Mondelez looks to replace sugar with ultrasonic "welding"

18 Nov 2021

Snack maker Mondelez International is testing Torr FoodTech’s sugar elimination technology, which allows manufacturers to omit added sugar and binders. Coined iWeld, Torr's technology combines ingredients with mechanical pressure and processes like ultrasound rather than using traditional binders.

Torr will test this ingredient-welding technology as a part of Mondelez’s better-for-you Dirt Kitchen brand. The two companies are collaborating on creating a better-for-you snack bar that has a unique “multi-textural, sensorial experience.” Already there are four flavors — tomato, raisin and black pepper; apricot, beets and pumpkin seeds; almond, raisin and carrot; and apple, cinnamon and carrot — available online and in a select number of brick and mortar stores.

Mondelez looks to replace sugar with ultrasonic welding
Image from Dirt Kitchen Snacks

In November 2020, Mondelez made a seed investment in Torr, which was then an early-stage Israeli Foodtech Company. Over the course of the year, this cutting edge foodtech startup has received investment from both Mondelez and Strauss; partnered with the snack giant in the U.S. and developed a snack bar; launched its own clean-label Torr bar; and announced plans to expand into additional markets, including its home country of Israel.

“Our future R&D efforts are expected to unlock more categories as we build Torr’s global snacking platform,” a representative of the company told Food Navigator at the FoodTechIL event in Israel.

The nascent company is looking to tap into the global snack market, which is an explosive category that was worth $493.40 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $732.6 billion by 2026, according to a new report from Global Industry Analysts Inc. Such a field of opportunity is wide open to Torr whose sugar-removing technology can be applied to cereals, bars, jerky and cheese snacks.

While snacks are immensely popular, these convenient, often-processed products traditionally require the addition of sugar. However, in recent years, sugar has become public enemy No. 1 for consumers. In a report by FONA International from this summer, researchers found that half of consumers want to reduce their overall sugar intake. This is an 8% increase from those who were concerned about their sugar intake in 2019.

If Torr’s welding technology can successfully reduce and even replace the necessity for added sugar in manufactured products, there will likely be significant demand for its technology. However, company leaders are aware that winning over consumers will take time since Torr’s welding technology alters the texture of snacks. Both companies will be evaluating the success of the Mondelez partnership through consumer response over the next several months.

The company said at the FoodTechIL event that it plans to both sell Torr branded products as well as partner with other manufacturers to co-create brands that are ‘powered by Torr.’

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