Stevia manufacturers look to target dairy sector

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 23rd December 2014
Stevia manufacturers look to target dairy sector
Stevia manufacturers look to target dairy sector

Stevia manufacturers are making moves to target the dairy sector, with global stevia producer PureCircle launching a product aimed specifically at this category.

PureCircle is a leading global producer of “high-purity” stevia ingredients for the global food and beverage industry. The company is a driving force behind moving stevia from a niche ingredient to mainstream. PureCircle has offices around the world with the global headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It was incorporated into PureCircle Limited in 2007.

PureCircle said the new product, Sigma-D, performed “at parity to sugar on key attributes”.

Stevia’s popularity growth

Stevia adoption rates have been on the rise in recent years, and many manufacturers are now realising the opportunity to offer mid-calorie products to their consumers with natural origin sweetness.

In October 2014, Australian Food News reported that the market for ‘natural’ sweeteners was continuing to grow, with stevia proving particularly popular.

Canadean found that as a result of increased focus on sugar calories, the consumer demand for non-caloric sweeteners is projected to grow 5 per cent a year until 2017. Of the 360 new products picked up in 2013, 38.3 per cent contained non-caloric sweeteners.

In 2013 the soft drinks industry consumed only close to 700 tons of Stevia ingredients, versus 12,300 tons of Aspartame, or 8,700 tons of Acesulfame K. The largest natural sweetener on the market is Stevia, but Canadean also found great potential in other herbal-sweeteners such as monk fruit.

Products launched with stevia as sweetener

Australian Food News has reported on several products released or announced recently that use stevia as a sweetener. In November 2014, Coca-Cola announced it would launched its Coca-Cola Life product, which uses a combination of sugar and stevia, in Australia in 2015. Australian Food News reported in October 2014 that spreads brand IXL had launched a stevia-sweetened range of jams in Australia.

Sigma-D aims to ‘unlock’ dairy category

PureCircle said its Sigma-D product was a response to the continued growth in the popularity of ‘natural’ sweeteners, and has been designed to unlock the dairy category, which has traditionally presented more complex challenges for formulators looking to reduce sugar while maintaining texture, indulgence and mouth feel.

The new product provides a combination of steviol glycosides, which PureCircle said ‘optimised’ taste.

““What works in a carbonated soft drink is not necessarily going to be the right solution for an acidified or sweet dairy product,” said John Martin, PureCircle’s Global Director of Technical Development and Innovation. “By understanding the sensory contribution of the different glycosides and how they interact in different product matrixes we can help select the best solution for the formulation goal and the result is continued innovation within our proprietary portfolio of high purity stevia sweeteners,” he said.

Sigma-D will be the first category specific launch from the PureCircle innovation pipeline.