Fusion Nutraceuticals has developed a new process for developing granulated zero-calorie sweeteners that better imitate the taste and functionality of sugar with nearly ten times fewer calories, the company has said.
The Dublin-based company entered the sweeteners market in 2007 with a sucralose product called SucraPlus, taking advantage of expiring sucralose patents. It has expanded distribution into several international markets since then, selling the sweetener under the SucraPlus brand name, and as a private label product for retailers.
Its new process is intended to appeal to manufacturers of confectionery, cereal and soft drinks looking to respond to consumer demand for healthier products, and can be used with a variety of sweeteners including sucralose, stevia and aspartame. A sucralose-based product using the process would contain 1.7 calories per teaspoon as opposed to sugar’s 16 calories, Fusion’s co-founder and CEO Shane Delaney told FoodNavigator.com.
He said the manufacturing process is conducted under high pressure to produce granulated products that “mimic the appearance, taste and feel of sugar” based on high intensity sweeteners mixed with other ingredients such as sugar alcohols and maltodextrin.
Delaney said in a statement: "We are now at an advanced stage in developing and launching our own patented product, which will appeal to global consumers and industrial markets. It addresses the perceived gaps between granulated sweetener and sugar which have been holding back the market growth of sugar alternatives…It is suitable for baking and cooking, the calorie content is almost zero and it is suitable for those who cannot eat regular sugar.”
The company said it is currently in discussions with an Indian company to establish a dedicated manufacturing facility for production under licence and for Indian distribution.
"We plan to replicate this commercial arrangement with other major companies in North America, South America, Europe, Asia Pacific and other selected regions," Delaney said.
The company said it is looking for investment of €5,000 to €150,000 under the BES programme (Business Expansion Scheme) for a total of €750,000 by the end of the year. The scheme allows investors to claim tax relief.
“The €750,000 BES funding will enable us to complete consumer trials and commercialisation of the new product and it will support the continued sales growth of our SucraPlus range," Delaney said.
Update: Please note that this article has been updated from an earlier version, adding extra information from the company.