Strong consumer demand for sugar-free gum – a ‘sweet’ spot of the industry – will lead to exciting new flavors and nutrient delivery, says ingredient supplier Ingredion, with the company’s new encapsulation matrix opening up product developers’ creativity.
The company’s new ingredient solution – Q-Naturale SF – is described as a sugar-free non-cariogenic encapsulation matrix that enables manufacturers to address increasing consumer demand for sugar-free gums, oral care products and beverages.
Dinah Diaz, market development manager with Ingredion Inc. told us: “We view Q-Naturale SF as an ingredient that will open up product developers’ creativity because its performance is so much superior than gum arabic.”
The ingredient was soft launched last year and is currently being evaluated by Ingredion’s customers, she said. “It is a matrix containing components that are already being used in one way or another if food, beverage, pharma, nutraceuticals, etc.”
According to Mintel, a survey of gum chewers indicated that 76% view “sugar-free” as an important attribute when selecting a chewing gum. In addition, data from SymphonyIRI indicated that 76% of the entire gum category is of sugar free variety (data based on 52 weeks ending Dec 2011).
“The sugar-free gum market is very attractive to us and our customers because it continues to be the ‘sweet’ spot of the industry,” said Diaz. “With our novel encapsulant, I foresee that product developers can look at new and exciting flavors, perhaps delivering some nutritional value to consumers by adding actives, or encapsulating caffeine, etc.”
Q-Naturale SF would be listed on labels as “Quillaja extract, non-digestable dextrin, polyol”, she added.
The encapsulant is optimized for spray drying encapsulations, and offers 40% flavor load, whereas most flavor spray drying is carried out at 20% flavor load. This increase to 40% doubles manufacturing throughput, said the company.
In addition, the ingredient increases the oil/encapsulant ratio from 1:4 to 1:1.5, meaning that, for the same amount of flavor, only 37.5% encapsulant will be used and half of the powder product needs to be handled.
These levels are applicable across the different food applications, including gums, sugar-free RTD, and confectioneries, said Diaz.
“Q-Naturale SF enables high oil loads of flavors, actives, nutrients, and any other lipids that can therefore be used in a variety of food applications while still achieving the same benefits of superior encapsulation, cost-in-use efficiencies, longer shelf-life, etc.”
To read a white paper about this ingredient, please click here .