Citrus fiber. Clean label, functional, smart
Citrus fiber is a plant-based, vegan and functional ingredient, obtained from the upcycling of partially depectinised citrus peels, also known as “pastazzo”, a byproduct of the pectin industry. The result is a clean label solution, commercialised under the Aglufiber® brand name.
Citrus fiber is declared as an ingredient, according to Regulation (EC) N. 1333/2008, and, thus, out of the scope of the food additive list (E-number free).
With its impressive water-holding capacity and exceptional texturising, emulsification and stabilisation properties, citrus fiber empowers food and beverage manufacturers to enhance their culinary creations. Other applications include pharma, nutraceuticals and cosmetics.
Our product lineup includes Aglufiber® FA and Aglufiber® FAS, two solutions with identical characteristics that vary only in particle size.
What it is made of
JRS Silvateam uses the leftover of the pectin production as raw material to produce a multifunctional dietary fiber.
Historically the depectinised citrus peels ended up as perishable animal feedstuff or as biomass for green energy production. Embracing the principles of circular economy, after 3 years of lab and industrial research, we have been able to reuse up to 90% of the spent peels by turning them into a natural, high value added ingredient containing a minimum of 85% of fibers, both insoluble (cellulose and hemicellulose) and soluble (pectin), as well as proteins and salts.
This is a perfect example of eco-conscious business model: what was once regarded as a mere byproduct has now become a useful resource that can be reintroduced within the production cycle, fostering sustainability and resource efficiency
How it works
Aglufiber® shows one of the highest water binding capacity among plant-based fibers, capable of retaining as much as 25g of water per 1g of fiber.
This capacity reflects the ability of citrus fiber to secure water while undergoing mechanical forces, allowing the microfibrils to swell and, therefore, fostering the absorption of water.
Due to its chemical structure, Aglufiber® allows water to be trapped into the cellulose through the formation of hydrogen bonds between the hydroxyl groups of the glycosidic rings and water itself.
Therefore, it is important to activate the citrus fiber by using high shearing forces, such as a high-speed mixer or homogeniser, ensuring optimal functionality in various applications.
How it is made
Firstly, partially depectinised citrus peels are pre-treated using a pulper to mechanically separate seeds and other impurities. This step is followed by plenty accurate washouts with water to enhance both the colour and functional properties of the fiber as well as to adjust the pH to the desired value.
Furthermore, the fiber undergoes a washing treatment with alcohol to get rid of any alcohol soluble compounds which confer bitter notes, such as terpenes and waxes. Finally, the fiber is dried and subsequently milled to reach a uniform particle size.