An Israeli entrepreneur has developed a patented recipe for a stevia-based zero calorie sweetener that claims to out-do other stevia sweeteners on the market. HEYLO is an alternative sweetener made from a specific ratio of water-extracted stevia and acacia fiber and mixed using a “precision blending technique.”
Yuval Maymon from Unavoo Food Technologies developed and patented HEYLO. The company claims their new sweetener creates a clean taste without the unappealing aftertaste that comes from traditional stevia sweeteners. The end product is 10 to 15 times sweeter than sugar and is easily water soluble. HEYLO comes in three varieties: an organic brown sugar alternative, a natural white sugar alternative and as a liquid syrup.
Former PepsiCo executive and Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) for HEYLO, Jeremy Cage, told Food Navigator that their specific ratios of water-extracted stevia and acacia fibre along with their precision blending technique creates a sweetener that cannot be replicated easily. If manufacturers are able to replicate HEYLO they might face legal complications in light of the company’s patent. HEYLO’s patent covers the ratios of the two ingredients, the formulation and the interaction of the carrier with the sweetener.
Cage went on to say that their patent allows them to innovate their products from the success of other stevia sweetener producers because it covers the interaction between the carrier and the sweetener.
The CMO said that his team at HEYLO has already partnered with professionals from the food industry to market their new product in America and other locations. The company has partnered with sugar distributor Royal Ingredients, which will distribute HEYLO.
With the sugar-alternative market valued between $16 and $20 billion, HEYLO has a lot of growth potential in the segment. Stevia was an ingredient in more than 27 percent of new products launched as of August 2017, a number expected to increase significantly over the next few years.
As consumer interest in zero-calorie, low-sugar foods increases, many food manufacturers are finding the need to reduce sugar content in products. Major CPG companies like PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, DanoneWave, Kraft Heinz, Nestlé, Unilever and others have already incorporated stevia in their portfolios. Coca-Cola recently announced the launch of a stevia sweetened coke product that has zero calories, no sugar and lacks the unfavorable aftertaste that comes from regular stevia-sweetened products.
According to Cage, traditional stevia usually contains bulking agents – like erythritol, maltodextrin and dextrose, along with sugar alcohols such as maltitol and sorbitol – added to certain recipes for bulk or body. These added ingredients can negatively impact a food product’s digestibility and taste. Cage said the addition of acacia fiber in their formulation blocks off the aftertaste that comes from other stevia-based products.
If HEYLO delivers on Cage’s promises, it will likely become a popular ingredient in many food formulations. The company is currently in its infancy and still needs to provide evidence for such claims.