Sweegen: 'Brazzein is extremely soluble and extremely resistant to acid and heat'
By Elaine Watson
- Last updated on
Brazzein, a sweet protein developed with R&D partner Conagen via microbial fermentation that is currently going through the GRAS process, will bring something new and exciting to the formulator’s toolbox, said Sweegen head of global innovation Dr Casey McCormick.
“Brazzein will not be used as a standalone sweetener, but it pairs very well, specifically with our Bestevia steviol glycosides. It has a late onset of sweetness and takes about two or three seconds to build in your mouth, and then it has a relatively long fade out, which is either a good or bad thing depending on the application.
“What’s interesting about brazzein is that it is the only natural non-nutritive sweetener that specifically targets the T1R3 receptor, which is associated with umami. So that's important not just for differentiating in terms of being able to stimulate a new sweet experience, but also bringing full flavor to products.”
From an applications perspective, he added, “Brazzein is extremely soluble and extremely resistant to acid and heat, so you can UHT it, and it’s going to be fine, so we see interesting opportunities in beverages, confectionery and dairy.”
Thaumatin, another sweet protein developed with partner Conagen, is also generating some excitement, said McCormick: “We do anticipate that our product will be more consistent and more cost accessible than the thaumatin (extracted from fruit) currently on the market.”
The latest trend in stevia formulation, meanwhile, is customized blends of rare steviol glycosides and flavor systems that are designed to build back mouthfeel lost when you eliminate sugar, said McCormick.