The Next Steps in the Evolution of Sweetener Strategies—Part 1
The food industry continues to search for ways to reduce sugar levels while retaining the same perception of the original foods and beverages. At the IFT Food Expo, a variety of evolving strategies are highlighted that can help mimic the qualities lost when sugar is taken out of the formula. This is the first of a three-part series, exclusive to IFT Live, that will describe some of these ways.
Food scientists from TIC Gums (booth 421), have developed blends of gums and gum systems that can very closely mimic the texture, body, and adhesiveness that is lost when sugar is replaced with artificial sweeteners.
According to the company, high-intensity sweeteners can replace the sweetness of sugar or corn syrup, but not necessarily the texture, stability, and pleasing sensation in the mouth that are all attributes of fully sugared items. To demonstrate firsthand to attendees how hydrocolloids can be used to replace texture and adhesion, full-sugar and no-sugar comparisons are made with beverages (liquid), desserts and dessert toppings (semi-solids), and granola bars (solids). There are visible and experiential differences for each, with the full-sugar and no-sugar samples juxtaposed in side-by-side comparisons.
A formulation service, Beverage Optimize™, is offered by Tate & Lyle (booth 2501); it can help manufacturers reduce calories in their products. The service provides direct access to the company’s extensive beverage formulation experience and wide portfolio of ingredients, including sweeteners such as Splenda® sucralose and Krystar® crystalline fructose, as well as texturants and acidulants. The company has developed a number of new prototypes to showcase the great tasting sugar-reduction capabilities of its formulation service for customers. Visitors at the booth can sample prototypes including juices, carbonated soft drinks, still drinks, and beverage mixes.
Scientists from the Dutch research group NIZO (booth 1641), have found that by alternating levels of taste intensities in the mouth, they can help reduce sugar levels. Their research, which will be available at the company’s booth, may provide an alternative solution to the use of traditional sugar replacers. According to the company, the researchers investigated the effect of concentration changes of the sweetener sucrose on the perceived sweetness intensity. They found that the perceived sweetness intensity increased with the magnitude of the sucrose concentration contrast.
Sweetener synergy in beverages is demonstrated by a sweetener innovation platform, Sunsation™, highlighted by Nutrinova (booth 1685). This platform combines synergistically acesulfame potassium (Sunett® SL) with other high-intensity sweeteners and specialty ingredients to produce low- and no-calorie products that taste closer to sugar and high fructose corn syrup. A number of innovative prototypes based on this platform are available for sampling. Attendees can learn firsthand how these solutions are designed to meet consumer and manufacturer needs, which subsequently stimulate the development of new ideas, concepts, and products for the food and beverage industry.
Tomorrow’s second part of this sweetener series will look at the evolving sweetener stevia and the impact it is having on formulating.