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Natural sweetener demand drives Galam Group to triple R&D activity

By Caroline Scott-Thomas , 02-Oct-2012

Israel-based firm Galam Group has said it is tripling its R&D capabilities to provide comprehensive sweetener solutions for food manufacturers – especially as they look to capitalise on the potential of natural sweeteners, the company has said.

The expansion includes recruiting specialist staff at its European sweetener blending facilities in Germany, Spain, and the Czech Republic, as well as at its facility in Israel, and investment in new equipment, the company’s corporate marketing manager Sharon Galperin told FoodNavigator.

In addition, Galam will incorporate its applications teams into its marketing organisation, in order to be closer to the market, facilitating more direct communication with food and beverage companies.

The investment to improve R&D infrastructure and reach is part of a five-year strategic plan to strengthen the company’s abilities as a sweetening specialist, she said, particularly as food manufacturers increasingly are looking for ways to cut sugar in their products – often using natural ingredients – without sacrificing flavour.

“There is a big demand for sugar reduction and it is very, very difficult to get sugar reduction and good taste,” Galperin said.

“Galam has been dealing with sweeteners for many years. Stevia is a much more complicated ingredient to deal with…We are talking about many natural sweetening solutions because this is the trend. Stevia is not a stand-alone sweetener. With stevia, we are looking at reduced calories, rather than zero calories.”

The company said that its sweetening specialists in Spain and Germany will focus on application research, while its centres in Israel will concentrate on new sweetener ingredients and sweetener combinations.

Head of R&D Dr. Fernando Schved said: "We’ve devoted significant resources to this endeavour and anticipate a number of exciting new products in the near future thanks to the newly recruited talented and expert R&D teams. We believe that broadening Galam Group centers at key locations throughout Europe represents our strong commitment to delivering timely, expert and optimal sweetening solutions to our customers.” 

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