Nutrinova to showcase sugar replacement innovation

By Anthony Fletcher

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Sucralose, Acesulfame potassium, Aspartame, Nutrinova

Nutrinova plans to use this year's FI Europe show to highlight how
new sweetener technology can make finished products healthier.

The Germany-based company plans to hold a taste test with elderberry-cherry flavoured beverages in order to demonstrate how different blends containing the high intensity brand sweetener Sunett (acesulfame K) can lead to reduced sugar content.

The product, which is roughly 200 times sweeter than sugar, has enjoyed volume gains in the buoyant sweetener market of late. The company claims that the ingredient is now used in over 4,000 food and beverage products worldwide.

The competitive sweetener industry is enjoying considerable growth above the industry average as consumers with growing health and weight concerns turn away from sugar-heavy foods and beverages to 'lite' versions. According to market analysts Freedonia, the sweetener market is set to grow at around 8.3 per cent year on year until 2008: considerably higher than growth in the ingredients industry currently at about 3 to 4 per cent.

Soft drinks are driving demand, pushing supplies for competitive sweeteners aspartame and Splenda, as well as Acesulfame K.

"With Sunett, food and beverage manufacturers get the perfect sweetening partner to design successful products for health and weight conscious consumers, who have high expectations regarding taste,"​ said the company in a press release.

"Using the Sunett Multi-Sweetener-Concept, great taste of regular products can be designed at lower costs."

A variety of other beverages and foods containing blends with Sunett will also be available. These include an energy drink created to demonstrate that Sunett blends can reduce calorie content without, according to the company, compromising on taste.

In addition, experts from Nutrinova will be available at the show to offer technical expertise on Sunett and to provide manufacturers with recommendations for optimised sweetener combinations for their specific requirements.

Acesulfame potassium (K), known as the additive E950, gained approval in the EU in 1983; the additive has been cleared in about 90 countries worldwide, including the US, since 1988.

But for some years now, and through a flurry of court cases, Nutrinova has defended the patent for its high intensity sweetener. But the issue of patents still looms over future business, and threatens the bottom line. Nutrinova's European and US primary production patents for making Sunett expired at the end of the first quarter of 2005.

"This will reduce our ability to realise revenues from making Sunett due to increased competition and potential limitations, and will result in our results of operations and cash flows relating to the product being less favourable than today,"​ warned Celanese, the owner of Nutrinova, in its annual report last year.

Nutrinova is a leading international supplier of specialty ingredients for the food and beverage industries. It is one of the world's largest producers of potassium sorbate and sorbic acid and is also active in the market for dietary fibres and omega-3 fatty acids.

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