"Formulating products for these dieting trends requires more than just sugar replacement," said the company. It believes it has created a line of flavours that deliver on mouthfeel and avoid the bitterness associated with artificial sweeteners.
The new range will go under the Aura Flavors brand name and be available in the following flavours: apple, blueberry, chocolate, fruit punch, lemon-lime, orange, peach, raspberry, strawberry, tropical and vanilla.
Danisco said that the flavours performed well in trials in a variety of beverage and dairy applications including fortified waters, zero and mid calorie carbonated beverages, 10 percent and 25 percent juice no-added sugar beverages, ice-cream, yoghurt, yoghurt drinks and flavoured milks.
More specifically, the company claimed: "the Aura flavours masked the addition of vitamins in enhanced water, offered a cleaner, more refreshing citrus note to lemon and lime carbonated beverages, masked the bitter aftertaste of artificial sweeteners in diet soda and no-added sugar juice drinks, and outperformed low-carb ice-cream leaders in taste tests".
Dr Markus Eckert, the director of innovation for Danisco Flavors, Americas, noted that the new range is: "based on Fema Gras approved Danisco proprietary ingredients that not only provide flavour but also interact with human taste receptors with major emphasis on sweetness enhancement and reduction in bitterness".
The US is currently divided as to whether the low-carb trend is finally waning or not. Atkins Nutritionals' showed signs of being in trouble in September when it announced it had hired a turnaround specialist to help it cope with tough competition from rival food companies and announced jobs cuts.
However, 2004 will go down as a record year for the low-carb trend in terms of the number of food and beverage products launched in the US. According to Productscan, this figure is up to 2585 this year in comparison with 633 in 2003.
When looked at as a percentage, the increase is all the more impressive. A mere 3.8 per cent of new food and beverage launches in the US in 2003 were no- or low-carb products (compared to a paltry 2.1 percent the year before). This year, the figure has jumped to a sizeable 17.9 percent.