Contact Person : Jane Jiang
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April 27, 2022
Natural sweeteners--Low in calories, low in sugar, sweet in taste
FMCG Guru's insights show that 72% of consumers believe that natural sweeteners are a healthier alternative to sugar4. Natural sweeteners seem to be the go-to choice now – as long as they can meet or exceed expectations for taste.
The Stars: Stevia and Monk Fruit
Stevia continues to be the star among natural sweeteners, but up-and-coming ingredients like monk fruit are also catering to the growing consumer demand for sugar alternatives. A report by Tate & Lyle suggests that 42% of consumers are aware of stevia and 29% would be likely or very likely to purchase a product with stevia1. Both stevia and monk fruit extract are intensely sweet with up to 300 times sweeter than sucrose – but it has no carbs and calories thus becoming a boon for calorie-conscious consumers.
Getting The Right Sweetener Blend
A blend of several sweeteners is commonly used to achieve higher sweetness intensity, improve sensorial characteristics, and even optimize formulation’s costs for reduced sugar beverages9. Blending high-intensity sweeteners (HIS) like stevia and monk fruit with other sweeteners is a way to balance off-notes. With the presence of other bulk sweeteners, food manufacturers can re-build the food volume that is otherwise lost with HIS5.
The low-calorie sugar alcohol erythritol is very commonly paired with stevia and monk fruit because of its ideal sugar-like taste as well as its easy digestibility5. Furthermore, erythritol has similar or better wettability than commercialized bulking agents and does not create variation in sensory perceptions10. Isomalt is another choice of bulking agent used in sugar-free products that resemble the taste of sugar8. As a bulk sweetener, it can replace mouthfeel which is lost with sugar reduction. Depending on the application, it may also be necessary to adjust starch levels, hydrocolloids, and other restaurants to more closely replicate the body of a full-sugar beverage.