The new consortium is called the Allulose Novel Food Consortium (ANFC). Companies seeking approval of allulose in Europe interested in joining the consortium can contact the ANFC.
Allulose is a monosaccharide usually only found in small quantities in wheat, fruit, including raisins, figs, as well as in other foods, such as molasses, maple syrup, and brown sugar. It was first identified in wheat in the 1940s. It can be produced in large quantities through the use of enzymes from corn, sugar beet or other carbohydrate sources.
Allulose provides about 70% the sweetness of regular sugar (sucrose) and has a similar taste profile. It also has similar functional properties including bulking, browning, freeze-point depression, mouthfeel and texture. In addition, allulose does not crystallize in dairy products.
Scientific studies have shown that allulose contributes 0.4 calories per gram, only 10% of the calories of sugar.
Allulose is authorized as a food ingredient in many countries worldwide, including Japan, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, and the US. It is also under regulatory evaluation in several other countries and regions. In addition, allulose is classified as FEMA (Flavor Extract Manufacturers Association) GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) for use as a flavoring in beverages and milk products.
ANFC’s members believe a single, joint, proprietary EU and UK novel food application could accelerate the approval process, providing time and cost savings for members. In addition, members anticipate approval of allulose as a novel food ingredient would benefit European and global food industries because of its potential as more than a low-calorie sweetening ingredient.
The group said EU regulatory approval would also be influential to other international food regulators bringing the novel food ingredient to the market. The development of reduced-calorie/reduced-sugar foods could also support any government policies for sugar reduction.
ANFC’s next goal is to petition for the exemption of allulose from sugar labelling in the EU/UK market, as per the situation in the US and South Korea.
“Formation of the Allulose Novel Food Consortium is an exciting step forward towards accelerating more widespread use of allulose in Europe," said Shigehiro Hayashi, Matsutani Chemical and ANFC.
"With our members combined knowledge and expertise in the science of healthy food and beverage ingredients, we aim to enable allulose to reach its true potential and recognize that this could help in achieving a reduction in calorie intake – a major public health initiative."