EFSA backing of a blood glucose lowering health claim for fructose products spells good business prospects, Israeli supplier of the ingredient Galam Group has said.
Galam, which has set the issue for its agenda at the upcoming Food Ingredients Europe event, says it expects a surge in sales from January 2 when the EU ruling comes into effect and that it has already seen a shift in industry focus.
Sharon Galperin, corporate marketing manager at the company, told NutraIngredients: “There is a big trend and surge for reduced sugar. The industry is looking for a solution with the same taste.”
EFSA backed claims
In June this year the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) ruled that manufacturers who substitute at least 30% of glucose or sucrose with fructose can now claim that: “Consumption of foods containing fructose leads to a lower blood glucose rise compared to foods containing sucrose or glucose.”
The company called the EFSA decision a “game changing step” which has focused the industry’s attention on the opportunities presented by incorporating non-GMO crystalline fructose into different food and beverage products.
It said that doing so at the 30% level required in order to make such claims is perfectly feasible for manufacturers, claiming the fructose ingredient is 1.3 to 1.7 times sweeter than ordinary sugar, depending on temperature, pH and application, and therefore does not compromise taste.
Sweet alternatives and combinations
Galam’s fructose product branded Fruitose is derived from sugar - sugar beet or sugar cane. Regular sugar (sucrose) is a combination of glucose and fructose, whereas these kinds of sweetener alternatives extrapolate the fructose element as an ingredient in itself.
“Fructose’s ability to emphasize fruity flavours also makes the news particularly favourable for manufacturers of beverages, fruit preparations, fruit flavoured ice-cream, yoghurts and more,” the company said.
Galam also offers customised sweeteners through its product HiSweet whereby sugar alternatives like fructose can be combined with others like stevia.
Discussing the increasingly popular sweetener stevia, Galperin told NutraIngredients: “Stevia is excellent ingredient due to its high sweetness potency and natural origin – thus it may perfectly answer the food and beverage industy’s need to launch reduced sugar products with no artificial sweeteners."
"However, due to its characteristics, formulating with stevia is challenging: Adjusting the sweetness profile to that of sugar, reducing bitterness and lingering effect in high stevia concentrations, replacing the sugar bulk in formulations," she said. "Formulation is taste/flavour specific, and highly depends on the composition of the product. In many cases stevia sweeteners can not be used as a sole sweetening ingredient, and application will require use of bulk sweeteners such as sucrose or fructose and also masking and flavoring agents."
Galam is based in Israel with sweetening blending facilities through EuroSweet Germany, Galam Iberia in Spain and VUC in the Czech Republic. The company offers liquid fructose, liquid sugars and custom sweetening blends.