Tagatose cuts flavour costs and improves profile, new collaboration

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Sugar

Maker of the low-cal, low-carb sweetener tagatose teams up with the
number four flavour house Symrise to trial new flavour systems that
could bring cost savings to food manufacturers in their flavour
formulations, writes Lindsey Partos.

SweetGredients, a joint venture of Arla Foods and Nordzucker that produce the sweetener made from milk sugar lactose, will work in the US with the German flavour company to design specific flavour and tagatose blends.

They believe the systems could reduce quantities of more expensive flavours and consquently equate to costs savings for the manufacturers.

Mads Vigh, commercial director of tagatose at Arla Foods said new findings suggest tagatose has the ability to improve a flavour's profile.

"In initial studies we found that when we added tagatose to mint flavours the profile was boosted considerably,"​ he told FoodNavigator.com.

The low cal sweetener about three times the price of sugar can be added to flavour systems in quantities at less than 1 per cent. In certain confectionery flavour systems on trial the tagatose addition has cut total system costs from between 5 and 10 per cent, suggests the firm.

In addition to improving the flavour profile, Vigh suggests that because of the synergies identified between tagatose and high intensity sweeteners, food makers could also cut their quantities of these higher priced sweeteners.

Per pound high intensity sweeteners are considerably more expensive than tagatose (about $2.5 per pound), although food formulators use less in their recipes.

The Symrise-SweetGredients collaboration will initially kick off with studies on yoghurt, diet drinks and low glycaemic applications. Recent science has highlighted tagatose's low glycaemic (GI) response, an index increasingly used by dieters as a form of carbohydrate control. A low GI food will cause a small rise in blood sugar levels, whereas a higher GI food may trigger a large increase.

The link up will begin in the US, where tagatose is approved and already enjoying a certain success since market entry in 2003. Cashing in on the growing low carbohydrate fad number one global retailer Walmart recently announced it would emblazon the Gaio tagatose logo on the packaging of a new range of juices, and other retailers have taken similar routes.

But the additive has yet to gain approval in Europe. According to Vigh this is slated to arrive within the next 18 months.

In 2003 SweetGredients christened their first tagatose plant for production of this full-bulk sweetener in Germany on the site of Nordzucker's sugar plant near Hanover.

Production capacity is currently at 1200 tonnes but the firm said it is currently investigating options to provide a higher output platform.

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