With the world’s sugar consumption reaching over 173 million tonnes per year and growing, the use of sugar in food products has become an issue under the spotlight. Along with the FDA mandating an updated Nutrition Facts label with more information on added sugars, food manufacturers are scrambling to make their products more appealing to health-focused consumers. In response to the growing consumer demand for sugar alternatives, ingredient manufacturers such as Ingredion and Kerry have developed sweeteners that can help decrease the amount of sugar on labels and simultaneously enhance the sweetness of products.
On October 5, 2017 Ingredion introduced a new line of low-sugar glucose syrups to the North American market. According to the Westchester, Illinois company, their Versasweet low-sugar glucose syrups enable food products to achieve reduced grams of sugar on the Nutrition Facts panel while maintaining the sweetness of the product.
“The challenge for food manufacturers has been to reformulate to a lower sugar product with minimal or no changes to the ingredient declaration list or existing processes,” says Nate Yates, director of the Sweetness Springboard, North America at Ingredion.
According to the ingredient manufacturer, depending on which of its low-sugar glucose syrups is used, the ingredient can be labeled as glucose syrup, corn syrup or tapioca syrup. Versasweet can offer a fifty percent or higher reduction in monosaccharides and disaccharides in food products.
County Kerry, Ireland-based company, Kerry Foods has also introduced a “sugar enhancer” to the EU market. According to the company, TasteSense is a natural flavoring that can return the taste, texture and overall mouthfeel of products with reduced sugar. TasteSense allows for up to thirty percent sugar reduction in food products including beverages, yogurts, ice-cream, bakery, sauces and ready meals.
“TasteSense is already being used by many of our top beverage, brand, retail and foodservice customers across their ranges, particularly in regions where a sugar tax is or is set to become a real issue,” said Leigh Anne Vaughan, Marketing Director at Kerry Taste and Nutrition.
The compliance date for the new FDA regulated Nutrition Facts label has been set for January 1, 2020. With that date, in mind many food manufacturers are doing their best to reduce or avoid the presence of sugar on their labels. Companies like Ingredion and Kerry are working towards more ingredient innovations that will appeal to the changing consumer market.