- Bunge Loders Croklaan is releasing a new product called Sweetolin, which is a patent-pending fat system to reduce sugar in confectionery coatings and fillings, according to a release. The ingredient allows for up to 50% sugar reduction in products.
- The company said the new ingredient can give products a higher sweetness perception while maintaining texture, mouthfeel and product performance, without giving it an off-taste.
- Rafael Zegarra, global marketing director at Bunge Loders Croklaan, said in a statement Sweetolin helps deliver sugar-reduced innovations that taste good. "Sugar reduction is top of mind as consumers are increasingly looking for healthier choices with balanced nutritional profiles," Zegarra said.
CPG companies have been looking for ways to reduce sugar without compromising product taste as more shoppers grow concerned about excess sugar in their diets. The company says Sweetolin is one of the first innovations that targets sugar reduction through fat.
Oils and fats play a key role in maintaining a satisfying taste in sugar-reduced products, the company said. Sweetolin is a "tailor-made, ready-to-implement solution" that companies could be interested in using if it delivers on those attributes. Bunge Loders Croklaan says Sweetolin can be integrated into the customers' fat processing operations with their R&D support.
An Ipsos study found that 70% of Americans are either somewhat or very concerned about the level of sugar in their diets. As a result, products with "low/no/reduced sugar" label claims jumped 45% in 2017 compared to five years before, Kerry found.
Food and beverage companies have heavily invested in developing artificial sweeteners and sugar reduction technology in recent years to appeal to that consumer demand. Nestlé researchers engineered hollow and fast-dissolving sugar molecules to help manufacturers use up to 40% less without reducing sweetness. Danone launched a Greek low fat yogurt with two grams of sugar called Two Good. Since there is a demand for technology and ingredients that can deliver reduced sugar without negatively impacting taste, CPG companies and confectioners may be interested in trying out Sweetolin to achieve this goal.
But Bunge Loders Croklaan is far from the only company capitalizing on this trend, so it will have competition on the market. Food technology startup DouxMatok raised $22 million last year to start large-scale production of its sugar reduction solution as it commercializes the product in Europe and North America. The company said its first product can reduce up to 40% of the sugar content in food and baked goods while retaining the same taste profile.
Additionally, just this month, Ingredion launched Erysta, a new sweetener made from an erythritol polyol that has undergone a fermentation process. The sugar alcohol is 70% as sweet as sugar. And Kerry developed TasteSense, a natural flavoring solution developed to bring back the sweetness that's lost when sugar is reduced.
To beat out the competition, Sweetolin will need to convince consumers why a fat solution is the best method.
In 2017, Bunge bought 70% of IOI Loders Croklaan, a oil product manufacturer based in Malaysia, to grow its position in the confectionery and baked goods sectors and expand global R&D capabilities. Now Bunge Loders Croklaan is a global producer and supplier of sustainable plant-based specialty oils and fats for food manufacturers and operates as the edible oils business of Bunge Limited.
Bunge Loders Croklaan has been developing ingredients that are more on trend in the market which could position itself well for the future. The company previously launched an oil portfolio for plant-based meats in March. If these ingredient innovations turn out to be successful, then even more companies may look to develop similar ones.