How consumer attitudes have changed towards sugar is one of the most striking international phenomenons seenin recent years.
In the food and drink industry, reducing sugar content, swapping out the white stuff for sweeteners and natural alternatives has become top priority for food innovators and manufacturers the world over and across countless applications.
Swapping in natural ingredients to sweeten up a product fits in nicely with the booming clean label trend – and what better way to do this than using fruit when sweetening up using monk fruit.
Stevia may be a leader in the natural sweetening space, but it’s becoming increasingly common for food innovators to use monk fruit for instance.
One company on this track is Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM). It has brought two new sweetener brands, SweetRight stevia and VerySweet monk fruit, to the market.
These two new additions to the ADM portfolio, sourced through ADM’s partnership with GLG Life Tech Corporation, offer food and beverage product developers all the benefits of stevia and monk fruit, as well as access to ADM’s extensive ingredient portfolio, formulations expertise and blending capabilities.
ADM’s global distribution network provides the added assurance that these ingredients are readily available.
As consumers continue to look for great-tasting, healthier, lower-calorie products, the company strives to meet formulator’s needs by offering a range of sweetener solutions that help them meet consumer demand.
This expansion of its high-potency sweetener portfolio will help meet the ever-growing demand for natural, lower calorie, ‘no added sugars’ foods and beverages. ADM is clearly committed to providing food and beverage formulators with ideas and solutions to address the taste, cost, calories and labeling preferences of today’s consumers.
As a matter of fact, new launches of products using monk fruit as a natural sweetener have risen 3 percent from 2015 to 2016 in the juice and juice drinks category.
Recent innovations with monk fruit include a wide range of Chobani yogurt products in the US, including Simply 100 Blended Non-Fat Greek Yogurt Raspberry Lemon, which contains both stevia and monk fruit. The products contain a “no artificial sweeteners” sweeteners claim and are noted to contain “75 percent less sugar than regular yogurt.”
Stevia and monk fruit are very different from a farming point of view. They require completely different agricultural production approaches, so the costs are not really directly comparable.
Stevia is grown globally with limited issues, but climate, temperature and soil conditions can all impact stevia farm gate yields. Monk fruit has a fairly limited growing area. It’s currently only grown in Southeastern China.
Recent research shows that the British are turning to fresh fruit to curb their sugar cravings, while earlier this month a US study also revealed how half of Americans are trying to reduce the amount of sugar they eat.
According to a survey, 48 percent of Americans said they are trying to cut down on sugar, while the findings showed that reducing sugar consumption was the leading dietary habit change.
Furthermore, eating sugar during pregnancy was also linked to children’s allergies, according to study in the European Respiratory Journal recently.
The study examined data from almost 9,000 mothers-to-be during the early 1990s and then looked at the data from their children at age seven who were then tested for common allergies including dust mites, cats and grass as well as asthma.
The pregnant women have already given information about their diets and specific foods and beverages and this was used to calculate their intake of added sugar.
The research showed a link between a diagnosis of allergic asthma, where the asthma is triggered by inhaling allergens, and is commonly accompanied by a positive skin test for allergies.
Mothers who came out in the top fifth for added sugar intake during their pregnancies were twice as likely to have children diagnosed with allergic asthma compared against the children of mothers who had a much less sugar intake during their pregnancy, according to the study.
(By our own staff)