The company announced late last week that Talin, the Naturex brand for Thaumatin, was granted an approval for use as a food additive in China in May this year by the country’s Ministry of Health.
Talin, a natural extract from the fruit of Thaumatococcus Daniellii, is a multifunctional food additive that is claimed to improve the taste profile of foods and beverages, masking off tastes, enhancing flavors and improving the taste of sugar and salt replacers.
Justine Lord, business Manager – NAT taste at Naturex, told FoodNavigator-Asia that Talin was rigorously tested from a food safety perspective, including a review of other countries where it has been used for up to 30 years including Japan, Europe and US.
“The specification was thoroughly tested and approved and final product stability assessed. The specification adopted by the Ministry of Health is the Talin specification, a very tight specification,” he added.
According to Lord, Talin, which is processed in a dedicated factory in Europe using water extraction and purification, is the only Thaumatin product to be approved in China.
Naturex claimed that Talin would have scope in tabletop sweeteners and light beverages with more rounded flavors and sweetness profile, as it is a natural sweet protein and has an insignificant calorie contribution.
“Today’s trend is to minimise the number of ingredients in manufactured food and keep it all natural. The trend towards healthier and more natural products in the wake of increasing levels of obesity has improved consumer awareness of sugar, salt and label declarations,” he said.
Lord pointed out that today’s consumers require not only great tasting beverages but also ones that are low in sugar, maybe fortified in botanicals with added health benefits. “Of course they also require no compromise in the finished taste, texture and appearance of the finished product.”
Regarding Talin’s use in bakery products such as cakes and biscuits and cookies, Lord said that the growing importance of sugar reduction would be a key factor.
“Talin helps to improve the sweet taste of typical sugar replacers such as sucralose, stevia, aspartame, ace K and saccharin. Lingering bitter and metallic notes are removed and the finished product tastes sweeter and more sugar like,” he said.
Lord remarked that marketing Talin to food and beverage manufacturers would be done via the company’s Shanghai office and the company would tap existing supply relationships with many of the key manufacturers.