Healthier alternatives can be just as sweet
Health and wellness trends globally are changing lifestyles, with consumers demanding healthier food and beverage options and governments acting to provide healthier choices. Givaudan TasteSolutions® Sweetness is helping customers, and consumers to reduce sugar intake while maintaining the sweet taste they enjoy.
A holistic approach to sweetness
The TasteSolutions® Sweetness programme is more about ‘flavour creation’ than ‘sugar substitution’. TasteSolutions® Sweetness does not simply address sweetness intensity, but rather the sweetness profile of a product, which includes its onset, how it lingers, its overall flavour and body and how it affects the feel of a product in the mouth. These elements are key for a sugar‑like taste impression and are all impacted when reducing sugar. TasteSolutions® Sweetness puts sugar, and its alternative variants, under the microscope, identifying at a molecular level what’s needed to recreate taste, mouthfeel and aroma in relation to sugar.
Stevia is on the increase
To illustrate the point that sugar reduction is not simple substitution, take stevia, a naturally occurring South American botanical, which provides intense sweetness levels, and has been widely adopted on a growing scale by manufacturers. Replacing sugar with a natural sweetener like stevia can leave a bitter, metallic, or even licorice-like taste, revealing the fact that the product contains less sugar. As part of the TasteSolutions® Sweetness programme we are able to develop notes that mask these unwanted aftertastes, and bring back a sugar-like mouthfeel and flavour profile. Stevia is increasingly popular, and has moved out of the ‘alternative’ sphere, very much into the mainstream in recent times. Now we’re seeing some of the world’s biggest beverage brands adopting stevia as a replacement for sugar.
As brands pursue sugar alternatives, sometimes due to legislation, consumers continue to demand the same taste and sweetness profile they have always known and loved. TasteSolutions® Sweetness helps manufacturers make beverages their consumers enjoy and that provide a great taste experience.
Why sugar is a taxing issue for Mexico
Many governments are taking the initiative to promote health and wellness in their countries. Mexico, with a focus on sugar levels in foods and beverages is a good case in point. In January 2014 a new tax initiative was introduced in Mexico, placing an eight percent tax on calorie-dense foods (more than 275 calories per 100g of product) and a one-peso-per-litre tax levy on sugary soft drinks.
TasteSolutions® Sweetness was in place and ready to help customers with this challenge. In some instances we were able to remove up to 20% of the sugar in a product and rebuild the sweetness balance and taste profile just with a flavour. In a second, and more common, scenario, we reduced higher levels of sugar with sweetener replacements, such as stevia, and solutions that masked the off-notes to build back a sugar-like taste.
With global demand for healthy, great tasting products on the rise and an increase in government actions to promote health and wellness, there is a clear need for new solutions in beverage product development. Givaudan partners with customers and governments to this effect, and thanks to TasteSolutions® Sweetness helps meet consumers demanding needs for the sweeter things in life.