syneresis, and pH sensitivity. However, these challenges can be addressed through proper formulation, mixing, and processing, and the unique properties and functional benefits of gellan gum make it a valuable ingredient in certain food applications.