Label-friendly, ‘natural flavor’ stevia launched in Brazil and Mexico

By Niamh Michail contact

- Last updated on GMT

Native to Paraguay and Brazil, stevia rebaudiana is 200 to 300 times sweeter than sugar and contains zero calories. © GettyImages/MagMos
Native to Paraguay and Brazil, stevia rebaudiana is 200 to 300 times sweeter than sugar and contains zero calories. © GettyImages/MagMos

Related tags: Stevia, sugar reduction, natural additive

Tate & Lyle and Sweet Green Fields have launched a glycosylated stevia extract that that can be labeled as ‘natural flavor’ in Brazil and Mexico.

Cost-in-use of the ingredient, called Zolesse, is cheaper when compared with other glycosylated stevia extract flavors, according to the companies.

Zolesse can be used in low doses, with average usage levels in beverages, cereals, hard candies, and baked goods at 30 parts per million (ppm), 50 ppm for milk products and 10 ppm for soups, according to the companies.

Certified non-GMO, it also modifies the taste of other stevia ingredients, reducing bitterness and lingering flavor. It also blends well with monk fruit and sugar if manufacturers want to increase sweetness, the companies said.

Dr. Mel Jackson, chief science officer at Sweet Green Fields said Zolesse a “formulator-friendly​” flavor.

“It eases the concern of formulators who believe consumers may be sensitive to stevia products when reading ‘steviol glycosides’ or ‘stevia extracts’ on the label. Plus, Zolesse creates no application hurdle, since it has a negligible effect on the original taste of the products," ​Jackson added.

Sugar reduction in food and drink products is an increasingly important issue across Latin America where rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes rise and governments introduce measures to restrict sugar intake, such as Mexico’s sugar taxes or front-of-pack warning labels in Chile, Peru and Uruguay.

Senior vice president of food and beverage at Tate & Lyle and general manager of the Latin American division, Oswaldo Nardinelli, recently told this publication​, stevia was its “number one priority ingredient​” for sugar reduction in the region, followed by allulose and fiber.

Zolesse is also available in the US, the Philippines, Indonesia and all countries that accept flavors deemed by the US Flavor and Extract Manufacturers’ Association (FEMA) to be Generally Regarded as Safe (GRAS).

Other Latin American countries that accept FEMA GRAS flavors include Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Peru, Paraguay, and Uruguay, although some countries may require product registration.

Related topics: R&D, Soft Drinks & Water

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