For the first time, patented sugar reduction ingredient Incredo Sugar will be sold outside of Israel via a commercial ingredient partnership with Italy-based Hi-Food.
Previously announced partnerships, such as deals with Rogers Sugar Inc. and Lantic, gave DouxMatok the ability to produce and manufacture its sugar as a standalone to sell to potential sugars in the US, but this marks the first time the joint solution will be sold to potential partners in Europe and the US.
As per the agreement, Incredo Sugar will be sold alongside Hi-Food’s semi-solid fibre Meltec to food manufacturers, to address one of the most common challenges of existing solutions on the market: maintaining sweetness and other functionalities while avoiding aftertastes commonly associated with sugar substitute bulking solutions.
Products using DouxMatok and Hi-Food’s combined offering are expected to launch in early 2022.
Boosting sweetness perception
DouxMatok was founded in 2014 by Eran Baniel, who has since transitioned from CEO to Executive Chairman of the company.
The start-up’s technology is designed to make sugar taste sweeter by loading inert mineral particles with sugar molecules. Essentially, these molecules aim to improve the efficiency of sugar delivery to the sweet taste receptors and enhance the perception of sweetness.
Incredo Sugar uses this technology to enable sugar reductions of 30-50% without compromising taste, mouthfeel, or texture, according to DouxMatok.
The solution officially launched in 2020 and is now commercially available in the US. But the start-up’s tie-up with Hi-Food marks the first time Incredo Sugar is being commercialised with an ingredients company anywhere in the world.
The partnership is founded on the companies’ collaboration, in that Incredo Sugar will be offered to food makers in conjunction with Meltec.
“In partnership with Hi-Food, we are able to use Meltec together with Incredo Sugar to provide a full end-to-end nutritional solution for food manufacturers and food brands looking to reduce sugar in their products,” DouxMatok CTO David Tsivon told this publication.
Italian-made Meltec is produced from corn and chickpeas, is neutral in taste and smell, and contains less than 1% sugars. Suitable for all sugar-free or low-sugar applications, the ingredient acts as a humectant, texturizing, thickening, filling, cryoprotectant agent.
“Since reducing sugar using Incredo Sugar frees up room for fibre, this partnership enables us to provide that full solution ensuring that there is no compromise on the taste, sweetness, and mouthfeel for food products utilising Incredo and Meltec,” Tsivon continued.
“Because Meltec improves structural properties in food products and is neutral in taste, the use cases and scalability of the full solution enables us to really deliver on the promise of reducing sugar content in a variety of food products.”
The partnership will continue to see Incredo Sugar be used for cakes, cookies, chocolate, gummies, protein bars, energy bars, and snacks, amongst other applications. And the combination of Incredo and Meltec will also provide added sustainability value for the food industry overall, Tsivon told us, and help reduce the environmental impact of overconsumption of sugar.
Eyes on B2B market
While the commercial partnership marks Incredo Sugar’s first outside of Israel, it is not the first time international consumers will have had a chance to taste the ingredient.
In April this year, DouxMatok launched limited-edition chocolate spreads (Hazelnut Cocoa and Dark Cocoa Salted Caramel) direct to consumer in the US. By using Incredo Sugar, DouxMatok was able to create a hazelnut cocoa spread containing just 8g added sugar – representing half the amount in Ferrero’s Nutella hazelnut spread (19g).
The company did not reveal whether its chocolate spreads will expand beyond the US. “The launch of Incredo Spreads was a limited-edition effort to demonstrate the ingredient’s capabilities, but given the positive response from consumers and retailers, we are considering opportunities,” DouxMatok CEO Ari Melamud disclosed.
DouxMatok is working directly with chefs and pastry chefs, for example, on use cases more relevant to the home cook. “For example, we are currently working with chef Lior Lev Servarz of La Boîte in NYC, who has developed a delicious spice cookie using both Incredo Sugar and Incredo Spreads.”
The start-up appears keener to explore potential B2B opportunities. “Technically, this is the first announced commercial partner outside of Israel. In the US, there are several projects in the pipeline with B2B partners that will further commercialise Incredo in the near future,” the CEO revealed.
Indeed, DouxMatok is ‘looking to partner with a variety of companies’ in a B2B capacity, including with ingredient companies and food manufacturers globally. “There are many active conversations with partners in the US and we expect that multiple partners will be announced in the US before the end of the year,” said Melamud.