April 2009 Sweetener Round-Up

March 30, 2009
April's ingredient round-up focuses on sweeteners.

First on the shelves
SweetLeaf sweetener is a stevia-based formulation that has achieved GRAS status, enabling it to expand beyond the dietary supplements market and compete with sugar and other sweetening alternatives. It is made from the naturally sweet stevia plant, native to Paraguay, which is 30 times sweeter than sugar. The product has long been used in the U.S. as a dietary supplement and nutritional additive and can be used in beverages, cooking, baking and anywhere sugar might be used. 
Wisdom Natural Brands; Gilbert Ariz.

Less sugar, same sweetness
Scientists working at the molecular level are discovering new ways to engineer how taste receptors respond to flavors. New taste amplification technology holds the potential to make snack foods and soft drinks taste far sweeter than they normally would, considering the amount of sugar they contain, without using artificial sweeteners. The research programs, which aim to reduce the amount of sugar content by 30-40 percent without affecting a product’s sweet taste, are driven by consumer health concerns as well as the rising cost of sugar cane and corn (the main sources of natural sweeteners).
Redpoint Bio; Ewing, N.J.

Pure stevia
A new 100% natural, zero calorie sweetener called Stevia Extract In The Raw is 99 percent pure, meaning the previous licorice-like aftertaste associated with its predecessors has all but been eliminated. Unlike some competitors, this product doesn’t add other sweeteners such as erythritol (a sugar alcohol) and isomaltulose (a simple sugar).
Cumberland Packing Corp.; Brooklyn, N.Y.

Stevia blends
Steviva Brands has offered stevia-based products for more than a decade. The latest of these is Fructevia, an all-natural proprietary blend of fructose (natural sugar), fruit fiber, stevia rebaudiana and magnesium carbonate. This product does not affect blood sugar levels the way refined sugar (sucrose) does, making it safe for use by those facing type I and type II diabetes restrictions. Low-carb and low-glycemic dieters and people suffering from hypoglycemia are also to enjoy its many benefits with zero risks to their health. Other brands from the company are an all-natural Stevia Powder and Steviva Blend, which is stevia blended with erythritol.
Steviva Brands Inc.; Portland, Ore.

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