Xtend sucromalt, which was unveiled at the 2005 American Association of Cereal Chemists (AACC) Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida, is the latest product that aims to tap into the growing market for healthier sweeteners that maintain product flavor.
Cargill claims that the product provides a satisfying sweet taste, as it is 60 to 70 percent as sweet as sugar and possesses physical properties in food processing that are similar to glucose syrup.
The company believes that the product, derived from sucrose and maltose, can fill the functional gap between full-calorie sweeteners and reduced-calorie sweeteners, such as polyols.
"Xtend sucromalt offers our customers the highly desirable benefits of slow digestibility, including sustained energy release and lower glycemic response," said Anne Mollerus, new products project manager, Cargill.
"In food and beverages, Xtend sucromalt releases its carbohydrates into the bloodstream slowly, resulting in a muted blood sugar response and a 'slow energy' release versus the 'fast energy' release and higher glycemic response of sugar."
Xtend sucromalt is the latest addition to Cargill's Xtend range of slowly digestible sweeteners. With growing pressure on food makers to cut down on added sugar in processed foods, this is a sector that is likely to see further growth.
"Xtend sucromalt is an excellent choice in the development of lower sugar foods or beverages since only 50 percent of the sweetener's carbohydrates are claimed as simple sugars on the nutritional panel," said Mollerus.
The firm also claims that Xtend sucromalt can help to minimize the number of ingredients on a product's label, since it can replace multiple sweeteners and bulking agents in many formulations.
The launch comes just after Cargill reported an 18 per cent leap in quarterly profit. The supplier of sweetener, pectin and whey saw earnings for the fourth quarter rise from $195 million to $230 million for the fourth quarter ended May 31, 2005.
For the 2005 fiscal year, the company pulled in $1.53 billion in net earnings, on revenue of $71.1 billion.
The largest private company in the US whose business, in addition to ingredients, spans grain trading, meat processing and fertiliser production, said the results were "backed by strong performance across our diverse business and geographic operations".
Commercial quantities of Xtend sucromalt will be available Summer 2006, though sample and project quantities are now available.