WILD rolls out fruit sweetener

Related tags Carbohydrate Nutrition Wild

German ingredients firm WILD launches a new fruit sweetener range
to meet growing demand for 100 per cent natural food labels.

Using a range of fruits - including orange, lemon, red and white grapes, apples and carob - as the raw material, the Eppelheim-based company claims the natural fruit sweeteners have a low glycaemic index and high brix value.

"The production process is completely 'physical', not a chemical process, so manufacturers can have a '100 per cent natural' declaration for their sweetener on the label, "​ a spokesperson for the firm told FoodNavigator.com​.

The hunt for natural ingredients to apply in food formulations continues on the back of soaring growth in functional foods.

The €819.9 million European and US fruit and vegetable extracts market, for example, is on course to grow 4.5 per cent annually, reaching €1.07 billion by 2009, estimate market analysts Frost & Sullivan.

Strong growth is linked to the consumer's desire to improve health and prevent disease through food and beverage consumption.

A complex sugar, WILD claims its product range Fruit Up is a suitable alternative to sucrose - tthe complex carbohydrate used by commonly by the food industry as a sweetening agent - and has a low glycaemic index value.

The glycaemic index, which ranks the impact of a food on blood sugar levels, is seeing growing interest from the food industry because of its potential to reduce risk of diseases like diabetes and heart disease.

While science to support this link remains limited, the body of evidence is increasing, and food manufacturers, under pressure from government and media, are beginning to investigate the use of the GI as a means of improving the nutritional value of their products.

WILD claims its Fruit Up sweetener can achieve a brix value between 78° and 80°. Brix is a measure of the amount of sugar in a fruit. Generally, one degree brix is about 1-2 per cent sugar by weight of a fruit juice and this usually correlates with perceived sweetness.

"The sweetener is well suited for application in all confectionery categories and works well with gum and jelly products, soft and hard caramels, ice cream, bakery, cereals and müesli bars,"​ said the German company.

According to WILD, the products, largely sourced from Spanish-grown fruit, are GMO and allergen-free.

Shelf life is a year, under ambient room conditions. First presented to customers last year, the range has sinc been launched in Europe.

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