We are more health conscience than ever as many of us are shifting towards a heathier lifestyle, especially when it comes to our food choices.
Today’s consumers are more aware than ever about the ingredients in food, especially when it comes to making healthier choices. Products that are high in sugar are coming under scrutiny as we try to adopt a healthier lifestyle.
At Rigest, we have seen an increase in demand for sugar substitutes, and there are a range of great alternatives out there that manufacturers can look to as different ways to sweeten products.
Stevia, coconut syrup and Luo Han Guo are leading natural sugar substitutes, they are fantastic alternatives that can also carry health benefits as well as being great substitutes for sugar.
Stevia is derived from a natural plant from South America, it comes in powder or liquid form and has proved popular due to its zero-calorie content. The Stevia Rebaudiana leaves are 30 – 40 times sweeter than sugar, and when extracted from the leaves it becomes even sweeter – around 200 times. This means consumers and manufacturers can use much less and still get the ‘sweetness’ desired.
Stevia is a relatively well-known sugar substitute, it is being used by a number of food and beverage manufactures, such as Coca-Cola.
The lack of calories makes it an extremely popular choice for those on calorie controlled diets, it is also popular with those suffering from diabetes thanks to its low glycaemic index.
It is also a popular industry choice, due to its stability under varying PH and heat conditions. Stevia is consistently used amongst food and drink manufacturers for application in dairy products, baked goods, dietary products, beverages and table top sweeteners.
It has been called the nations new ‘maple syrup’, coconut syrup has risen up the ranks in the marketplace as a nourishing vegan sugar substitute. It is brownish in appearance and has a molasses-like consistency, with a natural caramel flavour.
It is made by tapping the coconut tree to release the sap. It is then heated and the water evaporates, leaving a concentrated syrup.
Similarly, to Stevia, it has a low glycaemic index, reducing the effects of blood sugar levels when digested. Because of its origin, it is also rich in minerals and nutrients such as potassium, magnesium, zinc, iron and amino acids.
Commercially it is used in syrups, ready to drink tea and coffee as well as bakery goods.
Also known as monk fruit, Luo Han Guo is a sweet fruit from Southern China. When extracted it forms a light yellow fine powder. Natures powerful sweetener- it is about 300 times sweeter than sugar and delivers a clean taste without a bitter aftertaste.
Especially popular in its home country – China, it is used as a sweetener and in traditional Chinese medicine.
In powder form, it is heat stable and has a long shelf life, making it an ideal substitute for a number of products to aid sweetness.
The desire for sugar alternatives will likely continue on its upwards trend. As markets and technology get more sophisticated we will be sure to see more products come onto the market, continuing our hunt for the best sugary substitutes.
For more information on sugar substitutes and how they can be used within food and beverage products, get in touch with an expert at Rigest.