Demand for tapioca syrup as a sweetener surges1 Jun 2022
Seen as a better-for-you, natural sweetener, tapioca syrup is growing in demand, particularly among consumers in Asia and North America.
Amid rising demand for clean-label sweeteners, Cargill announced it has expanded its processing capabilities for its organic, non-GMO tapioca syrup at its plant in Cikande, Indonesia to “more than double.”
The company invested $2.4 million (€2.27 million) in this Indonesian plant due to its proximity to major Asian tapioca-growing regions. By 2024, the supplier is aiming for its production to reach 12,000 metric tons by volume.
Tapioca syrup is derived from the cassava plant and is widely used as a sweetener in foods. This alternative sweetener is considered a better-for-you option and is in demand in both Asia and North America — two markets that Cargill is looking to serve with its expanded production.
Clean label witha neutral taste
Tapioca syrup is particularly suited for confectionery uses, which makes it sought-after by consumers that are seeking alternatives to traditional sugar. Cargill has said that tapioca syrups allow for a one-to-one replacement with sugar with little to no additional adjustment to formulations. This near-identical exchange allows for manufacturers to more easily and cheaply substitute while delivering on the better-for-you qualities that consumers are progressively valuing in their product choices.
According to Sweetener Products, tapioca syrups are colourless and have a neutral flavour, they can be used in a variety of products from cookies and ice cream to beverages.
Not only is tapioca a clean-label alternative, but it is also an ingredient that can serve as a substitution for manufacturers that are searching for sugar substitutes as supply chain constraints result in rising sugar prices. On May 16, S&P Global Commodity Insights reported that sugar futures for July rose 5.47%. For manufacturers of baked goods and confections, tapioca is an alternative that can help cut costs.
In addition to its popularity as a sweetener, tapioca can also serve as a clean-label starch ingredient to thicken foods like yoghurt or pudding. As modified starches fall out of favor with consumers, plant-based options like tapioca have seen a growth in demand.
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