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Trehalose has been produced and consumed in increasing amounts in
The ingredient is produced by Hayashibara's patented enzyme process from corn starch and is marketed in North and
Trehalose has been used for decades in pharmaceutical and specialty applications at relatively high ingredient cost. Hayashibara's breakthrough manufacturing process from cornstarch, using two special enzymes, has enabled trehalose to be economical for the global food industry in a wide range of applications.
While the current label trumpets Splenda sucralose, there also is Tagatose in Pasco's Light & Tasty juices. The next generation of packaging will also carry the Giao brand name as Tagatose and it's health benefits will be recognized.
Trehalose is two glucose molecules linked together (in an alpha-alpha 1-1 linkage) in such a way that they do not expose reducing ends. That structure is novel: The lack of reducing ends makes it a non-reducing sugar. This means it can be used to stabilize amino acids without triggering a Maillard reaction, even in acidic foods.
It is a disaccharide, completely metabolized to glucose molecules and is absorbed in the small intestine. However, unlike glucose, it elicits a low insulin response and is metabolized slowly, providing energy over a sustained period and stabilizing blood sugar over a long period of time. While the insulin response is low, the glucose response is normal.
Trehalose is about 45 percent as sweet as sucrose, but with an extremely clean, mild flavor profile. It has a high glass transition temperature, and protects proteins during freeze-thaw cycles. This property is integral to its function in various food systems, including processed meat, poultry, frozen fish and surimi.
Trehalose has been introduced in a sports beverage called Accelerade by Pacific Health Laboratories,
Feeling your oats
A third sweetener, quite new, is described as a functional syrup made from oats or waxy barley, grains that contain a significant amount of beta glucan. The sweetener, Oatscreme, is manufactured by American Oats,
Oatscreme is made from grain, using a combination of enzymes to convert a slurry to the level of sweetness needed. Most of the sweetness comes from glucose, but the other saccharides are larger, which provides more viscosity and texture to frozen desserts.
The flavor of the syrup is exceptionally bland, and "it tastes a lot better than it ought to" given the components, says inventor Paul Whalen. "It has a nice, balanced flavor and great mouthfeel."
The syrup, made just before it is used in Oatscreme frozen dessert, contains about 33 percent solids, a little more than 2 percent protein, about 1.1 percent fat, and about a gram of dietary fiber per 85-gram serving. Caloric content of Oatscreme is about 130 calories per 85 grams. Oatscreme contains no added fat, sugar, or other ingredients except for flavors. The syrup is simply aerated and frozen.
Currently, the oat-based syrup would have to be refrigerated during shipment if it were to be used as an ingredient by other companies.
High-impact sweeteners currently on the market are used to advantage with some of these low-impact, functional sweeteners. In fact, in some cases, the combination of high- and low-impact sweeteners is the key to product success.
There are sweeteners on the drawing board and new ones coming on the market all the time , as well as new food products that are crying out for sweeteners with certain functionalities. It's a sweet science, but not entirely about being sweet.
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