Types of Sweeteners for The Food Industry

This article explains the different types of sweeteners that can be used in the food industry in Europe and their main characteristics.

Which sweetener do I use for my factory?

Sweeteners are a great substitute for sugar, as we all know, and are used in place of sucrose to sweeten all kinds of foods and drinks.

Many of these sweeteners have a much higher sweetening capacity than sugar, so less product is needed to achieve the same sweetness.

Sweeteners are increasingly in demand by the food industry, due to the changing needs of customers, who are more aware of the need to reduce sugar consumption as well as anti-obesity campaigns and international regulations. More and more “sugar-free” products are in demand, so companies have to adapt their formulas to reduce or completely eliminate this ingredient.

Which sweetener do I use for my production?

If you need a sweetener for industrial manufacture, you must first know what benefits you need to incorporate into your product, the degree of sweetness and, very importantly, the density and volume you need in your preparations.

There are currently 15 sweeteners authorised for sale in Europe, which are divided into two categories according to the Spanish Association of Food Supplement Manufacturers, AFCA:

Bulk sweeteners

The explanation for the name “bulk” comes from the texture they offer to the products in which they are incorporated. They provide texture and body with volume. They are also called polyols or polyalcohols. They are sweeteners whose flavour is mild, and provide a sweetness similar to that of sugar. Some volumetric sweeteners:

Sorbitol (E420). It is obtained from the reduction of glucose, extracted from apples, pears, plums or corn syrup. It is approximately 30% less sweet than sucrose (sugar). It is used in chewing gum, soft drinks, beverages or sausages.

Maltitol (E965). It is one of the sweeteners most similar to sugar, and has a sweetening power of 90%. It is obtained from starch, and contains only 2.1 calories per gram consumed. Among its many applications, it can be used in the manufacture of chocolates, chewing gum, candies, sweets or ice cream. In this article we explain in detail the characteristics and uses of maltitol.

Lactitol (E966). It is obtained from the hydrogenation of lactose, and has 2.4 calories per gram consumed. It is used for the production of industrial pastries, biscuits or ice cream. Its disadvantage is that it comes from lactose. Therefore, people who are lactose intolerant will not be able to consume products made with this sweetener.

Intense sweeteners

These sweeteners are characterised by their high sweetening power. On average, they are about 30 times sweeter than sucrose or sugar. We will explain the characteristics of some of them:

Aspartame (E951), is one of the best known, due to its powerful sweetening power, 200 times more than sugar. The disadvantage of this sweetener is that it is more unstable, so in some mixtures it will have to be used together with saccharin.

Saccharin (E954), another well-known sweetener, which was discovered in 1878, in the last century. It is often used in soft drinks, diet products and yoghurts.

Thaumatin (E957). It is the most powerful sweetener known, being 2500 times sweeter than sugar. It comes from an African bush called Katemfe. But it has a distinctive taste and does not taste the same as sugar. It leaves a liquorice-like aftertaste.

To conclude

To know which sweetener to use in your industrial production, you will have to see which one best suits your product and the production process.

At Molefrank we are committed to maltitol, as we consider it to be one of the most accurate substitutes for sugar, due to its flavour and sweetness. In addition to providing a texture to the elaborations, which others do not.

If you want more information you can contact us here.

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MoleFrank - Food Additives

At MoleFrank we import and distribute food additives. We have more than 30 years of experience in the food sector taking care of quality and streamlining processes with our clients.

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