Tate & Lyle has launched a new ingredient solution for low- fat, no-sugar- added ice cream for the US market and vowed to continue its ambitious expansion plans.
The company claims that its Ice Cream Rebalance 500 range gives brands a healthier profile without compromising taste.
It provides low-fat, no-sugar-added ice cream with sweetness, texture and the mouthfeel of butterfat and also adds body without the use of sugar.
"Consumers want a nutritionally balanced ice cream that tastes the same or better as regular versions and that's exactly what can be achieved with the Ice Cream Rebalance 500," said Sue Chitwood, Tate & Lyle research & development specialist.
"Ice Cream Rebalance 500 allows for a finished product that is lower in calories, carbohydrates and fats with all of the taste and indulgence associated with a full-fat ice cream."
The launch of Rebalance 500 comes after Tate & Lyle vowed to continue to pursue its ambitious expansion plans at last week's annual general meeting. "We have also announced capital projects to more than triple the sucralose production capacity acquired under the realignment of the Splenda Sucralose activities in April 2004 and our new joint venture plant with DuPont to produce Bio-3G from renewable resources should begin to come on stream in our financial year ending 31 March 2007," said Tate & Lyle chairman Sir David Lees.
The firm also announced expansion plans for both its Sagamore and Loudon facilities in the US, which will involve capital expenditure totaling £100 million.
"These investments reflect our firm commitment to deliver against our growth strategy and in particular to grow the contribution from value added products," said Lees. "They were substantially provided for in the financial plans for the years ending March 2006 and March 2007."
Tate & Lyle believes that such expansion is vital in order to secure new markets in the US. But when it comes to ice cream, Tate & Lyle is certainly correct in saying that consumers want to eat healthily, but not at the expense of flavor.
Recent consumer research for example suggests that 25 per cent of people want to see lower fat and lower sugar ice creams available in shops.
The study, carried out by Incepta Market Intelligence Research, found that 73 percent of ice cream buyers would probably or definitely buy a lower fat, lower sugar ice cream. Tate & Lyle believes that it can help the industry meet this demand for change without compromising on taste.
"We believe that these ice cream solutions meet consumer demand and can help facilitate increased choice in marketplace," said Tate & Lyle's global vice president, applications and technical service Mike Augustine.
The company claims that independent sensory tests show that its rebalanced ice cream systems can help light brands perform as well as leading indulgence brands in key attributes. Ice Cream Rebalance 500 reduces calories by replacing bulk sweeteners with a range of tailored Tate & Lyle sweetening ingredients, which includes Splenda Sucralose.
This is significant as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced that sucralose should be marketed as a non-cariogenic i.e. a tooth-friendly ingredient. The FDA backs the reasoning that sucralose does not contribute to the production of organic acids by plaque bacteria, as do the fermentable sugars that it replaces.
In addition, Tate & Lyle claims that when compared to a full-fat premium ice cream, Ice Cream Rebalance 500 can create a low-fat, no-sugar-added vanilla ice cream that has 59 percent fewer calories, 76 percent less sugar and 89 percent less fat.
But although the product is lower in calories, sugar and fats, it still maintains the creaminess of a full-fat product.