Technical Services Manager
When it comes to buying food at the supermarket, taste still remains at the top of American consumers’ shopping lists, according to the International Food Information Council’s 2011 Food & Health Survey. Generation Y consumers (ages 18 -30) in particular, list taste as a food's most important attribute—over price, nutrition, freshness and quality*. Fifty-two percent say they often snack simply for the experience*, which makes them a prime audience for foods that provide comfort and indulgence. They're also willing to pay for what they value, such as a rich-tasting reward at the end of a long day**.
As food technologists, we need to constantly balance trends in the marketplace with tastes that will appeal to consumers. As such, our tool belt still includes nutritive sweeteners like high-fructose corn syrup, sugar and estandar, a Mexican sugar produced from sugar cane – especially for formulating indulgent, great tasting treats.
Nutritive sweeteners provide that superior taste consumers want in their sweet treats.
For instance, high-fructose corn syrup imparts an "early" mild sweetness that gradually subsides, allowing flavors such as fruit, citrus and spice to shine. Its crisp, clean flavor enhances rather than masks, making it a favorite for many applications. In baked goods like chewy cookies, high-fructose corn syrup resists crystallization after baking, enhances moisture control, retards spoilage, and extends product freshness. It has four calories per gram and is processed by the body just like sugar.
Sugar, on the other hand, is ideal for most applications. Cargill is the only U.S. supplier that can source both beets and sugar cane from the United States and Mexico, ensuring your supply chain and competitive pricing.
We also have a Mexican estandar sugar which is less refined than other sugars. It works well in applications with less color and granulation sensitivities such as caramels or chocolate milk. Our mills in Mexico meet strict quality assurance standards. You can be assured our Mexican estandar sugar meets all US food safety requirements.
With all the choices out there for nutritive sweeteners, identifying the best and most cost-effective one for your product can be difficult. If you need help cutting costs while making great-tasting indulgent products, call on Cargill 's technical experts to review your formulations and make recommendations.
This is where we provide so much value beyond that of a traditional food ingredient supplier. Whether it's general advice, reformulations or creating custom sweetener blends just right for your particular application, Cargill can find the sweet spot.
Alan Skradis is a technical services manager at Cargill. He has been with the company for 15 years.
*Source: 2012 HealthFocus US Trend Study
**Source: Trouble in Aisle 5, Jefferies Alix Partners, June 2012