11 Dec 2017 --- Sugar reduction was the focus for many exhibitors at this year's Food ingredients Europe 2017 (FiE), even in indulgent applications, such as chocolate and desserts. With 2018 set to be a big year for sugar reduction and with sugar taxes coming into effect in Ireland and the UK, many ingredients suppliers are looking to innovate even further in the space of sugar reduction.
Barry Callebaut presented formulation options for chocolate with lower sugar content at FiE 2017. The company created five wholesome sugar solutions in response to the worldwide trend of consumers’ reducing their sugar intake. As sugar consumption in declining across international markets, Barry Callebaut has developed a range of solutions to reduce sugar in confectionery products without compromising on taste.
According to Barry Callebaut, currently, 49 percent of global consumers are trying to limit their sugar intake. Healthy alternatives for snacks and meals are a worldwide growing trend that the company is addressing through its continuous investments in R&D.
Speaking to FoodIngredientsFirst at FiE, Sofia Popova (pictured) said: “We try to make sure that, next to improving the nutritional profile ofClick to Enlarge the chocolate, we keep it an indulgent product, because ultimately that’s what consumers are looking for. One of the ways to do it is to use polyols, like maltitol, instead of sugar. Then you can completely replace sugar with it or partially replace sugar with it. That has some side effects as well; for example, sometimes you have to declare a laxative effect. Therefore, a better solution would be to partially use polyols, but then the rest of the sugar you can replace with some fiber blends. Those fiber blends normally come from natural sources such as inulin, which allows you keep a very nice mouthfeel, also a very interesting taste profile and aroma in the chocolate, and overall create a very indulgent taste experience.” You can view the full video interview with Popova here.
The five pillars that Barry Callebaut is seeking to target with their solutions are:
Olam Cocoa is closely following trends surrounding health and wellness, and those than look to reducing sugar. Also speaking to FoodIngredientsFirst at the show, Rinus Heemskerk said: “We have developed a cocoa powder, which we call, Fresco, that is reduced in bitterness. So you have a great chocolate experience, but you don’t have the bitterness. Therefore, it goes very well with these acidic products. That is relevant for dairy, but it’s also relevant in a wider context.”Click to Enlarge
“Many companies today want to reduce added sugar and chocolate is a balance of bitterness and sweetness, so if I’m able to reduce the bitterness, automatically the sweetness will increase. That’s why this cocoa powder is also very relevant for people who are looking for solutions which contain less added sugar in their formulations.” You can read the full coverage of Olam Cocoa innovations from FiE here.
Another area of sugar reduction innovation that was present at this year's FiE was the use of plant-based sweeteners. Stevia has been around for some time now and is commonly present in many food items across the board. Cambridge Commodities were exhibiting their new plant-based sweetener: Sucari.
Sucari is made by combining plant-derived sweeteners to deliver a taste, texture and mouthfeel that is close to traditional sugar. Sucari contains only a fraction of the calories of sugar whilst not compromising on taste. It is suitable for use in food and drink product development as per local legislation.
Adam Scott, from Cambridge Commodities told FoodIngredientsFirst: “This plant-based sweetener includes inulin, (chicory-based prebiotic fiber), xylitol and stevia. Other than the fact that it is a plant-based sugar alternative it does have some other health benefits, such as prebiotic fibers, fewer calories and it also has dental and oral hygiene benefits associated with the xylitol.”
“Sugar reduction is a huge thing in the industry at this moment, we wanted to apply this to a lot of home baking solutions and products, people can use it in place of sugar, Sucari can be used as a table sugar, we’ve formulated it to be one for one sugar sweetness so it can be used in tea and coffee too,” he explains. You can view the full video interview with Scott here.
Also exhibiting their sugar reduction solution using the chicory root fiber was Sensus, who have a very strong tradition in the sugar reduction space. Matthew de Roode told FoodIngredientsFirst: “We have a long history in sugar reduction from a Click to Enlargenatural source, we extract inulin from a natural source (from the chicory root), we have always tried to offer id reduced sugar options and have healthier foods, what we now find is that the market is that everyone is more and more aware, consumers and governments are doing more to combat sugar which is great for us as we were already in this space.”
“A lot of people tend to forget that sugar is not only about sweetness, it gives texture, mouthfeel, and taste and what you will find is that a lot of sugar replacers don’t have the same properties that sugar can offer.”
“Oligofructose gives the same texture with 60 percent sugar sweetness, so we can replace sugar and the other properties. Another thing is that it has the same taste profile, oligofructose has that same taste profile as sucralose and that is how really think we have a good sugar replacer. Now we can apply this in ice cream, for example, which has 50 percent less sugar, and we don’t compromise on taste and mouthfeel,” he explains.
Elsewhere, SVZ has been putting more focus on vegetable ingredients and according to Johan Cerstiaens, this is driven towards to sugar discussion. He says: “Sugar reduction is related to and driven by the increased inclusion of vegetables in one’s diet. We see that in the past vegetable ingredients were more of a stealth ingredient, but now you see that vegetables are really prominent, we wanted to offer that range to our customers, which is why we also have a wider range for our customers.”
“More people are looking to the addition of vegetables in their diets as they seek for lower sugar options and high nutritional content,” he tells FoodIngredientsFirst.
Taura Natural Ingredients
Also driving innovation through sugar reduction by using natural sources is Taura Natura Ingredients, the company presented several concepts at FiE that address the need for less sugar in various food applications. Peter Forceville also spoke to FoodIngredientsFirst: “We have some new sugar reducing concepts that we are presenting at FiE, we supply specialty fruit ingredients to applications where it hasn’t been before and we are continuing with this notion.”
“Our new innovations allow our customers to have a journey around the world with different taste sensations,” he says. “Natural and clean label is obviously a trend that is here to stay and we are playing a role in that health trend. For example, we have an apple paste which is 100 percent puree and apple juice, based on that we can add sleeping pectins to that paste which allows a lot of processing capabilities. We play an active role is the sugar reduction debate and we have brought something very specific to that trend: new Taura pieces, which take on the role of sugar in many food applications,” he notes. “If you bite on it sends a signal to the brain which tells you that it is sweet and gives the impression that everything else is sweet too so you are actually tricking your brain into believing that it is sweet.”
“The bottom line is that you are able to make a sweet product with up to 20 percent less sugar in the end product – we call this new line ‘Spots of sweetness’,” Forceville adds.
Taura was also displaying their solid pieces of concentrated honey and Forceville says that they are the first company to present such an innovation in terms of honey. “You can use Taura as a carrier,” he continues, “With these solid pieces of concentrated honey, you can actually combine a fruit supplement combined with a daily dose of vitamins – which is a new and exciting area of innovation for Taura,” he concludes.
A key innovation concept in sugar reduction came from Tereos, which presented Sweet&You, a 360° reformulation service to optimize nutritional profile, cost-efficiency, taste and texture in customers’ product formulations. Thanks to this new offer, Tereos intends to turn market challenges, such as sugar reduction or consumers’ ever-changing eating habits, into opportunities. To do so, Tereos delivers, with Sweet&You, a high-level service and a fast time-to-market. Sweet&You allows the company to leverage their global presence, wide expertise and extensive R&D capabilities, to create unique formulas tailored to one’s needs. As a market leader, Tereos has the widest range of plant-based sweetening solutions available. Today, Tereos offers more than 400 different sweetening ingredients: from sugar and cereal sweeteners to stevia, from reduced to no calories sweetening products. Tereos highlighted its Sweet and You concept at FiE 2017, an interesting service for sugar reduction.
By Elizabeth Green
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