Growing demand for novel 3D sweetener
Israels’ Lampados International reports growing demand for its innovative Liteez sweetener — a vegan, egg-free 3D meringue kiss sweetener for hot drinks – and which a leading UK food-bev website, www.foodbev.com, has named as among its most interesting new ingredient launches of 2017.
The company has recently completed a new plant expansion for Liteez production, investing $0.5m to make it fully automated and modular, to allow maximum flexibility for increasing capacity as well as creating additional, customized sweeteners, says Lampados CEO Noam Kaplan.
The plant is BRC- and kosher-certificated to meet food manufactures’, retailers’, and consumers’ highest standards of requirement, he adds.
Liteez, available as either a stevia- or sucralose-based product, is shaped like a meringue, but can be melted into hot drinks or baked into snacks as a substitute to more calorific sweeteners. Two pieces of Liteez provide around 2kcal, compared to the 20kcal in a single teaspoon of sugar.
It has been developed by Lampados using just six plant-based ingredients.
“The idea was to craft a whole new concept for a healthier, tasty, and indulgent sweetener – to simply create a new experience for coffee and tea, or as a casual snack,” explains Kaplan.
“Many consumers crave something sweet both in and with their coffee. Our ‘meringue kiss’ fulfills both needs for a delicious, low-cal sweetener or as an indulgent dessert, without compromising on taste and while helping with weight management.
“The real challenge was to create a tasty meringue kiss without eggs or sugar — two common indispensable ingredients for making a baked meringue, and that provide its texture, shape and taste. In Liteez, the fibres create the texture, yet it is stable and crunchy with great flavour.”
Liteez uses a vegetable protein that has the ability to foam like eggs to help create the desired kiss texture and form. Sugar’s functionality is replaced with prebiotic fibres to form a stable foam and maintain the kiss shape, while being highly soluble in hot drinks, such as coffee or tea.
It was developed in collaboration with Israeli innovation company, Practical Innovation.
“Our mission was to help a traditional sweetener company make a completely novel product that takes the concept of sweet indulgence to a unique level,” says Practical Innovation CEO, Tal Laizer.
“This is not just a new sweetener but an entirely new look and feel – a complete 3D flavour experience.”
The ingredient is inspired by growing consumer awareness of sugar, which has prompted governments around the world to introduce levies on sugar-sweetened beverages. In 2016, the British government announced that it would bring in a £520 million sugar tax on soft drinks.
Similar legislation is set to take effect either this year or next in South Africa and Ireland.
“We hear a lot about sugar tax and sugar reduction,” Laizer notes. “At the end of the day, consumers seek healthier sweetening choices, but they don’t want to skip indulgent experience.”
“The demand for our 3D sweetener has grown extensively in Australia, India, South Africa, Europe and Central America,” adds Kaplan.
“Most of our clients are seeking to expand their portfolio with innovative sweeteners and/or cookies, and are keen to launch a next-gen sweetener that will give them a competitive edge in the market.
“Customers from the food service market have commented that they are impressed by the innovation and the sensation experience reported by their consumers.”
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