Special edition: Where next for natural sweeteners?

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

While monk fruit sweeteners are premium priced, you only need to use a small amount in neutral to high pH products, claim suppliers
While monk fruit sweeteners are premium priced, you only need to use a small amount in neutral to high pH products, claim suppliers

Related tags: Stevia, Sweeteners, Sugar

From stevia to monk fruit, oats, agave nectar and coconut palm sugar.  In the second of our spring special editions, we look at what’s next for natural sweeteners.  

 Just click on the links below for the latest news in this fast-growing category.

 

MONK FRUIT​: Premium-priced, but you get what you pay for?

 

It might not have garnered as much publicity as stevia, but monk fruit (luo han guo) “has found a niche within the all-natural market but will hit mass market sooner than stevia in this space​”, according to one leading supplier. Monk fruit sweetener firm: ‘We hear daily that people are looking for alternatives to stevia’

Dairy and beverages are proving the most popular application areas for monk fruit sweetener Purefruit, says Tate & Lyle. Tate & Lyle: Monk fruit sweetener attracting most interest in dairy and beverages

OATS​: Clean label, and more cost effective than cane sugar, honey, or stevia?

 

New oat-based sweetener OatSweet is being marketed as more cost-effective than cane sugar, honey, or stevia, without the negative associations of high-fructose corn syrup, and with flavor and texture characteristics that improve upon agave and rice syrups. Start-up ‘surprised and pleased’ by reaction to novel natural sweetener from oats

STEVIA​: It’s been an interesting year for stevia so far, with more US plantings from Sweet Green Fields, financial filing blues at GLG Life Tech, a class action lawsuit challenging the ‘all-natural’ status of steviol glycosides and a water and carbon footprint from PureCircle.

 

GLG Life Tech stopped trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange after it received a full cease trade order from the British Columbia Securities Commission, due to delayed filing of its year-end financial statements and related documents. GLG Life Tech receives cease trade order

Sweet Green Fields scored another industry first with the planting of the first commercial stevia crops in the Southeast United States. Sweet Green Fields plants first commercial stevia crops in North Carolina and Georgia

Taste issues and high cost repeatedly have been raised as possible obstacles to widespread acceptance of stevia-derived sweeteners, but one of the many new suppliers entering the market claims that these are no longer the hurdles they once were.Different processes, lower cost, better taste: Is stevia still on track for mainstream success?​ 

PureCircle released an analysis of its carbon and water use throughout the supply chain, which it claims could help food and beverage manufacturers to meet their own sustainability targets. PureCircle outlines its carbon and water footprint

A class action lawsuit filed in California argued that steviol glycosides should not be considered natural, owing to the "chemical processing​" sometimes used to extract them from the stevia leaf. Steviol glycosides are not ‘all-natural’, says new class action lawsuit

While traders “jumping in and out of the stevia marketplace​” are disrupting prices and standards by peddling some “awful​” extracts, high-quality stevia suppliers in it for the long-haul will ultimately prosper, according to Sweet Green Fields. Stevia buyers beware: There are some ‘awful’ extracts out there…

STEVIA AND BEYOND - But stevia is not the only game in town, especially for baked goods and snacks…

 

While stevia is beginning to take off in a number of baked goods and snack categories in the US, Asian and South American markets, some other emerging ‘natural’ sweeteners look ready to take it on in the segment, claims Datamonitor.Stevia in snacks and baked goods - stealth, competition, and potential

The US alternative sweeteners market will grow by 3.3% a year to reach about $1.4bn in 2015 – and naturally positioned sweeteners like stevia and agave nectar will lead the way, claims a new report from market research organization Freedonia. Naturally-positioned sweeteners to lead market growth: Report

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1 comment

Please stop referring to Agave as a "natural sweetener!"

Posted by Irritable grad student,

I'm so sick of hearing people refer to Agave Nectar as a natural sweetener. It is processed EVEN MORE than high fructose corn syrup, and it has EVEN MORE fructose than HFCS, and is EVEN WORSE for your health! I've done my research; please do yours.

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