Palatinit targets better tasting reduced-sugar spreads

By Anthony Fletcher

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Sugar

German firm Palatinit claims that Isomalt GS can make reduced-sugar
fruit spreads healthier, fruitier and more colour-stable.

It says that comprehensive trials conducted in Südzucker's research centre, ZAFES, support the claims of Isomalt GS, a highly soluble variation of the Isomalt range, with other sweeteners.

Isomalt is derived from pure beet sugar, and has the same natural sweetness profile of sugar despite having a slightly lower sweetness strength. Consequently, Palatinit believes that the ingredient allows more scope for flavour development with about half the calories of sugar.

As a result, the company is confident that this product can help manufacturers tap into emerging trends within the fruit spreads sector.

For example, Palatinit believes that consumers are increasingly selecting premium products with a higher fruit content in smaller packaging units, as well as looking specifically for new variations with a reduced sugar and calorie content.

For manufacturers, selecting the right sweetener to provide body and sweetness is critical for the quality, colour and taste of reduced sugar fruit spreads. Palatinit claims that in a number of trials, Isomalt GS has proven itself to be an effective solution.

Consumer taste tests, says the firm, have shown that products sweetened with Isomalt tend to be perceived as 'more fruity' than their counterparts made with sugar. In addition, Isomalt has no cooling effect or after-taste, which means the fruit flavours in fruit spreads are more pronounced.

And since Isomalt contains only approximately half the calories of sugar and has virtually no effect on blood sugar levels, fruit spreads with a much lower calorie level and reduced glycemic effect can be created.

Depending on the formulation and local food regulation requirements, marketing opportunities include 'low glycemic', 'no added sugar', 'light', 'reduced calorie' or 'suitable for diabetics'. Isomalt is also tooth-friendly.

Palatinit claims there are processing advantages as well. Isomalt GS's optimal solubility means it is quick to process without the need for much preparation time. In acid conditions, too, Isomalt's high stability ensures it does not degrade.

And unlike fructose, there is no Maillard reaction. Browning, the cause of negative comment and known with other sugar replacers is eliminated and colours remain appetising and appealing even over long periods.

According to market analysts Freedonia, the sweetener market is set to grow at around 8.3 per cent year on year until 2008: considerably higher than growth in the ingredients industry currently at about 3 to 4 per cent.

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