In a chocolate milk, for example, formulators could ditch up to 50% of the sugar and use a Sweetech natural flavor instead of a high potency sweetener, Aaron Graham, VP, technical services, told FoodNavigator-USA.
“It’s a family of products so we’ve got natural and artificial flavors [and organic compliant and Non-GMO Project verified options] depending on what the customer is looking for, and for some customers, having ‘natural flavor’ on the label instead of a high intensity sweetener might be preferable,” he said.
Masking off tastes in high intensity sweeteners
For companies making more significant sugar reductions that require high intensity sweeteners, Sweetech flavors can also mask the bitterness sometimes associated with these ingredients and “round out” and complement the flavor profile, he added.
“We’ve got products that can enhance the sweetness of sugar, corn syrup, and high potency sweeteners such as stevia.”
Meat and savory applications
From an applications perspective, much of the initial work was done in beverages, but has since evolved to cover bakery, confectionery and savory/meat recipes, he added. “We’ve just been talking to a company about a turkey-based sausage where we can reduce sugar by 40% using Sweetech technology and the sausage tastes exactly the same.”
While giants such as Givaudan and IFF have done a lot of work on sweet flavor enhancement and modulation, it was more unusual for a mid-tier player such as Bell Flavors & Fragrances to have this kind of technology, he said. “We’re big enough to invest in this type of R&D, but we’re still small enough to be very flexible and nimble in the marketplace.”