Bayn Europe, a Swiss formulation expert focusing on sugar reductions for food and drink manufacturers, is developing a cloud-based platform that it believes will “catalyse” food and drink producers’ R&D efforts and accelerate market entry of reduced sugar products.
The company said that a prototype of the platform has been developed and a full launch is scheduled for 2020.
Bayn CEO Lucy Dahlgren told FoodNavigator that the concept is a departure from traditional approaches to sugar reduction. She suggested the platform, called SugarReduced, will act as a differentiator for the company’s products and services. “It is different from a traditional and physical product. It is a cloud platform with a different function and it is to be opened to external use."
A ‘one-stop shop’
The pilot scheme aims to incorporate the different stages in the reformulation process on a cloud platform - from providing data, to lab simulation software and e-commerce. It was designed to connect product developers, marketers, purchasers and “all” stakeholders in the food and beverage industry.
SugarReduced has four major functions:
- E-data: a data bank of information about ingredients, legislation and successful recipes.
- E-planning: software for initial calculation of nutrition and sensory data before product development to ensure that data and information are correct and well planned for sugar reduction reformulation.
- E-Development: software for analysing data, taste and flavour after the development.
- Ordering: an e-commerce system ensuring purchasing, logistics and payment transaction on a cloud platform.
“It will offer all data needed for sugar reduction, from ingredient to the finished product. It is a strong linkage to connect all value propositions throughout the entire food value chain,” Dahlgren explained. “This platform will be opened for the R&D people at food producers, so that they can use the right data to simulate their recipe, to reduce their development time, costs and uncertainty.”
The aim is to offer a “one-stop-shop” for sugar reduction, including evidence, data and simulation. The Swedish company believes this should shorten the R&D process and speed market launches. Dahlgren suggested that it will help simplify the complex process of sugar reduction.
“There is no one single ingredient can replace the added sugar, it needs a solution to formulate a proper composition for taste, texture and cost-in-use,” the CEO explained.
Going beyond this, the platform will also serve as an information hub for the public, promoting discussions centred on “from evidence to action” sugar reduction projects.
Taking on sugar
The ultimate goal of SugarReduced is to make it easier to tackle the global health issues caused by excessive sugar consumption, Dahlgren said.
“Today, the entire food value chain is built upon added sugar. [Reformulation] causes a major change both technically and commercially,” she insisted. “The food supply chain is broken and the market is disordered, which causes the difficulties to replace the added sugar.”
Dahlgren and Bayn believe that their new tool will bring order to the food chain and remove barriers to sugar reduction.
The company's priority now is to continue to develop the innovation. “We are engaged in discussions with several leading IT companies both in Europe and China, to evaluate this business idea, and we have submitted an application to an EU commission call for innovation fund for this project development.”
Bayn believes that the development of this platform is also an important response to the growing role that new digital technologies are playing in the food sector.
“The transition from a traditional business to a digital company means to mentally move from manual to digital processes. The most common mistake is to keep working with manual processes and automate these by the means of IT. The e-platform focus is to move towards truly digital processes and let IT and sugar [reduction] become one process.”