British flavour specialist develops ‘unprecedented’ sugar substitute

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Flavour specialist Omega Ingredients has launched a ‘modern replacement for sugar’ that allows for both sweetness and ‘unprecedented’ mouthfeel.

?megaSweet is a completely natural new offering that ‘signals a new frontier for natural sweeteners’, the company said. It offers brand formulators and manufacturer a 50% reduction in sugar content with only a ‘minimal calorie contribution’, and can be used across a wide range of naturally sweetened foods and beverages.

“The calorie-free flavour system allows for genuine mouthfeel and the indulgent taste of sucrose with zero after-taste – a result that is impossible to achieve through the use of traditional sugar alternatives,” it added.

?megaSweet was developed by biochemist and Omega Ingredients co-founder Steve Pearce.

“Since the announcement of the sugar tax [in the UK], scheduled to come into play in March 2018, global brands have begun to search for ways of reducing the sugar content across their ranges,” said Pearce. “When you replace natural sugars with artificial sweeteners, you don’t just lose the sweetness, you also sacrifice mouthfeel, which often creates a bitter or even astringent aftertaste.

“All of these facts combined can lead to a drastically different product, which may be alien to consumers. That’s why we have designed ?megaSweet – to combat the challenges faced by the beverage industry ahead of the sugar tax.”

Ireland and South Africa are also waiting for sugar taxes to take effect, and the measure is being considered by governments across Europe and the world.

?megaSweet offers the opportunity for clean labelling with a ‘natural flavouring’ position. As well as delivering on mouthfeel, it can also be used to boost the flavour profile of the finished product and can be tailored to carry notes such as citrus, cola or any botanical blend.