Flavouring techniques from Givaudan target 50% sugar reduction

International flavour and fragrance group Givaudan has unveiled new techniques that aim to deliver up to 50% sugar reduction without the requirement for added sweeteners.

As the company, which works extensively within confectionery, explained, its breakthrough combines the creation of a proprietary sensory language, novel ingredients, and understanding of sweetness to lower sugar, while maintaining consumer preference.

According to the business, its latest approach comes in response to the global drive towards sugar reduction, prompted by ongoing health concerns around obesity and diabetes, and growing interest in lighter, more refreshing and less sweet taste experiences. However, as the business reveals, formulating less sweet products that have the same appeal as fully sweet ones is a challenge that requires more than simply subtracting sugar.

The company said it had worked with forward-thinking chefs to find new ways of delivering a less sweet but fully satisfying taste. Using inspiration from the dishes developed by the Michelin-starred chefs, the Givaudan team looked for what was delivering satisfaction beyond sweetness; from there they were able to identify non-typical natural ingredients and food techniques that created more complex, full bodied or impactful tastes, flavours so good, that the reduced sweetness wasn’t missed.

To understand and quantify the full sweetness experience, a new, proprietary, sensory-profiling methodology – the Holistic Language – was developed. This profiling technique allows Givaudan to deeply understand the consumer experience and translate this knowledge into real world solutions.

Nely Vasblom, product manager beverages explains: “Increasingly the food industry is being challenged by the public and regulators to play its part in reducing sugar consumption. In Europe and across the Middle East and Africa we have seen fiscal measures, such as taxes introduced on sugar sweetened beverages, to encourage people to consume less sugar.

“Alongside this we have also seen consumers becoming much more conscious about what they eat, seeking out healthy, low sugar products that don’t use sugar alternatives and a shift in taste preferences for some consumers, towards less sweet drinks and products.

“It is this underserved consumer space that we have focused on to deliver natural, less sweet products with a fully satisfying taste. We think this will offer an exciting new approach for our customers seeking to address the challenges of sugar reduction.”

The new approach was launched at a recent event at Het Amsterdamse Proeflokaal culinary school in Amsterdam, hosted by Givaudan and Michelin Starred chef Thomas Buehner, formerly of restaurant La Vie in Osnabruck, Germany, who demonstrated some of the techniques and approaches he used in this challenging yet successful project.

Two consumer concepts were tasted at the event – a 50% reduced sugar orange drink that has been proven to perform as well as the full sugar product in consumer testing and a new reduced-sugar peach yoghurt drink.

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