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Crystalline tagatose is nearly as sweet as table sugar (92 percent as sweet as sucrose when presented in a 10 percent solution) but with a faster flavor onset, more like fructose. It is about 62 percent soluble in water at room temperature. Only about 25 percent of the product is absorbed, and the remaining 75 percent can produce the same laxation effects of other nonabsorbed products if used in high concentrations.
Spherix has licensed the product to Arla Foods of Denmark for sales in the food industry. Spherix retained the marketing rights for nonfood applications and has introduced its Naturex brand of tagatose for toothpaste, mouthwash and pharmaceuticals.
The product for the food industry is made in
It's recommended for use in cereals, desserts and other products that can use the functional characteristics to advantage. In addition to its low rate of metabolism, tagatose has a low glass transition temperature, low caramelization temperature and high melting point (134 degrees; C). Unlike glucose, it is not hydroscopic at 75 percent relative humidity and 30 degrees; C. It is stable at a fairly wide range of pH. Research in
One of tagatose's most successful uses in the
Because of its reduced level of carbohydrate metabolism, the sweetener can be used in products for low or no-carb diets. It is a good supporting ingredient for high-intensity sweeteners, improving the flavor profile and eliminating any chemical flavors. Because of the reducing power of tagatose, it is best used in foods that are low in protein, processed at low temperatures or use the low caramelization temperatures to advantage --in confections such as chocolate, caramels, ice cream, cereal, and meal replacements.
Pacific Health Laboratories chose trehalose for a sports beverage called Accelerade because the sweetener has low insulin response and is slowly metabolized to provide long-term energy.
One such product is produced by Pasco Beverages,
The current front label trumpets Sucralose, but the next generation of packaging will also carry the Gaio name for tagatose. "Splenda is a good sweetener and it's neutral -- it has no negatives associated with it, like some other sweeteners. But consumers do recognize the name," says Rich McClelland, director of marketing for
"I get some calls from people who know about tagatose and its health benefits, but there hasn't been a lot of discussion in the popular press," he continues. "When people learn about it, you see the possibilities. We introduced the Light and Tasty line last January, so it's too soon to track its progress in the market."
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