The UK company launched the ingredient, which is fully authorised for the EU market and can be listed on-pack as a natural or non-artificial flavouring, in liquid form in January this year.
The new format is ideal for applications requiring a powder assembly such as baking or ice cream powder mixes and where powdered sugar may have been added in the production process.
“We expect the liquid OmegaSweet to lead to the largest demand in beverage applications but the powder option should grow in time as the focus on replacing sugar and calorie reduction shifts towards cake and biscuits,” said the company's co-founder Steve Pearce.
OmegaSweet can be listed as a natural flavouring on pack, allowing manufacturers to keep their product labels clean, he added.
The flavour modifier's unique selling point, according to Pearce who is a trained biochemist, is that it not only replaces the sweetness of sugar without adding any calories but also the technical properties that contribute to its mouthfeel, and can also be tailored to enhance citrus or cola notes.
Pearce told FoodNavigator the product had been in the pipeline for some time but customer demands, fuelled in the UK by a government-led sugar reduction drive, have accelerated the powder's development and time to market.
Last month, the UK government confirmed a two-tier tax on sugar-sweetened beverages would come into effect in 2018 while Public Health England, the body which advises the UK government on public health policy, set sugar reduction targets for nine food groups, including beverages, confectionery, spreads and yoghurt earlier this year.
The targets, although voluntary, want to see industry cut sugar by 20% by 2020, with a 5% reduction to be achieved by 2018.
Pearce said he expects most demand for OmegaSweet to be for the liquid ingredient for beverage applications but the powder option should grow in time.
Most demand has come from British manufacturers but demand from the US and throughout Europe has been on the rise, he added.
The Suffolk-based firm is ready to supply and is in the process of gearing up capacity to produce several hundred tonnes of powdered OmegaSweet a year.