Specialty Food Magazine

Winter 2019

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

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Clean Label Ingredients With health and wellness one of the biggest drivers behind the adop- tion of alternative sweeteners, natural, unrefined ingredients like fruits, vegetables, and raw honey, especially those making non-GMO and organic claims, are becoming go-tos. "Lots of people struggle with satisfying a sweet tooth," says Rappaport. "So, they look for the least of the evils when it comes to sweeteners, trying to avoid HFCS and replacing it with things like honey and monk fruit." She touts raw honey-sweetened Elements Truff les and Ethereal Confections Sugar-Free Bars sweetened with erythritol and organic stevia, as popular non-conventional sugar indulgences. According to Mintel, honey is perceived well, with 75 percent of consumers indicating that it is healthy, and 38 percent rating it the healthiest option, followed by stevia, raw cane sugar, agave, monk fruit, coconut sugar, and maple syrup. "In the natural channel, raw honey is driving 68 percent of the net growth within the Honey and Syrup category, partly due to the popularity of the Paleo diet," notes Koslosky, pointing out that raw honey claims to be more nutritious than non-raw honey because it retains the natural vitamins, enzymes, and nutrients that are typically lost through processing. While raw honey has nutritional benefits, it's not an option for many vegans. Sweet potato juice concentrate could be the next natu- category spotlight SWEETENERS 101 Agave: Low on the glycemic index but higher in fructose—which has been linked to obesity—agave, mainly produced in Mexico, is a syrup that is made from the Agave tequiliana (tequila) plant. It is about 1 ½ times sweeter than regular sugar and contains roughly 60 calories per tablespoon. Suitable for vegans. Allulose: A monosaccharide found naturally in some fruits, including jackfruit, figs, and raisins. Promoted as having no impact on blood glucose levels. It is approximately 70 percent as sweet as sugar absorbed by the body, but is not metabolized, making it nearly calorie-free. British-based Tate & Lyle is the primary marketer of allulose in the U.S. under the brand name Dolcia Prima. Carolina Sweet: A sweet potato juice concentrate from Carolina Innovative Food Ingredients, a supplier of ingredients sourced from North Carolina. This 75 brix sweetener boasts higher levels of calcium, iron, and potassium than high fructose corn syrup, agave syrup, honey, and other natural sweeteners and is Non- GMO Project Verified. The sweetener naturally adds consistency to applications, allowing for the reduction or elimination of thickeners like xanthan gum and modified cornstarch. For use in applications such as sauces, smoothies, protein bars, and baked goods. Coconut Sugar: Also known as palm sugar, it is the sugar produced from the sap of cut flower buds of the coconut palm. Coconut sugar can be purchased in granulated form as well as syrup, often called coconut nectar or coconut palm syrup. Erythritol: A sugar alcohol that is 60 percent to 80 percent as sweet as sugar and made by fermenting the natural sugar found in corn. Sugar alcohols differ from artificial sweeteners because they occur naturally in fruits and vegetables. Erythritol occurs naturally in pears, soy sauce, wine, sake, watermelons, and grapes. Consumers concerned about GMOs should look for certified non- GMO erythritol options. Erythritol has zero calories, is non-glycemic, tooth friendly, easy to digest, and does not cause digestive issues like most sugar alcohols. Maguey Sap: An unrefined raw sweetener from the maguey (agave salmiana) plant that is a natural source of antioxidants and prebiotic dietary fiber. It has earthy notes of caramel, crème brulee, and malt. Monk Fruit: Also known as luo han guo, it is a small, round, vine-ripened fruit which is native to Southern China and Northern Thailand. Monk fruit is 200-300 times sweeter than sugar, contains zero calories, and has no effect on blood sugar. Due to the sweetness intensity, very little monk fruit is needed, and manufacturers will often use sugar alcohols like erythritol as bulking agents. According to the CCD Innovation Trends Insights Report, "Alt. Sweet: Trends in Alternative Sweeteners," monk fruit sweeteners in global food and beverage had a compound annual growth rate of 48.2 percent between 2013 and 2017. Stevia: A sugar substitute extracted from the leaves of the Rebaudiana plant, native to South America. Stevia is 200-300 times sweeter than sugar. The most abundant compound in stevia is Reb A. Yacon Root Syrup: Yacon root syrup is extracted from Yacon root, a native tuber to South America. Yacon is known to increase calcium and magnesium concentration and fructooligosaccharides (FOS), a kind of carbohydrate. FOS is also recognized as a prebiotic and soluble fiber that has been tied to weight loss. 68 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE specialtyfood.com

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