The Kiss Sweetening Systems consultancy service was launched at IFE09 (the International Food and Drink Event) this week and aims to ensure that sweeteners such as aspartame and sucralose are blended in a way that “provides the best taste profile”.
The service offers technical help and advice on the best type of high intensity sweetener for the customers’ exact requirements, optimum usage levels and formulations, as well as supplying the raw materials.
In addition, the Kiss brand includes a range of sugar-free candy premium sweets and premium tabletop sweeteners based on “enhanced” aspartame and sucralose formulations.
Kiss was the brainchild of Richard Stead, who is the director of the new SinoSweet UK aspartame sales office which opened in the autumn.
Dylan White, a Kiss spokesman, told FoodNavaigator.com that Kiss will be run and managed by the same people involved with SinoSweet UK, however the two companies are completely separate.
He said: “People want to remove empty calories from their product in a way that doesn’t impact the flavour of the product.
“There is an interest in sweeteners in general but customers aren’t necessarily sure how to use those sweeteners in their products.
“We think there is a need for people supplying sweeteners and sweetener blends to help inform the industry in general on how best they should be used.
“Aspartame is a commodity but if we can add value by working closely with businesses then that is an advantage.”
A company spokeswoman added that although they were primarily offering aspartame and its rival sucralose, they could also help if the blend required other sweeteners.
She said: “There is still a huge market for aspartame but with new sweeteners coming on the market there is increasing demand for looking at other things as well.”
Kiss is currently available only in the UK and Ireland but there are already plans to roll it out.
Stead said: “Changing and developing formulations can be a costly and problematic business.
“Blending was simpler in the past but the new high-intensity sweeteners need careful handling in order to give consumers a sweet taste without that cloying sensation and replacing the natural flavour and bulking properties of sugar is a complex process.
“We can work with niche producers that have a wide range of confectionery or dairy products that each requires a different mix, and with food or beverage manufacturers of well-known brands.”
Sweetener companies are also trying to add value to their ingredients with additional services, such as access to expertise in formulation.
Last month Roquette announced it was re-naming its bulk maltitol sweetener as SweetPearl. The idea behind the SweetPearl trademark concept was to provide more than the ingredient itself and offer a panel of services to food producers.
Market analysts have noted over the last few years that aspartame, although still the most widely used of the intense sweetener, is increasingly being replaced by sucralose.
At the same time aspartame has suffered as a result of fears over its safety; however, the science does not support the purported link with cancer and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) last year reasserted its view that there is no evidence of ill effects.