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Sweet success: Satisfying consumers with savvy sweetening solutions

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Cancelled events and suspended travel, with much of daily life moved online; many things have changed in the wake of the pandemic. In the world of food and beverages though, the health and wellness trend has intensified. Consumers are paying closer attention than ever to the nutritional value of their food and drink, particularly sugar content. Indeed, 70% of buyers in the UK, France and Germany say they have reduced their sugar intake in the last two years.1

Here, ADM discusses three ways that manufacturers can create exceptional taste and texture experiences while appealing to the sweet-toothed, health-conscious consumer.

1. Knowing the Nutri-Score
For today’s consumers, health is a key purchasing driver. In response, the development of scientifically based, front of pack (FoP) nutrition labelling systems have the potential to make life easier for shoppers and create exciting opportunities for food manufacturers to attract new audiences through modified formulations. Examples of current FoP nutrition labelling schemes include Nutri-Score and the NutrInform Battery logo in Italy.

Replacing sugar with an alternative sweetening solution, such as ADM’s GrainSweet liquid maltodextrin, can provide a golden opportunity to improve the Nutri-Score in some food products as it contains fewer mono and disaccharides than classic glucose syrup. It must be borne in mind, however, that sugars also play a functional role in many formulations. In these situations, ADM’s soluble fiber ingredient, Fibersol, can be used alongside a high-intensity sweetener to build structure, such as for example, in gummy confectionery or baked goods, while enhancing fiber content and ensuring the same ‘melt-in-the-mouth’ texture that consumers expect from high-sugar treats.

2. Cleaning up labels

For many consumers, such labeling systems are just the beginning. As the demand for clean label products continues to rise, consumers expect short and simple ingredient lists using recognizable food terms. To help meet the standards required for a clean label claim, producers can call upon both fruit- and plant-based sweeteners.

Derived from naturally occurring fruit sugars, fruit-based sweeteners such as ADM’s Fruit Up and MultiJuice can be labelled as fruit juices and fruit extracts, and they are from 100% natural origins. But the advantages don’t end there. With a clean taste, sugar-like mouthfeel and the ability to replace the binding function of glycerin in baked goods and snacks, Fruit Up provides an excellent alternative to sugar in premium food and beverage applications where quality is as important as a clean label. Similarly, the natural sweetness of ADM’s MultiJuice is ideal in clean label beverage products, offering the added benefit of real juice content claims along with a well-rounded flavor.

3. Finding the balance

Consumers may be demanding less sugar content, but their expectations for taste and the overall texture experience remain extremely high. Producers can only hope to please through the right balance of appealing low-calorie sweetness, exciting secondary flavors and functional enabling ingredients.

To address these complex challenges for food and beverage manufacturers, ADM has developed the Sweet Savvy Approach – a holistic strategy that leverages ADM’s full range of high-quality ingredients for complete sugar reduction success. Using a curated three stage approach, ADM’s formulation team first selects the ideal sweetening solution. Next, the sweetener is paired with the perfect flavor combination, making use of ADM’s portfolio of natural flavors to help enhance desirable notes, while masking more astringent or bitter tastes. Finally, the team may add an enabling ingredient such as Fibersol to provide vital functional benefits, from enhanced mouthfeel, to improved structure and even added nutritional value.

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ADM’s high-quality sweetening solutions include its next generation stevia leaf extract, SweetRight Edge2​. Delivering 15% more sweetness than other steviol glycosides, SweetRight Edge provides a clean, delicious flavor as well as consumer-friendly clean-label positioning. Thanks to a new extraction and purification process, it also maximizes the glycosides that taste the best while minimizing those with less desirable attributes, such as bitterness and licorice off-notes.

Stevia leaves can also be used to create well-balanced beverages with a light, sweet flavor. ADM’s new Greentea-Stevia Blend, for example is specially formulated to provide the perfect base for chilled tea drinks, offering a balanced taste that blends the natural sweetness of the stevia plant with the authentic flavor of high-quality tea as a clean label solution.

Gain the edge you need to win with consumers

From beverages to cakes, confectionery and everything in between, ADM offers the ingredients expertise, formulation know-how and in-depth industry knowledge to ensure you achieve sugar reduction success, every time. With decades of experience and an unparalleled portfolio of quality solutions, ADM is the perfect partner for producers looking to navigate ever-changing consumer trends, regulatory requirements and shifts in the supply chain successfully. To learn more about how ADM can help you create the delicious, low-sugar and clean label products consumers crave, visit our sweetening solutions page ​or contact ADM’s team of formulation experts via uryyb-ahgevgvba@nqz.pbz​.

[1] Innova Market Insights, Consumer Lifestyle and Attitudes Survey 2018

[2] SweetRight™ Edge is currently available only in North America.  

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