Nutritional Outlook

Nutritional Outlook, May 2018

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NUTRITIONAL OUTLOOK ■ 19 MAY 2018 SHUTTERSTOCK.COM/ GOVINDJI through traditional leaf extraction, to suf- f ciently increase supply and to do so in a timely manner? Or, will more food and bev- erage makers seek ingredients like Cargill's EverSweet that are produced using alterna- tive methods? Why Reb M and Reb D? First, let's review again why minor glycosides like Reb M and Reb D are so darned desirable. Listen to how ingredient supplier Ingre- dion (Westchester, IL) describes the Beste- via brand of Reb M and Reb D ingredients it supplies. Bestevia Reb M, launched in 2017, "is 300 times sweetener than sugar and of ers a sweet taste experience that is very sugar- like," says Afrouz Naeini, senior marketing manager, sweetness and beverage, Ingredion. "T e clean sweetness, coupled with the lack of bitter aftertaste that is typically associated with stevia sweeteners, enables formulators to replace up to 100% sugar in their product design using a naturally based stevia sweet- ener." (Ingredion distributes the Bestevia line on behalf of the ingredients' developer SweeGen, which is located in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA.) Bestevia Reb D of ers similar benef ts, says Kurt Callaghan, marketing manager, global sweetness innovation, Ingredion. "Reb D has a cleaner taste than traditional stevia sweet- eners, and sensory mapping shows that Reb D has a sweetness time intensity closer to sucrose than other stevia products," he says. Because steviol glycosides like Reb M and Reb D taste more like sugar, formulators can more easily use them to replace a greater amount of sugar—and cut more calories in the process—without negatively impacting product taste. T e glycosides' better taste also reduces the necessity of using taste modulators, points out Katherina Pueller, director, natural sweetener business, Swee- Gen. "By using Bestevia Reb M and Reb D with that clean, sugar-like taste in their ap- plications, formulators save cost on bitter- maskers," Pueller says. And because these glycosides are 200-300 times sweeter than sugar, even "small amounts have a huge im- pact" on sweetening, she says. Benef ts like these are why Reb M and Reb D have come to the fore, say Ingredion and SweeGen. (Last November, the compa- nies jointly announced that Bestevia Reb D received a "no objections" Generally Recog- nized as Safe (GRAS) response from FDA, clearing its use in U.S. foods and beverages.) In order to get consumers to permanently switch to lower-sugar foods and beverages, formulators must ensure that these prod- ucts don't sacrif ce taste. As such, it would not be surprising if companies that are al- ready engaged in formulating with stevia— including CPG giants like T e Coca-Cola Co., Kraft Heinz, Nestlé, Groupe Danone, and PepsiCo—increasingly demand greater supplies of better-tasting steviol glycosides. Starting with the Leaf Currently, suppliers have dif erent ways of producing Reb M and Reb D. Some suppliers start with stevia leaf extraction and further employ the use of enzymes to ref ne taste. Of the Bestevia process, SweeGen's Pueller says, "Our Reb M and Reb D are produced by a proprietary bioconversion process. Start- ing with extracts from the stevia leaf, we use enzymes as processing aids to increase the amount of the preferred, best-tasting compo- nents. Our bioconversion process is unique and enables us to produce Reb M and Reb D in great quantities."

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