Low sugar trend boosts bulk sweetener innovation3 Feb 2020
Use of bulk sweeteners in new products is on the rise, largely driven by consumer interest in sugar-free and lower sugar products.
Lower calorie sweeteners are divided into two main categories: bulk and high intensity. While high intensity sweeteners are used in tiny quantities to replace the sweetness of sugar, bulk sweeteners tend to be slightly less sweet than sugar but are similar in mass, meaning they can be useful as sugar replacers without the need for additional bulking ingredients. And as consumers increasingly look for natural sweetening options, manufacturers have turned to sugar alcohols – also known as polyols – such as xylitol, maltitol, erythritol, sorbitol and isomalt.
Such ingredients come from plant products and fruits but whether they really qualify as ‘natural’ depends on the production process, as well as individual interpretation of the word. However, the rise of low-carb and keto diet trends has also boosted their use in recent years, and in 2019, their use was up 8% compared to the previous year, according to data from Innova Market Insights. The most popular positionings for foods with bulk sweeteners were ‘sugar-free’, ‘gluten-free’ and ‘no added sugar’, the market researcher found.
Sorbitol leads the pack, used in 57% of new products that contained bulk sweeteners last year, followed by maltitol (25%), erythritol (12%), xylitol (11%) and isomalt (7%). Bulk sweeteners are most commonly used to help reduce calories from sugars in baked goods, chocolates, frozen desserts, hard candies, sugar-free chewing gum and snack bars. Each sweetener has attributes that make it best suited for particular applications, and differences in sweetness onset and intensity mean they are often blended together.
However, their benefits go beyond sugar reduction alone. Sorbitol, like xylitol and erythritol, has been shown to reduce dental caries, making it a popular choice for chewing gum and other confectionery. It also helps keep blood glucose levels lower than sugar, meaning it is useful for products intended for diabetic consumers – another growing market segment. Sorbitol supplier Roquette, for instance, promotes its sorbitol powder for its tooth-friendly properties, but also for its ability to extend the shelf life of seafood products.
Sugar reduction has become an increasingly important target for food manufacturers globally, and the trend shows no sign of slowing. But reducing sugar is rarely as easy as switching it for another sweetener, as sugar provides much more than sweetness. Replacing the bulk of sugar is often a major challenge, which gives bulk sweeteners an edge over many other available options.
UN lauds ‘significant’ COP26 progress for agri-food sector but did it go far enough?
19 Nov 2021
UN Climate Change says ‘significant progress’ in making the farming sector more climate-resistant and climate-respectful was made at COP26 – but critics have slammed the absence of technologies such as cell-cultured meat from the sustainability agenda.Read more
Natural ingredients for a true-blue hue
21 Oct 2021
Blue-coloured food and drink are trending in China but so is a demand for natural, clean label products. So, what natural ingredient options do manufacturers have?Read more
Tracking oat milk’s stellar US success
18 Oct 2021
Although almond is still the number one plant-based milk in the US, oat milk is hot on its heels thanks to ingredient innovation, high profile brand launches, and a diverse category that includes both affordable and premium-positioned products.Read more
Targeting the sustainable consumer in Latin America
8 Oct 2021
Latin Americans are among the most concerned about climate change and the most interested in sustainable actions but they are also highly price sensitive, according to Euromonitor. How can brands strike the right balance?Read more
Researchers find traditional rice varieties with strong ‘anti-cancer’ properties
4 Oct 2021
Filipino-led researchers have discovered rare, traditional rice varieties that exhibit ‘anti-cancer’ properties with the genetic traits for more catechins and flavonoids - paving the way for healthier rice, they say.Read more
Can some sugars actually be healthy? FDA asks, industry responds
27 Sep 2021
In 2019, the Food and Drug Authority (FDA) allowed allulose to be exempt from the added and total sugar labelling requirement thanks to the way it is metabolised in the body. Could other non-traditional sugars be eligible for such an exemption?Read more
How Korean food conquered Asia
20 Sep 2021
Fuelled by the popularity of Korean pop music and television shows, Korean food is on-trend among Asian consumers, spurring new product development and e-commerce platforms specialised in ‘K-Food’.Read more
‘Exciting, flavourful and adventurous’: Latin American flavours are on-trend in the US
20 Aug 2021
Seen as exciting, flavourful and adventurous, Latino flavours are popular in the US, according to Mintel research. Does this open up export opportunities for healthy Latin American food brands?Read more
EU approves stevia produced via enzymatic conversion
16 Aug 2021
The European Commission has approved use of the enzymatically converted stevia molecule, Reb M, for use in the EU.Read more
Punk health: Why young Chinese are fuelling health supplement sales
9 Aug 2021
Around the world, the health supplement market’s biggest consumers tend to be older people. In China, however, it is the younger generation of ‘punk health’ aficionados who are fuelling supplement sales.Read more
Are you a supplier?
Here's what we can do for you
- Generate quality leads for your business
- Stay visible for 365 days of the year
- Receive product inquiries and respond to meeting requests directly
- Improve company online presence through Search Engine Optimisation