- Novozymes launched Saphera Fiber, which is a lactase enzyme that simultaneously reduces the sugar content in dairy products while increasing the fiber, according to Food Ingredients First. The additive functions in both fermented and non-fermented dairy products.
- The enzyme converts lactose in milk products into galactooligosaccharides (GOS) fibers in order to increase the fiber content. There was no report as to whether this enzyme altered the taste or texture of products. Emmanuel Michelot, launch manager at Novozymes, told Food Ingredients First that Saphera Fiber reduces the reliance on artificial or chemically produced ingredients to lower sugar or increase fiber.
- A report from Novozymes showed 59% of customers are more likely to buy higher-fiber content dairy and 38% of them are willing to pay more for increased fiber.
Novozymes’ new enzyme additive hits on two separate trends in the food space at the same time: consumers’ desire for more fiber and the quest for less sugar.
Shoppers are trending away from the sweetener, with per-capita consumption of sugar and other caloric products declining. An Innova Market Insights survey found three in five U.S. consumers would prefer to reduce their sugar intake rather than replace it by consuming artificial sweeteners, Food Ingredients First reported. As a result, new product launches featuring "low/no/reduced sugar" label claims jumped 45% in 2017 compared to five years prior, Kerry found.
Still, even with active attempts to reduce consumption, Americans ingest more than 13% of their daily caloric intake from added sugars, according to the FDA.
To aid consumers in achieving their goal of less sugar, ingredient manufacturers worldwide have raced to find a solution. Ingredion introduced a line of low-sugar glucose syrups three years ago to help food manufacturers reduce the amount of added sugar shown on Nutrition Facts panels. Kerry developed TasteSense, a natural flavoring solution designed to bring back sweetness that's lost when sugar is reduced. And Israeli startup DouxMatok debuted a product that can reduce up to 40% of the sugar content in various foods and baked goods while retaining the same taste profile.
While effective, these options only serve one function. Novozymes' alternative offers the same capability while also increasing fiber. It's also reduces the dependence on artificial or chemically produced ingredients to lower sugar or increase fiber. This could be attractive to companies creating new products or changing existing ones to cater to the clean label trend.
Fiber is no longer an ingredient just for elderly consumers. People of all ages have started showing interest in fiber as a functional ingredient after studies showed eating a high-fiber diet can balance blood sugar levels, aid in digestion, lower cholesterol and possibly reduce the risk of heart disease and some cancers.
Even with an increased interest in fiber — recent surveys found 87% of consumers consider fiber to be healthy, and roughly 60% of Americans are looking to consume more — most consumers don't get the minimum daily 28 grams recommended. To boost consumption, CPG manufacturers are adding fiber to an array of products such as bars and cereals.
Data from Innova Market Insights reported by Food Ingredients First showed fiber as an additive in new products increased 12% between 2017 and 2018, with dairy being the second category to most frequently introduce this functional ingredient.
Novozymes is no doubt aiming to capture some of this growth with its new product. With the milk industry struggling for years as shoppers move away from cereal for breakfast or select plant-based options instead, new enzymes that boost fiber while cutting sugar could be an attractive tool to help them recapture lost market share. Strauss Group showed the potential for reducing sugar while increasing fiber content when it created a milk chocolate bar with 30% less sugar by replacing it with 17% dietary fiber and 5% ground tiger nut flour.
In the case of Novozymes, its ability to address both fermented and non-fermented dairy further broadens the application of Saphera Fiber. Still, the key to determining the product's success comes down to the usual characteristics. For companies to use it, the enzymatic additive needs to make sure it doesn't disturb the familiar taste profiles of the products.