According to Mintel data, over the past five years in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia markets, the number of product launches with ‘no added sugar’ claims have increased 33%, those with ‘low/reduced sugar’ claims have increased 41%, and ‘high/added fibre’ claims have grown 28%.
At Gulfood Manufacturing in Dubai, Dominique Floch, Tate & Lyle’s regional sales and technical director of Turkey, Middle East and Africa, said sugar and calorie reduction were the dominant consumers trends in Middle East, although protein enrichment was upcoming.
He stressed that there was no single ingredient solution to formulate sugar-reduced, and ‘better-for-you’ products.
He told us: “Sugar reduction is not something easy to do, it’s challenging, there is no single magic solution. It requires the right product and technical team to bring the right solution.”
Sugar reduction is more than simply removing sugar. Fibres can be used in conjunction with sugar reduction to bring back some of sugar’s functionality and help in reducing calories.
Floch cited a solution from the firm in creating a sugar-reduced tropical juice drink using sweeteners like sucralose (Splenda), fructose (Fructopure), and the Frimulsion stabiliser system.
Together, it offered a 31% sugar reduction, and 30% calorie reduction, while ensuring the texture and mouthfeel of the beverage.
A typical tropical juice drink per 100mL would contain 57kcal energy and 13.7g of sugar. The sugar reduced tropical fruit drink contained only 40kcal and 9.4g of sugar.
Another example was a sugar-reduced strawberry milk drink containing stevia 2.10 (Optimizer) and soluble fibre (Promitor). It resulted in a 35% reduction in sugar, and 30% in calorie.
Floch expressed, “Food reformulation is not an easy thing. It is important to be clear on what is the demand, which sometimes can be a bit more complex than it seems.”
The firm is now expanding its team in the Middle East.
Watch the video to find out more.
This video was made using Lumen5.