Excise taxes on sugary drinks are spreading and the lawmakers’ target remains the same globally: Get a grip on soaring sugar consumption through beverages.
From a composition point of view, reformulated products do not show surprises. Predictably, sugar has been partially replaced by traditional artificial sweeteners. The question remains however: do traditional artificial intense sweeteners satisfy the taste expectations of a consumer who is used to drinking the full sugar beverage?
Without a convincing taste, the risk of sugar free drinks failing in the market is high. Stevia-based sweeteners do not have this additional burden, but need refinement to ensure further and more widespread use in the reduced sugar and sugar free beverage segment. Jungbunzlauer, supplied locally through Savannah Fine Chemicals, offers a tool that greatly supports this refinement.
NEW TYPE OF FLAVOUR ENHANCER
Erylite Erythritol is a fermentation-based polyol, approved in the EU in 2016 for use in beverages as a flavour enhancer. The maximum allowable amount is 1.6 per cent (w/w) in energy-reduced flavoured drinks or those with no added sugar. Fermentation based production qualifies the additive as the only natural polyol approved for use in food and beverages. From a physiological point of view, it has zero caloric value and a zero glycaemic index. It does not increase the calorie load and is safe for diabetics. It is also a highly effective flavour enhancer. On its own, Erylite imparts a clean, sweet flavour that resembles the taste of sucrose.
When used in beverages, it offers the following benefits:
- Improves the taste of sweeteners based on steviol glycosides. Stevia plant extracts always impart a characteristic taste profile even at high purity levels. That taste profile is characterised by liquorice, with occasional bitter notes, and a hard-to-ignore lingering effect. Although steviol glycosides have improved in flavour over recent years, Erylite significantly mitigates remaining unpleasant notes and eliminates lingering effect. This is even observed on steviol glycosides with the highest concentrations of rebaudio- side A. Positive effects are not limited to stevia extract, but are perceptible when used with traditional sweetening alternatives.
- Used at permitted levels of up to 1.6 per cent, exhibits some quantitative synergies on sweetness with common sweeteners, i.e. steviol glycosides. When used in combination with stevia extracts rich in rebaudioside A, the sweetness of the combination of stevia extract and Erylite is higher than the sweetness imparted by stevia extract alone. In a sensory test, total sweetness perceived by the panel for a stevia extract and Erylite combination exceeds the sum of the individual sweetness contribution of both substances. A higher sweetness is clearly advantageous, as it helps to restrict dosage and cost.