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Stevia & fibre blend promises to slash sugar by 100% with no loss in taste or bulk

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Niamh Michail

By Niamh Michail+

Last updated on 08-Mar-2017 at 14:27 GMT2017-03-08T14:27:08Z

© iStock/studi-annika
© iStock/studi-annika

Food tech start-up Unavoo has launched a natural, stevia- and prebiotic fibre-based sweetener that can replace sugar like-for-like in dairy, bakery and beverage products.

Containing no chemicals or alcoholic sugars, Unavoo's sweetener has a zero glycaemic value meaning it does not raise blood glucose levels after consuming and is safe for diabetes, the company said.

First industrial scale production tests have been completed and chocolate, ice cream, peanut butter, jams, ketchup and other dairy, bakery and beverage products will be launched later in the year.

The sweetening element comes from water-extracted stevia and uses a natural dietary fibre as the carrier to mimic the bulking properties of sugar.

The off-notes of stevia have been masked in a natural way, said the company's founder Yuval Maymon, adding that the sweetener has a shelf life of 24 months and is highly stable.

© Unavoo

“We cannot reveal the exact ingredients as this information is part of Unavoo’s intellectual property, but we can confirm they are certified clean label,” Maymon told FoodNavigator.

It has filed a worldwide patent which is pending.

“Our special carrier, which is the heart of our innovation, creates a synergistic effect of mouth feel which on the one hand feels like sugar and on the other blocks bad attitude: bitterness, long after taste acidity and metallic mouthfeel- which are very common when using stevia,” the firm said.

In terms of price, Unavoo's sweetener is in line with other competing sweeteners. 

“We are in the final stages of R&D with several large food and beverage manufacturers. We cannot confirm volumes at this time, but we have successfully completed trials demonstrating our ability to mass manufacture the sweetener.”

The company, which is currently working on a trademark name for the ingredient, is launching the sweetener worldwide with particular interest in the US, Latin America and Europe.

The Israel-based start-up counts both current and past senior staff from Walmart, Target and PepsiCo on its board.

Manufacturing and distribution is being done in partnership with London-headquartered agricultural commodities merchant ED&F Man.

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