The company said the development of new and better sweetness enhancers is an ongoing process but that recently it has come under increasing pressure to find flavor solutions for lower calorie products, as food and beverage manufacturers respond to consumer demand for products that are lower in sugar and high fructose corn syrup.
Director of applications at Comax Flavors James Duffy told FoodNavigator-USA.com: “One of the things we noticed early on is the move toward healthier products.”
He said that the main driver behind the development of the new sweetness enhancer was to offer better tasting reduced-sugar products.
“High fructose corn syrup and sugar would be the primary things we would be looking at replacing,” he said. “…A lot of it is being market-driven at this point with the interest in high fructose corn syrup and reduction of sugar. We are getting a lot more requests from our customers about this.”
Available in liquid or powder form, Duffy said that the sweetness enhancer would be included at 0.05 to 0.5 percent in a formulation, but it is very application specific due to the functional roles of sugar or corn syrup, for example in creating bulk, mouthfeel or caramelization.
“In a product like a carbonated or a juice drink, it’s not so much an issue,” Duffy said. “In a product like a baked product or a candy, it’s more of an issue because it has a functional role.”
Depending on the application, Duffy explained that the sweetness enhancer could be used in conjunction with sweeteners like erythritol or maltitol, or even a fiber ingredient, to make up for any missing bulk in the finished product. He said that erythritol is one of the company’s preferred products, due to the fact that it is natural (it is a sugar alcohol) and that it has a taste not far from that of sucrose.
The company said the sweetener enhancer works through its combination of several ingredients that aid sweetness reception by stimulating different taste receptor sites in the mouth simultaneously.