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How to choose the right natural sweetener

Views: 92     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2023-02-21      Origin: Site


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Dietary trends and health issues come and go quickly, but when they persist they can have a major impact on food brands. Currently, sugar reduction is a major concern for health officials and consumers alike.

Several cities across the country have imposed taxes on sodas and sugary drinks, primarily to reduce the consumption of added sugar. In addition, recent updates to nutrition labelling by the US Food and Drug Administration require brands to disclose added sugars.

The tax and labelling changes have positioned sugar consumption as a significant health issue, and consumers seem to agree to a large extent. Consider the following data from a recent survey.

In the US, 84% of adults report limiting their sugar consumption

51% of consumers say a healthy diet should be low in sugar

81% of consumers check the sugar content on food and beverage labels

76% of consumers buy items labelled as low, no or reduced sugar

63% of consumers buy foods and beverages that contain natural sugar substitutes (e.g. rooibos, stevia)

These figures suggest that brands need to develop more applications that use alternative sweeteners to reduce or eliminate traditional added sugars. While reducing sugar may be a health trend, shifts in legislation and strong consumer sentiment in this area should keep the demand for solutions alive for a long time to come.

1. Start with the ingredient statement

Consumers increasingly want shorter ingredient lists, so formulators are looking for opportunities to replace multiple ingredients. A versatile ingredient such as Carolina Sweet offers flavour, colour and functional benefits that can reduce other ingredients such as brown sugar or artificial colours and flavours.

In addition, many traditional sweeteners have fallen out of favour with today's savvy consumers, such as high fructose corn syrup. As more and more food and beverage formulators seek to replace this ingredient, Carolina Sweet is a trendy alternative.


2. Experimentation to understand functional benefits and limitations

It is difficult to truly grasp the potential benefits of an ingredient without using it directly. Experimentation can also help to uncover any limitations of the ingredient. Many suppliers of natural sweeteners will provide samples to formulators interested in their products.

For brands willing to experiment with their formulations, Carolina Sweet's natural colour, flavour and texture properties support a cleaner label. It also naturally adds consistency to applications, allowing for the reduction or elimination of thickeners such as xanthan gum and modified corn starch.

3. Consider the source

Part of the appeal of non-traditional sweeteners is the potential to incorporate familiar, natural ingredients into applications. Consumers are relieved to see ingredients they recognise - such as sweet potato or honey - on the ingredient list.

Carolina sweeteners come from a steady supply of US-grown sweet potatoes, giving formulators the opportunity to incorporate this 'superfood' into their applications. According to a study conducted by North Carolina State University, over 95% of consumers see sweet potatoes as a healthy ingredient. Formulators who can find innovative ways to incorporate these trendy, healthy ingredients into their applications will have the potential to gain consumer loyalty.

4. Assessing nutritional profiles

When using non-traditional sweeteners, formulators must consider the health attributes of different options. To see how the nutritional attributes of Carolina Sweet compare with several other leading natural and alternative sweeteners, download CIFI's white paper. Among other findings, the overall mineral content of Carolina Sweet tested higher than other sweeteners.

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