Sweegen launches sweet protein brazzein tech set to “push the boundaries” in sugar reduction
18 Apr 2023 --- Sweegen has unveiled its latest flavor tool for F&B producers to create better-for-you products that are low in sugar. Its new protein technology includes brazzein, thaumatin II and other proteins to improve and modulate sweet flavor.
The product, Sweetensify Flavors, can be used in soft drinks, energy drinks, ready-to-drink cocktails, hard seltzers, chocolate, granola/cereal bars and many other applications.
Casey McCormick, senior VP of global innovation at Sweegen, tells FoodIngredientsfFirst that Sweegen has managed to scale up brazzein through a precision fermentation agreement with Conagen. The deal taps into Conagen’s expertise in fermentation and peptide platform expertise to produce scalable ingredients, such as brazzein and other sweet proteins.
“The Sweetensity Collection is enabled by unique peptides, shorter proteins made by a proprietary fermentation process that results in clean ingredients,” McCormick explains.
“Precision fermentation offers higher yields and product quality compared to traditional fermentation methods because it is possible to optimize the production of the desired ingredient,” he continues.
Precision fermentation, once used to create vitamins and insulin, is now leveraged in alternative foods like alt-milk, cheese, yogurt, meat and eggs, but without farming animals at an industrial scale.
Novel sugar substitute
McCormick details that the Sweetensify Collection stimulates the part of the tongue that “no natural sugar substitute can.”
“When it comes to sweet quality, the sweet proteins, such as brazzein, hit a different taste receptor than other non-caloric sweeteners. This enables unique types of flavor expression and higher quality of sweetness, which helps to create a more sugar-like taste experience,” underscores McCormick.
“Sweetensify Flavors will change how product developers think about reducing or eliminating sugar in beverages and foods. The flavor expression enabled by Sweetensify Flavors optimizes the sensory experience and enables a more sugar-like taste,” he continues.
Brazzein and other sweet proteins tend to bind with various taste receptors located on the tongue, specifically the T1R3 receptor, which is linked to the perception of sweetness and umami.
“Our product development teams are finding incredible synergies between Sweetensify Flavors and Sweegen’s state-of-the-art stevia systems,” McCormick notes.
“Ultimately, our solutions challenge the taste and cost of artificial sweeteners currently on the market. Our customers are excited about the cross-application utility of the flavor collection enabled by the great pH and heat stability we see for these flavors along with high solubility,” he continues.
Sweegen’s Sweetensify Flavors are available for use in countries that allow flavors approved by the FEMA GRAS protocol – A US Federal Drug Administration (FDA) designation on chemicals that are safe to eat.
“Our regulatory vision is to open global markets and enable brands to access unique ingredients that will support their food and beverage creativity while delivering health and wellness,” says Hadi Omrani, senior director of technical and regulatory affairs at Sweegen.
Sugar reduction moves
Sugar reduction is a key theme that manufacturers see in beverages and foods; Sweegen previously told FoodIngredientsFirst that North American consumers expect anywhere from 30 to 35% sugar reduction in today’s products.
Furthermore, according to an Innova Market Insights September 2022 analysis, one-third of survey respondents in the US categorize their predominant approach to healthy eating as limiting or reducing products and ingredients that they perceive as bad for them, including sugar, exceeding the global average of 25%.
Moreover, 21% of US consumers say a healthy food's most important feature is its low sugar – the global average being 23%.
Healthy indulgence trends like sugar reduction are pushing the boundaries in chocolate innovation as consumer preferences for health and wellness reign supreme, flag Cargill, Syrmire, Valio, ofi and Barry Callebaut.
Similarly, when it comes to fortifying food products with fiber, formulators have stepped up the natural profile of the ingredients they use to boost sugar reduction.
Meanwhile, earlier this month, Israel-based food tech start-up Better Juice completed its series of pilot trials for reducing simple sugars in natural berry and other fruit juices.
By Marc Cervera
To contact our editorial team please email us at email@example.com
Subscribe now to receive the latest news directly into your inbox.