Cargill announces new-generation stevia-based sweeteners

Cargill has announced the introduction of its new ViaTech stevia-based sweeteners that, it says, can open up completely new territory for food and beverage formulators, enabling them to slash sugar by 75% – and in some cases 100% – without compromising taste.

In the past couple of years, many ‘next-generation’ stevia-based solutions have been launched promising to tackle the lingering bitter and licorice notes that creep in as stevia is added and sugar is reduced, Scott Fabro, global business development director, Cargill Corn Milling North America told FoodNavigator-USA.

But the fact is that beyond a 50% sugar reduction, these off notes become more and more pronounced, said Fabro, who claims that ViaTech can deliver optimal taste in the most challenging formulations – including diet cola and root beer – within acceptable cost parameters.

“30% is fine, 50% is a lot harder. Beyond that, customers were telling us that they were still getting these off notes. Flavour modifiers were moving the needle a bit, but not enough. Now we can get to 50%, 60%, 75% or in some applications, 100%, and keep the clean taste.”

Part of what sets the ViaTech portfolio apart from previous stevia-based sweeteners, according to Cargill, is the use of its proprietary taste prediction model, which leads to clean sweetness in even some of the most difficult-to-perfect zero-calorie and reduced-calorie food and beverage formulations.

“Our customers are looking for new solutions to broaden their product offerings with stevia sweeteners, and it’s not just about finding a single steviol glycoside that works for everything,” added Fabro.

“Cargill designed the ViaTech ingredients to deliver an optimal sweet taste at high use levels, which has been a limitation with previous stevia-based products. Our proprietary model allows us to predict in a precise way the right combination of steviol glycosides to deliver high quality sweet taste.”

Cargill says that its scientists have spent hundreds of thousands of hours working with the stevia leaf to understand how the different steviol glycosides found within it work alone and in combination. This approach, it believes, allows Cargill developers to focus on not only optimising taste and sweetness, but also on creating ingredients that enable a sensible total formulation cost for food and beverage manufacturers.

“As we bring new stevia-based innovations to market that enable product developers to work in high sweetness formulations such as carbonated soft drinks, we always keep in mind that our solutions must be commercially viable from a cost-in-use perspective,” said Melanie Goulson, sweetness applications leader, Cargill.

Cargill partners globally with companies in the food and beverage industry to formulate stevia sweeteners for a variety of products. The ViaTech brand adds to Cargill’s portfolio of stevia based ingredients. Cargill’s Truvia stevia-based sweetener also is used in a variety of applications, such as sports drinks, teas, juices, and yogurts for a variety of companies in North and South America, Europe and Asia.

Cargill: Read more here