Archer Daniels Midland has added two new sweetener brands to its portfolio: SweetRight stevia and Very Sweet monk fruit, according to a company release.
Sourced through ADM’s exclusive partnership with natural sweetener specialist GLG Life Tech Corporation, SweetRight is available in three varieties: RA, RA granular and EMS enzymatically modified stevia. It can be blended with other sweeteners. Both high-intensity sweeteners are shelf stable and can be used in virtually any food and beverage application.
The launch responds to growing consumer interest in natural sweeteners and low-sugar foods and drinks, ADM said.
The vast majority of American consumers (84%) are limiting the amount of sugar in their diet, according to Mintel. This has led to increasing demand for alternative sweeteners, with ones coming from stevia posting the fastest growth in the category last year. Sales of other natural sweeteners, both caloric and low-calorie, are also on the rise, including agave syrup, honey and monk fruit.
However, stevia and monk fruit have presented taste challenges for manufacturers, and several companies have produced products with blends of the two sweeteners to tackle bitterness issues. Early movers included Chobani’s Simply 100 Greek yogurt range, which was launched in 2013 with a stevia-monk fruit blend. Later that same year, Zevia revamped its stevia-sweetened soda to include monk fruit extract.
GLG Life Tech is taking a different approach. The company only produced stevia extracts until 2014, when it moved into the monk fruit market as more firms started combining the two sweeteners.Then last year it partnered with Colorado-based MycoTechnology to use the bitter-blocking properties of mushroom mycelium for its stevia and monk fruit sweeteners. The ADM products will benefit from this technology. MycoTech’s certified organic ClearTaste powder also has a clean label advantage, and can be described on ingredients lists as ‘natural flavor(ing)’ or ‘natural flavor enhancer’.
Monk fruit extracts are generally more expensive than stevia extracts, but the sweetener has a different taste profile, meaning that it is sometimes a more attractive option for manufacturers depending on the flavors of the finished product.
ADM announced its partnership with GLG Life Tech last June to become the exclusive distributor and marketer of its low-calorie stevia and monk fruit sweeteners. The sweeteners help round out the company’s global low calorie sweetener portfolio, which already includes VivaSweet sucralose.