When Sugar Reduction Also Means Cost Reduction

When Sugar Reduction Also Means Cost Reduction

How current market volatility and rising sugar prices are boosting stevia as a solution not just for sugar reduction targets, but cost savings too

Rapidly rising sugar prices, consumer demand for natural alternatives, and never-ending supply chain woes… the list goes on.

In short, the food & beverage industry is exploring more-natural, less-sugary pastures for its consumers — leading to a sugar-replacement revolution.

Bloomberg reports:

  • Sugar prices are at a six-year high, and not expected to improve
  • The global sugar supply & demand gap is widening, reducing the stock-to-use ratio
  • India, Pakistan & others introduced sugar export restrictions

Moreover, high oil prices have led to competition for the output from the sugar sector, as economies are likely to use more cane sugar toward producing ethanol — further reducing the sugar supply.

Food and beverage manufacturers worldwide are feeling the squeeze in production costs, which contribute to the inflationary pressures on consumers.

Bottom line: Manufacturers are seeking cost-friendly alternatives. Consumers are seeking natural, low-sugar solutions. Research and development teams across all industries are actively searching for new solutions to meet these demands, all the while still maintaining the integrity of their products’ taste.

In these challenging times, stevia, a popular natural sugar alternative, has emerged as a promising solution.

Thanks to decades of agricultural science advancements and improvements in steviol glycoside yield levels, the global supply of stevia is healthy and cost-effective. Contrary to some reports of an industry shortage, the overall supply of stevia is at its lowest price point since it arrived on the global stage over a decade ago.

To help address this time of economic uncertainty and volatility, HOWTIAN is pleased to announce some welcome news for the industry and our manufacturing customers. Effective immediately, we are implementing another significant price reduction for SoPure™ Stevia Reb A 97, our most popular stevia product.

HOWTIAN’s industry-high yield has been instrumental in this rapid progress toward reducing product costs. Additionally, our commitment to sustainability provides further compelling reason for manufacturers to choose our stevia, as our newest stevia variants require less land, water and energy to produce.

HOWTIAN’s commitment to innovation and our customers’ needs will undoubtedly contribute to the continued growth and success of the sugar replacement revolution in these turbulent times. Throughout the years, the company has seen a wealth of success in transitioning popular products to delicious, cost-effective alternatives. The new and improved pricing will only accelerate the pace of these sugar reduction success stories.

To illustrate the reduced pricing in action, below is an example of a formulation for a ready-to-drink beverage application, and the 37 to 40 percent cost savings yielded with different sugar reduction scenarios.

IngredientsFull Sugar50% Reduced Sugar (+RA97)50% Reduced Sugar Improved Taste (+Andromeda)
Dosage (g)Dosage (g)Dosage (g)
Unsweetened Lemonade Powder0.370.370.37
SoPure™ Stevia – Reb A 970.02
SoPure™ Stevia – Andromeda0.018
Total (g)100100100
Cost Savings (%)40.48%37.14%
Note: Sugar cost is estimated and may be different in various countries.

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HOWTIAN welcomes the world’s increasing demand for sugar alternatives and offers a wide range of readily adaptable solutions for a comprehensive variety of applications.

To learn more, please get in touch with one of our representatives.

Formulating Cake Pops: Reducing Sugar in Bite-Sized Baked Goods

Formulating Cake Pops: Reducing Sugar in Bite-Sized Baked Goods

The “cake pop” started out as a sweet alternative to cutting cake by the slice, in Angie Dudley’s home kitchen in Atlanta, Georgia. However, these trendy lollipop cakes smothered in icing are now staples in almost every bakery and Starbucks worldwide. Which begs the question… “Wouldn’t it be great if we could reduce sugar without sacrificing their tasty flavor?”

Since 2015, the cake pop industry has seen a meteoric rise, gaining so much momentum that it’s fueled countless businesses, food trucks, and even national cake pop conferences. According to Data Bridge Market Research, the cake pops market is projected to reach a market value of USD $250 million by 2029.

Source: Data Bridge Market Research Market Analysis Study 2022

The Rising Popularity of Cake Pops For Health Reasons

Due to the convenience of these cake bites and their naturally “healthier” portion size, Data Bridge Market Research projects the cake pop market to grow at a CAGR of nearly 3% during the next 6 years.

Market research firm Technavio attributes a great deal of cake pops’ popularity to the prominence and rise of in-store bakeries in 2018. These in-store bakeries offered a “one-stop-shop” experience, giving a platform to cake pops and more portable bakery products. Their market study shows that alongside cake pop’s surge in popularity is also a congruent rise in demand for “healthier snack variants.”

While cake pops may be a “healthier” alternative to a full slice of cake, portion control is just the beginning of creating a “better for you” product. Also critical is reducing their sugar content. In line with shifting preferences towards healthier sweets, there has been a strong and steady growth in the use of natural sweeteners like stevia, erythritol and monk fruit. Innova Market Insights reports that global product launches with such sweeteners have been on the rise for more than a decade.

Source: Innova Market Insights, 2023

Among these natural alternatives, stevia is by far the most popular with 63% of product launches using natural non-nutritive sweeteners in 2022.

Source: Innova Market Insights, 2023

There is a wide array of natural sweetener solutions on the market that can replace the onset sweetness of consumers’ beloved cake pops, but achieving the optimal formulations for these sweet confections can be rather nuanced.

Solving the Challenges of Sweetening Cake Pops

In our global markets, granular sugar can be replaced with our stevia and erythritol mix (Stevia:Erythritol 1x). This product is co-processed for uniformity so that the fine powdered stevia doesn’t separate from the large erythritol crystals during shipping or processing. The taste and binding properties are a perfect match to the sugar that it replaces.

But whether or not that first bite tastes just as delicious as the popular, sugary cake pop recipes, the challenge may lie in preconceived notions when creating a sugar-free alternative.

VP of Market Strategy, Tom Fuzer, recently addressed some consumers’ outdated perceptions of stevia:

“When Reb A was first introduced, the industry rushed to market with products that featured stevia but neglected to optimize for its taste profile. Formulations with high use of levels of Reb A, particularly the low purity grades, created bitterness, aftertaste and other off-notes that consumers now continue to associate with stevia. Since then, improvements in the taste of stevia have come a long way. In the past five years, minor glycosides such as Reb D and Reb M have been commercialized and taste much better than Reb A,” Fuzer said.

As a result, the natural sweeteners industry had to take a look at reformulating with these better-tasting glycosides, particularly in sugar-free formulas for baked goods.

In the U.S. market, our DGS sweetener series could also be used as 1:1 drop-in sugar replacements. In particular, our E100 and F100 blends are suitable for baking applications like cake pops.

DGS E100, which is a mixture of erythritol, allulose, stevia leaf extract, and natural flavor, works well in the inside cake portion as it’s more effective in binding the dough together. It’s important to note that the usage of binding agents helps hold all the ingredients in a formulation together so it is not too crumbly, playing a big role in contributing to the texture you know and expect in a baked good. When using E100 in the batter for cake pops, E100 will tend to be more firm compared to the “crumbly” baking applications with F100.

Our F100 baking product, which is a mixture of allulose, soluble fiber, stevia leaf extract, and natural flavor, is great for coating the cake with a delicious white chocolate coating. F100 has 31% fiber, adding a positive nutritional element as many US consumers lack sufficient fiber in their daily diets. It works best in baked food applications that benefit from having browning or spread, since it contains more allulose than E100.

“Allulose behaves similar to sugar in that it undergoes Maillard browning, which is the reaction of heat with sugar to produce a brown color and taste. Allulose however reacts faster than sugar so baking conditions may need to be modified to get the same color,” states HOWTIAN Technical Director, Hank Wang.

Luckily, both allulose and erythritol work exceedingly well with stevia. In fact, they combine to better replicate the sweetness intensity and timing of sugar’s taste profile — with stevia producing the greater intensity while allulose and erythritol offer the more immediate sweetness. Additionally, they both complement stevia well because they can act as bulking agents that make up for the missing volume from reducing or replacing sugar in cake pops.

Product Demo: Our Stevia Formulation for Cake Pops

To illustrate these sugar reduction techniques in action, HOWTIAN was able to replace all the added granular sugar in a traditional cake pop recipe with our stevia-based sugar replacers. Based on HOWTIAN’s demonstration and product sampling at industry events like Supply Side West, taste testers couldn’t tell there was any sugar reduction — and the results really showed as our cake pops were flying off the trays.

To experiment with your own cake pop formulation, you can start with our recommended formulas below.

Red Velvet Cake Pops

Red Velvet Cake Pops (66% Reduced Sugar)
White Chocolate Chips22.82
DGS E100 Sugar Replacer or Stevia:Erythritol 1x13.45
Whole Milk10.62
Cream Cheese8.37
DGS f100 Sugar Replacer or Stevia:Erythritol 1x11.32
Coconut Oil2.75
Corn Starch1.98
Vegetable Oil1.93
Vanilla Extract0.92
Cocoa Powder0.76
Red Food Coloring0.18
Baking Soda0.17

Pumpkin Cheesecake Pops

Pumpkin Cheesecake Pops (66% Reduced Sugar)
White Chocolate Chips22.22
DGS F100 Sugar Replacer or Stevia:Erythritol 1x10.72
Cream Cheese9.25
DGS E100 Sugar Replacer or Stevia:Erythritol 1x6.41
Whole Milk3.84
Vegetable Oil3.49
Graham Crackers3.08
Coconut Oil2.68
Corn Starch1.74
Baking Powder0.32
Vanilla Extract0.26
Baking Soda0.15

Contact Us

If you need help with reformulating for cake pops or baked good products and applications, HOWTIAN engineers are available to help meet your challenges. We can assist in developing a customized strategy for your product(s) with cost-effective solutions and reliable supply. Please contact us to learn more.

Formulating for Keto: The Challenges of Sweetening for this Popular Diet

Formulating for Keto: The Challenges of Sweetening for this Popular Diet

Most diets come and go with the seasons, but one fad diet has only grown in its popularity, even forcing major brand names to hop on the “Keto Diet” bandwagon…

The ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat method that is similar to the less new, yet familiar, Atkins diet. Keto’s appeal, however, is derived from its emphasis on foods that are high in fat like red meat, avocados, cheese, nuts, and a variety of other “taboo” foods not commonly approved by strict diet plans. Keto’s popular approach forces one to drastically reduce their carbohydrate intake — like grains, fruit, and traditional sugars — and replace it with fat to achieve a state of ketosis. In this metabolic state, the body is able to burn fat more efficiently for energy.

Over the past several years, followers of the diet have been able to keep the keto craze going, thanks in part to some of the diets’ reported and studied results, including:

  • Excess fat loss
  • Improved insulin sensitivity
  • Reduced levels of hemoglobin A1C

Food and beverage manufacturers have followed suit. Innova Market Insights reports that keto-friendly food and beverage products peaked in 2020-2021 after its marked inception in 2017, but still continues to experience remarkably strong growth in the number of new launches each year.

Source: Innova Trends Insider 2022, Innova Market Insights

Amongst the various food categories, baked goods are leading the way in adoption of keto. Also according to Innova Marketing Insights, an outstanding 27% of new product launches that mention “keto” fall into the bakery category.

Source: Innova Trends Insider 2022, Innova Market Insights

In addition to baked goods and cereals, sports nutrition also has a 10% stake in keto-friendly product launches. This is in line with reports that 25% of US sports nutrition consumers are seeking out high sources of protein made with real, natural ingredients and low/no/reduced sugar — qualities that perfectly describe what keto dieters are looking for.

Although seemingly ironic at first, in recent years keto-friendly “Sweets” have risen in prominence since the craze began. This includes a variety of categories including soft drinks, snacks, desserts and more. Sweetening a keto-friendly product requires sugar reduction, and replacement with more natural solutions. Companies have shifted their traditional sweetening method in baked goods, cereals and even sports drinks to natural sweeteners like stevia. Stevia’s high intensity sweetness and zero calories allows manufacturers to formulate new “keto” products without sacrificing taste.

Major Brands Shifted to Keto-Friendly Products

The keto craze experienced a meteoric rise with no signs of stopping. So naturally, big-name, diet-plan brands began to shift their focus to keto-friendly product lines. Trusted names like SlimFast and Atkins created these niche products dedicated to their already low-carb dieters, but with more of an emphasis on high-fat intake — in other words, the keto method.

Challenge: Foods High in Carbs & Sugars Are Not Typically Keto-Friendly

The inherent challenge of sweetening keto-friendly products lies in the method’s strict low-carb directive. In fact, most common types of sugary treats and some sugar-free candies are either reduced or otherwise eliminated entirely, according to the keto diet.

Below is a list of common non keto-friendly foods:

  • Sugary Foods: soda, fruit juice, smoothies, cake, ice cream, candy, etc.
  • Grains or Starches: wheat-based products, rice, pasta, cereal, etc.
  • Fruit: all fruit, except small portions of berries like strawberries
  • Beans or Legumes: peas, kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, etc.
  • Root Vegetables & Tubers: potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, etc.
  • Low-Fat or Diet Products: low-fat mayonnaise, salad dress, condiments
  • Some Condiments or Sauces: barbecue sauce, honey mustard, teriyaki sauce, ketchup, etc.
  • Unhealthy Fats: processed vegetable oils, mayonnaise, etc.
  • Alcohol: beer, wine, liquor, mixed drinks
  • Some Sugar-Free Diet Foods: sugar-free candies, syrups, puddings, sweeteners, desserts, etc.

How to Formulate Keto Products

Formulating for keto products will typically follow a simple, low net-carb calculation. If a product has 10 grams of total carbs, certain carbohydrates that the keto diet permits will be netted out from the calculation. Below is an example of how we may reduce the 10 grams of carbs:

  • 4 grams of fiber
  • 2 grams of allulose
  • 3 grams of sugar alcohol

When subtracting these keto-friendly ingredients, your resulting net carbs in this case would equal only 1 gram. Stevia is a recommended and particularly popular sweetener for keto, but ingredients like allulose and fibers like resistant dextrin, inulin, and certain oligosaccharides may be considered as well. Note that when formulating with fibers, they aren’t as readily digestible so you’ll want to stay below 10 to 15 grams per dosage.

So, What’s Our Solution?

Replace Traditional Sugars With Stevia:
Lowers Your Carbs, Calories & Sugars

Keto formulas typically try to reduce the sugar as much as possible. So if you have no other sweeteners in your formula, a good starting stevia to use for significant sugar reduction is Reb D. It is lower cost than Reb M and very close in overall taste. Unless your product needs to be crystal clear, Reb D would be a great choice. A lower cost option would be to use Reb A 98 at the highest level possible and then top off with Reb D. This would be a good option if you have other sweeteners in your product, too.

As an example, in a beverage you may start with 360ppm of Reb A 98 and adjust the use level up or down depending on the desired taste. Our testing has found that 360ppm of Reb A 98 can replace 6-7 sucrose equivalents and not have many off-notes. However, if you want to match the taste profile of full sugar very closely, a use level of ~200ppm can replace about 5 sucrose equivalents.

Visit a HOWTIAN exhibition at an upcoming industry event to experience our keto solutions in action.

In addition to our line of stevia extracts, HOWTIAN offers a variety of solutions for food & beverage manufacturers developing keto-friendly products. Our DGS sweetener blends utilize a mix of replacement carbs that would be netted out in a true ketogenic formula. HOWTIAN’s DGS series is an ideal drop-in solution for a 1:1 replacement of sugar in most applications that require bulking.

Alternatively, allulose is a rare sugar approved in select countries and exempted from the sugar labels in countries like the U.S. and Mexico. Similar to allulose, erythritol is a favorite low-calorie sweetener choice for many food & beverage makers as it provides a sweetness level that can largely replicate sugar and that is higher than that of allulose. Both act as strong complements to stevia, and can be coupled to develop optimized sugar replacement solutions for different applications, especially when bulking agents are required. Maltitol, xylitol and sorbitol are additional options to consider, as well. In cases where bulking is not a need, stevia will be your sweetener of choice for formulating keto-friendly products.

Sample Formula: Our New Keto-Friendly Sugar Cookies

As an illustration of sugar reduction in action for keto, we developed a formulation for sugar cookies with our keto-friendly DGS sweetener blends:

Full SugarNo Sugar Added
Flour, All-Purpose42.3842.38
Baking Powder0.360.36
Butter, Unsalted25.6425.64
Sugar, Granulated22.62
Egg, Large7.547.54
Vanilla Extract1.271.27
HOWTIAN DGS Series22.67

Contact Us

If you need help with reformulating for a keto-friendly product or application, HOWTIAN application engineers are available to help meet your challenges. We can assist in developing a customized keto-friendly strategy for your product(s) with cost-effective solutions and reliable supply. Please contact us to learn more.

Formulating with Stevia in Candy and Confections

Formulating with Stevia in Candy and Confections

As health concerns mount over children’s diets and their sugar intake, stevia is taking a lead role in sugar reduction efforts for confectionery products

Sugary products can have an irresistible charm with children, but rising trends in tooth decay, weight gain, and chronic metabolic diseases such as diabetes have been alarming many parents and consumers. So it’s no surprise that food manufacturers have been looking at ways to reduce sugar in candies and snack foods marketed towards children. In addition, the issue has certainly caught the attention of policymakers, who have proposed regulations such as restricting the sale of sugary drinks and snacks in primary and secondary schools as well as other childcare institutions. Similarly, canteens and cafeterias are implementing measures to reduce the amount of sugar in lunches and meals provided by schools.

Reducing sugar is a top concern for consumers

The concerns around children’s diets is part of a larger trend — consumers of all ages are taking greater care with managing sugar in their diets. This need for health-promoting ingredients and nutritional foods is changing the face of product innovation for the confectionery industry in particular. In recent years, many of the newest product launches in confections have embraced the use of sugar substitutes such as stevia. As confectionery manufacturers are pressured and compelled to innovate, they’re finding however that reducing the need for added sugars in such products can come with some formulation challenges.

The challenge of reducing sugar in candy

When reformulating a candy product for sugar reduction, the two most important considerations are replicating the sweetness profile of sugar and bulking the candy back to its original size. For both these considerations, the use of sugar substitutes is needed. Natural plant sources, such as stevia and monk fruit, or artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, acesulfame potassium, or sucralose, can be used. Common bulking agents that are used with plant-based sources include erythritol, allulose, fiber, and maltodextrin. Artificial bulking agents include maltitol, xylitol, sorbitol, and polydextrose. Among such a wide array of sweetener options, stevia has garnered significant attention because it is natural, has zero calories, and can be 200 – 450 times sweeter than sugar. As a result, more and more candy products containing stevia have been launching in the marketplace.

In addition to replicating sweetness levels, a common challenge with reducing sugar in confectionery is retaining the texture, flavor, taste, and other properties of the candy’s formula. For example, in a traditional gummy candy, sugar plays a number of roles beyond its sweetness. It increases the volume of the candy, creates a soft texture, and also positively affects the chew time of the candy. If you merely replace the sugar content, many of the qualities of that candy would change with it.

Case Study: Formulating with stevia in a nougat

Recently, HOWTIAN’s comprehensive sugar reduction program with stevia helped Zero Sense Labs successfully launch a sugar-free nougat series of candies. This nougat comes in 4 flavors — matcha, date, sesame, and strawberry.

Ingredients: Maltitol, freeze-dried strawberry granules, whole milk powder, strawberry powder, inulin, butter, egg white, stevia extract
Image is copyrighted by Zero Sense Labs

The nougats carry a product label with low calorie, no added sugar, and low glycemic index claims. The candy line was able to achieve these claims by utilizing our SoPure Stevia specialty blend called Pegasus II, which contains minor glycosides that taste better than typical Reb A (see our previous edition of Formulas For Success to learn more about formulating with our SoPure Stevia specialty blends). To complement and supplement stevia in the formula, additional sweetness and bulking is provided by maltitol and inulin. This combination provides the texture and chewiness that is typically desired in a nougat.

Formulating with Maltitol

Maltitol is one of the most commonly used sugar alcohols in food and is about 70% as sweet as sugar. It has about half the calories of sugar and provides many similar properties. Since some maltitol is digested, the gastrointestinal effect isn’t as extreme when compared to other sugar alcohols. An average person may be okay with up to 40g in a serving before experiencing digestive discomfort. It is, however, produced by the hydrogenation of starch, which would then be considered an artificial sweetener.

Formulating with Inulin

Inulin is a fiber and is about 30% as sweet as sugar. However, inulin is currently in short supply so it may be prudent to ensure you’ve secured a stable supplier before committing to this ingredient in your formulation. The most common form of inulin is made from chicory root and a second is derived from Jerusalem artichoke. Since it is a fiber, ingesting above about 10g in a dose may cause digestive distress. Inulin does provide some browning and helps with digestion, when not consumed at too high of a level. The calories for inulin are about 1.5 per gram, so they are a little lower than maltitol.

Formulating with Trehalose

Before its reformulation, the nougat confection was sweetened using trehalose, which is a rare sugar that is about 25-45% as sweet as sugar. However, trehalose hardens over the shelf life of the product. It can change the chewy and sticky texture you want in a nougat to a more brittle consistency which may cause the candy to crack.

Trehalose is typically produced enzymatically from corn starch and naturally occurs in mushrooms, crustaceans, sunflower seeds, and breads at low levels. It currently counts as a sugar and can be labelled as a natural flavor at low use levels in countries that follow FEMA. For example, in beverages, these use levels can be under 3.5% per the guidance from FEMA 4600.

Trehalose doesn’t brown when baked and is stable at high temperatures and acidic conditions. While it doesn’t work as well in this nougat or a taffy application, it could be utilized used in other candy formulas or many formulas in need of sugar replacement.

Contact Us

If you need help with reformulating for a sugar reduction or replacement, HOWTIAN application engineers are available to help meet your sugar reduction challenges. We can assist in developing a customized sugar reduction strategy for your product(s) with cost-effective solutions and reliable supply. Please contact us to learn more.

Blending Steviol Glycosides for Optimal Sugar Reduction

Blending Steviol Glycosides for Optimal Sugar Reduction

New additions to SoPure™ Specialties collection of stevia blends offers even more options for reducing or replacing sugar

Sometimes using just stevia Reb A or Reb M alone can limit your options when trying to achieve the perfect sugar reduction formula. To expand these options, over the years our formulation experts have developed proprietary blends of steviol glycosides called “Specialties” for a wide variety of sugar reduction applications. This collection of SoPure Specialties includes more classic blends like Andromeda (optimal for moderate sugar reduction), Crest V (ideal for high sugar reduction), and Pinnacle (best for sugar-free applications). To accompany these blends, we’ve recently introduced new additions to the SoPure Specialties collection — Andromeda II, Andromeda III and Pegasus. As with all our SoPure Specialties, these blends feature unique taste profiles and sweetness intensity levels, and can be used individually or stacked on top of traditional stevia formulations. They are particularly handy in addressing common stevia formulation challenges, such as lingering aftertastes or off-notes when sugar reduction levels are high, and optimizing for solubility levels.

Stevia Blends for Higher Solubility

In applications where stevia needs to be concentrated during production, such as with carbonated beverage products, new blends Andromeda III and Pegasus are good options to consider for greater sugar reduction. These SoPure Specialties are made with a unique and proprietary method to attain a 2% solubility in water for at least four months — significantly higher and longer than traditional stevia. In some cases, more typical stevia products may be able to achieve high solubility in the short term, particularly with help of higher temperatures and shear. But once stevia is processed to a highly crystallized state, it tends to want to stay in crystallized form. As a result, over the shelf life of the product, traditional stevia will typically crystallize to the bottom in solution. Our unique processing method for Andromeda III and Pegasus prevents such crystallization and maintains a clear solution over a longer shelf life.

Stevia Blends for Higher Sugar Reduction

Andromeda has always been one of our most popular blends from the SoPure Specialties collection. But for those familiar with Andromeda, you may want to consider the newer Andromeda III for increased sweetness and improved overall taste (at only a marginal increase in cost). Our testing with Andromeda III in water showed that its usage can be increased by as much as 100ppm for additional sweetness. In product applications that include acid (i.e. citric acid, lactic acid), a use level of even 725ppm was acceptable for taste as it cuts off the linger of stevia.

In the case of formulating for entirely sugar-free applications, Pegasus is our recommended blend as the use level is typically higher than Andromeda III and it has a cleaner taste. To help launch Pegasus, we showcased the blend in our product demos and exhibitions at many recent tradeshows — much to our pleasure, it was received with consistent and universal compliments for its clean taste profile.

Stacking Stevia Blends onto Current Stevia Products

Another new addition to our SoPure Specialties portfolio, Andromeda II features a unique blend of glycosides that makes it uniquely compatible for stacking on top of most premium stevia products. It is particularly ideal for formulators looking to increase the total sweetness of an existing stevia application. Sweetness curves for individual glycosides start to plateau out at higher usage levels, where more stevia stops producing more sweetness. Andromeda II is optimized to be applied at such usage levels and still increase overall sweetness because it’s comprised of glycosides that aren’t in most of the premium blends. As an added bonus, the low cost of Andromeda II makes it a great way to lower a product’s overall cost.

Stacking Stevia Blends with Other Sweeteners for Value

Stacking sweeteners together is a common strategy used by product developers. Many high potency sweeteners have a sweetness curve that looks like the one below. Combining multiple sweeteners provides a great value since it utilizes the steeper part of the curves. The time/intensity profiles are also different for different sweeteners. Since stevia peaks later in the sweetness profile, combining it with a more “upfront” sweetener like corn syrup, erythritol, allulose, or sugar itself can provide a taste profile closer to full sugar. Andromeda II is still stevia so the effects of stacking are less noticeable, but it would bring additional sweet notes to the overall profile.

SoPure Stevia Application Matrix

As a handy guide for our SoPure Stevia customers, we’ve updated our application matrix to include our newest SoPure Specialties. The matrix offers useful instructions on recommended SoPure Stevia products based on application type and starting points for sucrose equivalence (to be replaced with stevia).

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HOWTIAN’s formulation experts have decades of product research, development and formulation experience. They can offer insights and assistance for your tailor-made Formulas For Success, as well as provide samples of our SoPure products. Contact us today to learn more.

As Plant Proteins Grow More Popular, Formulations with Stevia Increase

As Plant Proteins Grow More Popular, Formulations with Stevia Increase

New protein products made with soy, pea, rice, and fava bean are being formulated with plant-based sweeteners to meet consumer demand

Popularity Of Plant Proteins Soars As Consumers Seek More Plant-Based Foods

Plant proteins have become a hot food trend around the world. A recent study at the International Food Information Council indicates that plants are the fastest-growing source of proteins for consumers in the past year. North America accounts for 38% of the $9.7 billion dollar market, growing at a rate of 7.31%, according to Mordor Intelligence. A Nielsen study reports that 52% of US consumers are eating more plant-based foods than ever before because they believe it makes them healthier. To meet this growing consumer demand, food manufacturers have been developing plant protein products with improved texture and taste – with sweetness playing a particularly important role in improving the overall flavor profile.

Soy, Pea, Fava, and Rice Proteins Growing in Popularity

While soy protein still holds the largest market share of plant proteins, pea and rice proteins are growing at a faster pace. Pea protein is a popular option as it provides 9 essential amino acids but comes with some earthy and other off-notes. Rice protein, also growing in popularity, doesn’t provide a full amino acid profile (it lacks lysine) but can be combined with quinoa, chia, and other proteins to compensate. Fava bean has a cleaner flavor, a full amino acid profile, and is easily digestible, but is a higher-cost product.

Stevia a “Natural” Sweetener Choice for Plant Protein Formulas

Plant-based sweeteners like stevia — extracted steviol glycosides from the stevia plant leaf — are a great addition to plant proteins as they help to mask off-notes or provide sweetness. They are also an excellent choice because stevia does not get treated like sugar when digested. And since it’s not metabolized like sugar, it has minimal to no effects on blood glucose, insulin levels, and blood pressure, which is an added benefit to shoppers looking to minimize sugar levels in their diet. When sweetened with stevia, plant protein products may be labeled by manufacturers with claims such as “plant-based ingredients” or “vegetarian” on the front panel. Given the increasing popularity of plant-based diets, these are among the top claims that drive consumer preference.

Plant Protein Product Spotlight: Nicks Karamell Swirl Vegan Frozen Dessert

Nicks Karamell Swirl Vegan Frozen Dessert is a new plant protein product made with a variety of sweeteners and bulking agents from Innova. Dairy alternative applications are likely where you will see plant protein used the most.

Reduced-Sugar Cheesecake Brownies with Rice Protein

At the Supply Side West 2019 trade show, we displayed a cheesecake brownie made with rice bran extract and our flavor masker DGS TN. The masker works well with a variety of plant proteins and is labeled as a natural flavor. Allulose and Reb M were used to replace the bulk and sweetness of the sugar.

Contact Us

HOWTIAN has evaluated most major suppliers’ protein types and can provide recommendations based on flavor and price. We also have an expanded portfolio of complementary ingredients to stevia, so please contact us for samples or formulation advice!