Request for Proposal
Status: RFP is Closed

Seeking replacement non-reactive filler ingredients in gum products

Request Number
Due Date
May 4
Program Manager


Licensing, product acquisition, proof of concept leading to scale-up to manufacturing, joint development, supplier agreement


Phase 1 – Proof of concept / Principle definition and testing: 3-6 months

Phase 2 – Scale up to commercialisation – 12-24 months


All terms to be negotiated


Insoluble filler, ingredients, adjuvants, bulking agent, gum products, texture modifier.

RFP was closed on

RFP Title


Seeking replacement non-reactive filler ingredients in gum products
RFP Description
NineSigma, representing a global confectionary company, is seeking proposals for a non-reactive filler replacement ingredient for talc in gum and other food industry processes.

NineSigma's client is looking for alternative (talc free) filler technologies for use in gum products. Talc is used in multiple areas of the gum process and is used abundantly particularly in the gum base process. In the gum base, talc filler is used as a texture modifier and flavor release agent. It is known to be beneficial in improving chew characteristics and processing efficiency. Talc is also used as a surface dusting agent that prevents sticking of the gum on the process line. Talc is used across the client's gums in the following processes:


  • Gum Base
  • Gum
  • Gum Manufacturing as a processing aid (surface dusting)


Anticipated Project Phases or Project Plan

Phase 1 – Proposal review / Product testing

Identify suppliers that meet the company’s global regulatory approval for confections.


Phase 2 – Commercial Scale-up

Identification of costs required to develop proposed technology for specific application.


Criteria for Moving from Phase 1 to Phase 2

Successful demonstration of technology, regulatory approval or pathway to approval identified.


Key Success Criteria

The successful ingredient / replacement should have some of the following:

  • Median Particle Size Range: 2 – 40 microns (Sedigraph Method)
  • Particle Size: 99.5% of particles pass through 200 Mesh
  • Water insoluble
  • Unreactive with food acid
  • Color: white, beige, or neutral
  • Odors: Absent
  • Hardness: < 5 Mohs
  • Free of asbestos and nanoparticles
  • Neutral pH
  • Solid material


In addition, the potential solution should also have the following properties:

  • Unreactive with food acids
  • No effect on sensory perception
  • GRAS potential
    • Ideally utilized in food industry
  • Capable of being processed at high shear and temperatures (>200⁰C)


Possible Approaches

The ideal solution will enable replacement of talc used throughout the different areas of the gum manufacturing. The talc replacement should not negatively affect the quality of the gum (processing, packaging, sensory). However, it is accepted that different ingredients are possible to have separate solutions for bulk filler and surface dusting.


NOTE: There is an extensive list of ingredients which have been tested and not of interest as described below

Approaches not of Interest

The following ingredients are not of interest:

  • Talc
  • Titanium Dioxide
  • Calcium Carbonate
  • Calcium Carbonate (ground limestone)
  • Magnesium Carbonates
  • Magnesium Silicate (Synthetic & natural)
  • Silicon Dioxide, Amorphous
  • Monocalcium Phosphate (i.e calcium phosphate, monobasic)
  • Dicalcium Phosphate (i.e calcium phosphate,dibasic)
  • Tricalcium Phosphate (i.e calcium phosphate, tribasic)
  • Aluminum silicate
  • Sodium silicate
  • Calcium Aluminum silicate
  • Magnesium Aluminum silicate
  • Kaolin
  • Aluminum Oxide
  • Clay
  • Magnesium oxide
  • Barium sulphate
  • Diatomaceous earth
  • Pumis
  • Sand
  • Polyols such as Erythritol, Isomalt, Maltitol, Mannitol, Sorbitol, and Xylitol


Items to be Submitted

All proposals should be submitted online at NineSights, the NineSigma open innovation community, according to the instructions in the Proposal Template. Proposals should contain only non-confidential information. Please provide the following information:

  • Background on company/organization
  • Overview of proposed technical approach, including technical feasibility and ingredient physical characteristics
  • Proposed plan and deliverables
  • Regulatory and IP status
  • Materials and process cost
  • Proposed budget for Phase 1


Area of Interest