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The World's First Flavor Enhancing Sweetener

June 14, 2023
We sat down with Chuck Nix, founder of Silky Smooth MicroCreamery and the creator of Silky Sweet, a flavor-enhancing, all-natural, sugar-free and ketogenic certified sweetener blend to learn more about his new product.

Necessity is the mother of invention; or at least that’s how the saying goes. For Chuck Nix, the need to create the perfect sweetener for ice cream led him to create SilkySweet, a flavor-enhancing, all-natural, sugar-free and ketogenic certified sweetener blend for a multitude of products.

Nix, who founded Silky Smooth MicroCreamery, transformed his life his few years ago by adopting the ketogenic lifestyle (aka Keto Diet). After losing 100 lbs. “and saving my life,” he says, he recognized the need for a sweetener that was not only healthy, but also enhanced the flavor of the products it was used with.

Nix sat down with Food Processing recently to talk about the SilkySweet product, how it got its start and how it can used in formulations to both enhance taste and enable category leadership. This was our conversation.

Transcript

Food Processing: Chuck, you have a new product on the market, SilkySweet. Can you explain the chemistry behind it?

Chuck Nix: Our desire was to create the world's first flavor enhancing sweetener. We started with non-GMO allulose as the foundation and bulking agent for SilkySweet – it had many advantages over erythritol. Our first goal was to equal the taste of pure cane sugar side by side. We actually exceeded that goal and slightly improved the taste. The clean purity of SilkySweet revealed a tiny flaw in pure cane sugar only detected by super-tasters: a slight rusty note that was traced to giant sugarcane crushing machines in Brazil.

Then we added many ingredients that are very expensive and in tiny parts per million quantities. These ingredients included flavor enhancers, flavor modulators, bitterness/sourness maskers, etc.

We have three base sweeteners: non-GMO allulose for bulk, the highest grade monk fruit extract and an analogue sweetener to stevia. We don't use stevia because we tried it early on and it failed our flavor tests. No matter how pure, no matter if Reb A, Reb C, Reb D, Reb M, etc., all versions and blends of stevia still had residual flavor problems. So we found an alternate, an analogue, and we use that.

FP: Can you tell us more about SilkySweet's origin story? How did you arrive at the idea for this product?

CN: I struggled with weight all my life. And back in the 1990s, I exercised like a madman, ate lowfat like a bird and was still obese at the end of six years of extreme effort. Then I discovered the Atkins Diet, in which the Induction Phase was very low carb/high fat keto. I lost 60 lbs. in 3.5 months with zero exercise. What a shock! But, I couldn’t live without sweets the rest of my life, including my favorite gelato, frozen custard, whole-fruit sorbets and milk chocolate.

I was in the frozen dessert business many years ago and I wanted to bring it back as all natural/organic and all keto. But no sugar-free sweeteners out there met my standard. I went to IFT 2019 with a laser focus to find the perfect all-natural sugar-free sweetener for frozen desserts but couldn't find it. I decided to do it myself.

Adding more background to this, I realized that the reason most people don't stick with their diets is because all current sugar alternatives have huge problems. Either they are artificial, which is not healthy or tasty; they're some version of sugar, such as agave or honey, which of course are very unhealthy for insulin-resistant individuals (70%+ of Americans) in larger quantities; or they're healthy like stevia but they don't taste good and people don't stick with them. The best erythritol and monk fruit blends or even allulose and monk fruit blends cannot compare with pure cane sugar in flavor, texture and mouthfeel. Very few people will tolerate inferior flavor over the long term. Most of them will go back to saying, "I'll just eat less of this or drink less of that."

FP: What products or product categories is SilkySweet ideally suited for?

CN: The low hanging fruit, so to speak, in this market is coffee, tea, cocoa/chocolate, lemon juice (all citrus/berry/fruit flavors) and dairy. Those would be the big five. The trends point toward plant-based proteins, but there are a lot of flavor issues with plant-based “milks” and other substitutes for animal-based ingredients. SilkySweet has been found to be extremely effective in enhancing these flavors, making them much more palatable than any other sweetener out there.

FP: How can SilkySweet help food and beverage processors gain a competitive advantage in their product categories?

CN: Well, it's very simple. Taste wins. And hyper-palatability is the tool that's been used for decades by the big food and beverage manufacturers out there. When they do that for a low price, they gain massive market share. But premium foods and beverages are going to deliver superior taste and health. They're always going to be more expensive. Most people perceive that the healthiest have never been the tastiest. That's all going to change.

Reformulating with SilkySweet enables your best-selling sweetened products to deliver a quantum leap in taste and health, and you will gain large market share over time by being the clear leader in your category. Formulating new products with SilkySweet will enable massive market share capture in a short time assuming the formulations clearly win blind taste tests vs. the best-selling competitors. Keto Cola (ketocola.co) is our first retail product sweetened exclusively with SilkySweet, and it won blind taste tests vs. the Mexican import version of a very popular cane sugar-sweetened, glass bottle cola beverage.

FP: How can listeners learn more about SilkySweet?

CN: They can go to our website, SilkySweet.com, and right now it's set up for wholesale only. It's not set up as a retail website yet. That's coming soon. Right now, we have all the information on SilkySweet there regarding all the health benefits and the ingredients and the three different versions available, which is the intense 1:1, the 8x and the 125-200x, bulk free. Depending on the particular needs of your lab or your formulation, we have a SilkySweet version for everyone. We have a sample ordering form on there to order samples, which we'll be happy to ship out to you. And with those samples, we'll include all the necessary information and documents to know what you're working with.

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