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One integral part of flavor is sweetness. It can make or break any product. For many years, however, manufacturers have relied on sugar to sweeten their products. Now formulators can choose from sugar alternatives offered at Ecuadorian Rainforest.
Besides helping curtail the use of sugar in products, sugar alternatives may even support overall health. For example, stevia, one of the most popular sugar alternatives, is believed to contain a number of essential nutrients including vitamins A, B, and C along with the minerals iron, zinc, and calcium.
Another sugar alternative is honey. Honey is a natural choice for a sugar alternative and brings with it many nutrients such as vitamin B6, thiamine, niacin and riboflavin. Honey may provide extra energy during endurance exercise. In one study, researchers observed nine male cyclists in three simulated 64-km time trials while given a honey, glucose, or placebo supplement. At the end of the trial, those who took honey and glucose supplements had higher power output than those who took the placebo.
The demand for sugar alternatives has been surging around the world. In a report titled “Just a Spoonful of Sugar: Sizing the Global Sweetener Market” by Lux Research, sugar alternatives have managed to capture 12% of the $73.4 billion sweetener market. In that market, natural sweeteners make up one percent and they are expanding.
The future looks bright for natural sweeteners. According to estimates by the market research firm Zenith International, the stevia market alone was worth $336 million in 2014. Not only that, but they also believe the stevia market will be worth $578 million by 2017.
The demographics for sugar alternatives seems to involve a vast swath of people, according to an article published in Natural Products INSIDER. Nearly 56% of US adults are critical about which sweeteners are used in products while the senior demographic (65 and older) are the most vigilant about which sweeteners to avoid. Consumers 18-29 care mostly about natural sugar alternatives, with 45% looking for low-glycemic foods.
Sugar alternatives are a highly sought after resource that would go great in any food or beverage product. Sugar alternatives may be used for many other applications, however, due to their nutritional profiles. Try adding sugar alternatives into a variety of formulations to see what works best for you.
Some sugar alternatives that may be a great addition to your product formulation are:
Honey, Stevia, Pineapple Juice, Strawberry, Agave, Monk Fruit, Date, Coconut, Cinnamon, Apricot
1. Stevia (2009) Drugs.com. Retrieved from www.drugs.com/npp/stevia.html
2. Dickinson, W. (2015, May 29) “Raw Honey Nutritional Facts.” Retrieved from http://www.livestrong.com/article/302341-raw-honey-nutritional-facts/
3. Earnest, C.P., et. al. “Low vs. High Glycemic Index Carbohydrate Gel Ingestion During Simulated 64-KM Cycling Time Trial Performance.” Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 2004;18(3):466-72
4. Lux Research (2014, September 29) Just a Spoonful of Sugar: Sizing the Global Sweetener Market. Retrieved from https://portal.luxresearchinc.com/research/report_excerpt/17986
5. Scott-Thomas, C. (2014, October 21) “Natural sweeteners market continues to grow -- but yet to reach full potential.” Retrieved from http://www.foodnavigator.com/Market-Trends/Natural-sweeteners-market-continues-to-grow-but-yet-to-reach-full-potential
6. French, S. (2013, November 27) “Current Trends In The U.S. Sweetener Market.” Retrieved from http://www.naturalproductsinsider.com/articles/2013/11/current-trends-in-the-u-s-sweetener-market.aspx