Basel I Switzerland

Healthier lifestyle through sugar reduction in ice cream

Healthy food and especially a reduction in sugar, fat and salt is currently one of the most dominant topics in the public  health debate. More and more sugar-reduced or sugar-free ice cream varieties are appearing on the market, mainly in Europe and the American food trade, often in 400 ml portion sizes and labelled with calorie saving claims. The consumption of ice cream is much higher than that of other confectionery. The prospect that consumption does not entail excessive calorie intake is very appealing to consumers.

Ice cream with no added sugar is readily available on the market. However, it rarely compares favourably with sugar-containing ice cream in terms of taste and texture. The taste profile lacks the typical  sugary sweetness and the texture is affected by the deviating freezing properties of the ingredients. High-quality sugar-free ice cream requires a sugar replacement that demonstrates both the sweetening quality and the texture- building functionality of sugar. ERYLITE® Erythritol in combination with steviol glycosides largely meets these requirements

Erythritol is a FEMA approved natural flavouring classified as a flavouring with modifying properties (FMP, FEMA 4819). Due to its high water solubility, it can act as an osmolyte and shorten sweetness onset as well as increasing the sweetness peak.

Steviol glycosides are the most commonly used natural high intensity sweeteners in frozen desserts and harmonise well with the overall flavour profile. Stevia plant extracts always impart a characteristic taste profile even at highest purity levels. This taste profile is characterised by liquorice and a lingering effect that is hard to ignore. Although steviol glycosides have improved in flavour over recent years, ERYLITE® Erythritol significantly mitigates the remaining unpleasant   notes and eliminates the lingering effect.

The freezing properties of an ice cream formulation have an extremely important impact on the softness and taste impression of the ice cream. The carbohydrates present in the formulation strongly influence the freezing point through their inherent freezing point depression factor (FPDF). Simply removing sugar from the ice cream base will result in a very hard and icy texture, as the freezing point is no longer depressed enough to keep a portion of the water unfrozen.

Although we know erythritol alone does not stabilise the formulation, scanning electron microscope images show that with just a small amount of stabiliser like xanthan gum added, the formulations demonstrate good heat shock stability as well as good ice crystal and air cell distribution.

Jungbunzlauer is one of the world’s leading producers of biodegradable ingredients of natural origin. We enable our customers to manufacture healthier, tastier and more sustainable products. New formulations based on natural and biodegradable ingredients derived from fermentation, support the development of recipes with nutritional advantages such as protein and fibre fortification, and sugar or calorie reduction.

The variety of products with better-for-you type claims continues to grow on the market. ERYLITE® Erythritol is naturally occurring, as well as being the best tolerated and the only “zero” calorie sugar alcohol used in ice cream. As even health conscious consumers still refuse to compromise on taste, ERYLITE® and stevia represent powerful tools in formulations with no added sugar. The combination overcomes missing sweetness and masks the lingering off notes inherently associated with high intensity sweeteners.

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