Holland Sweetener company, DSM's joint venture with Japan-based company Tosoh took some pleasure yesterday in launching its high intensity sweetener Twinsweet on to the European market after years of waiting for approval from the powers that be in Brussels.
First patented in 1995 the low calorie product - a sweetener-sweetener salt of aspartame and acesulfame - received approval from the European Parliament at the end of October. The decision supercedes the temporary approval already granted in the UK and the Netherlands and paves the way for access to the growing European low calorie market.
"Twinsweet links the two sweeteners at molecular level as an iconic salt. It is a flexible product that allows manufacturers to use one product only," Manon Schuurmans at Holland Sweetener told FoodNavigator.com
Targeted at a gamut of food applications - notably the Wrigley's and Adams of the world for chewing gum - the product, 350 times sweeter than sugar, is also suitable for beverage and dairy industries. "Our joint venture with Tosoh is a great match, they have a strong knowledge of enzymes," added Schuurmans referring to the enzymatic process and the relationship that begun in the early 1980s.
According to EU officials, the aspartame-acesulfame salt should be considered at the point it is added to food, not its subsequent behaviour when dissolved - as is the case in the US and the FDA regulations. As a result, Holland Sweetener asked for a new E-number for Twinsweet - E962 - which, since the amendment to the EU sweetener directive at the end of October is now the case.
'The product flows well, dissolves rapidly and is non-hygroscopic,' said the company in a recent statement. 'Furthermore, in dry/semi-dry applications, Twinsweet does not interact with other ingredients, as the free amino group of aspartame is blocked by acesulfame.' Twinsweet is produced at a DSM site in Europe.
The authorisation and use of intense sweeteners, like any other food additive, is harmonised at EU level.