FoodNavigator.com caught up with the Truvia team from Cargill - Henry Hussell, head of marketing for health and nutrition EMEA and Elizabeth Fay, head of external relations and communications for Truvia in Europe - at FIE in Paris this week to get their perspective on what a new market means for the natural sweetener.
Last month saw final EU approval for stevia's use in food and beverage - a welcome relief for an EU industry itching to launch stevia-based products.
The dairy sector, which has experienced regulatory pressure of late to reformulate along reduced sugar and fat lines, is proving to be fertile ground for stevia, said Hussell.
“If you look at the pipeline of projects we have with customers, dairy definitely comes in second to beverage orientated projects with the category lending itself to this reduced calorie message. And now we have this natural sweetener alternative to some of the high intensity sweeteners already used in the category,” he continued.
Hussell said that the Cargill R&D team has put in some 60,000 application hours on Truvia-based food and drink formulation projects, with the pay-of being “a breath of knowledge” that allows the food scientists to determine which ingredients need to be used in combination with stevia to replace bulk.