Leading Dutch supplier Sensus is pushing inulin as a sugar and sweetener replacer with minimal taste and texture tariffs.
High intensity sweeteners can have issues like delayed onset of perceived sweetness, lingering sweetness and bitter or metallic aftertaste. Polyols often leave behind a lingering ‘cool’ sensation in the mouth.
Technical sales manager, Michiel Pronk, said 30-40% sugar reductions were possible.
“Combined with bulking agents and high-intensity sweeteners, inulin can be used to produce tasty and no-added sugar chocolate.”
The company pointed out that up to 16 g of inulin could validate ‘reduced sugar’ claims on a product and up to 35 g for ‘no added sugar’, though it would depend on the recipe used.
Taking advantage of inulin’s functional properties as a dietary fibre presents another option for manufacturers, as they can easily make claims when using inulin for sugar reduction. However, Pronk did not regard this as a major incentive.
“The minimum amount of fibre used to produce reduced sugar chocolate would require 15 g of fibre, so making claims would be no problem, but I don’t think chocolate with added fibre will be a popular claim.”
“Chocolate is bought for indulgence and it is sugar and calorie reduction that consumers are concerned about, not increasing fibre.”
Pronk did however note that inulin was priced at the premium end of the market.
Functionality a bonus
Masking the aftertaste of added polyols and high intensity sweeteners along with healthiness and bulking benefits were the major sells, Pronk said.
“Inulin can provide the bulking itself, especially as a partial sugar replacer. However when replacing all the sugar in the recipe our research has shown that combining it with other bulking ingredients, like polyols, it leads to even better quality chocolates.”
“However inulin is still the main sugar replacer. Preferable manufacturers would want to keep polyols beneath the 10 grams/100 grams, so they do not have to claim the laxative effect on the package of these polyols.”