"A low-cost tagatose supply is highly sought after by leading, global food companies for a wide variety of applications that meet sugar-reduction targets in confectionery, ready-to-eat cereal, ice cream, yogurt, beverages, meal replacement drinks, cookies, bars and other popular categories," said Ed Rogers, CEO of Bonumose.
"Tagatose's unique features enable it to meet calorie-reduction targets without compromising taste or texture while working within companies' existing food production lines."
Tagatose – a rare sugar that occurs in tiny quantities in some fruits and grains as well as in the cocoa tree – is 92% as sweet as sugar, maintains a clean, no-aftertaste flavor profile as well as provides critical functionality such as bulking, mouthfeel, caramelization, freezing-point depression and low hygroscopicity. Bonumose said tagatose has a negligible glycemic index, 60% fewer calories than sucrose and prebiotic, fiber-like benefits by feeding healthy probiotics in the gut.
To date, the obstacle limiting widespread use of tagatose has been its high cost. Bonumose said it solved the issue through a lower-cost method using non-dairy, plant-based starch, enzymes and a streamlined process that eliminates several steps that inflate the cost of tagatose and allulose for other producers.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved Bonumose's method. Additionally, Health Canada approved Bonumose's process, marking the first time tagatose has been approved for sale in Canada. Regulatory submissions are under way and planned in all major markets worldwide.
Bonumose will launch tagatose production and sales in the first half 2022 with ASR Group, the world's largest cane sugar refiner and marketer. ASR Group is Bonumose's exclusive distribution partner in the US, Canada, Mexico and Western Europe.
Bonumose said ASR Group customers have successfully tested tagatose in formulations to meet reduction targets without sacrificing taste or function.
"Tagatose has performed extremely well for our customers across a wide variety of applications, and they are enthusiastic about having an affordable supply of tagatose available to them soon," said Jim Kappas, ASR Group's vice president of specialty ingredients.
"Using these insights, we forecast demand may already outstrip the production capacity at Bonumose's first production plant, and we will likely need to scale up as soon as possible."