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Sweetening the Deal With Alternative Sweeteners

July 16, 2018


Reducing added sugar in products is top of mind for many product developers. Some have even begun to list the amounts of added sugar in products. In recent years, several new alternative sweeteners have come on line that help manufacturers reduce sugar but still maintain the sweet taste consumers want.  

The stevia plant is a source of a popular sweetener. The various glycosides in the leaves of the plant have sweetening qualities. Layn Corp. (booth S1659) will introduce two new stevia-based sweeteners at IFT18. SteviUp is a proprietary combination of next-generation glycosides, while Lovia pairs mogroside compounds with glycosides to give a high-quality, sugar-like sweetness that can be used for sugar reduction with zero calories, without significantly increasing in-cost use, according to the company. SweetGen offers BESTEVIA Reb M stevia sweetener, which is produced using a non-GM technology. The company promotes the functional benefits of the ingredient, such as a sweetness factor that is 250 times sweeter than sugar. It is best used to formulate beverages, where the company reports it can provide 70% sugar reduction without compromising taste. 

Allulose is another sweetener gaining the attention of food manufacturers. It is known as a rare sugar found in small quantities in figs, raisins, and jackfruit. Ingredient manufacturers often use an enzymatic conversion process to produce it from carbohydrate sources like corn. It has far fewer calories and is a little less sweet than sucrose. Product formulators can use it in a wide range of products, including beverages, yogurt, frozen dairy desserts, sauces, hard and soft candy, and jams and jellies. Tate and Lyle (booth S2806) offers DOLCIA PRIMA Allulose, and Matsutani Chemical Industry Co. (booth S4226) offers Astraea Allulose. 

In addition to offering a sweetener made from one source, some companies have formulated sweetener ingredients that are blends of two or more sweeteners. For example, Icon Foods (booth S5314) will highlight its newest sweetener that combines allulose, stevia, and monk fruit. KetoseSweet+ helps food processors to reduce calories and added sugars in baking applications, jellies and jams, and both hot and cold beverages.