IFT 2017 Preview: 7 Things You Can’t Miss At This Years Event


IFT 2017 is right around the corner and this year there will be a lot of great products and companies at the event…

But with nearly 1200 exhibitors at IFT it can be difficult to find the companies that could truly transform your business and take your company to the next level.

This is why we put together a list of some of the most interesting innovations, companies and sessions that will be at IFT this year.

1. Organic Bitter Blocker

Are you looking to reduce the amount of sugar in your product while maintaining a clean label?

Well MycoTechnology has discovered the world’s first certified organic bitter blocker called ClearTaste® which is helping companies reduce their sugar content by blocking bitterness.

One of the primary reasons sugar is added to foods is to cover up flavor defects, with ClearTaste companies can drastically reduce their sugar content by managing flavor profiles.

You can find out how ClearTaste is helping companies reduce their sugar content by up to 100% in some applications.

MycoTechnology will be at booth 1982 and will be demoing a hibiscus pomegranate stevia beverage made by  the beverage formulation experts, Imbibe.  The beverage is meant to show how ClearTaste can remove the bitter metallic aftertaste of stevia so companies can finally use a natural alternative sweetener system.


2. Shiitake Fermented Protein

The number one issue facing the alternative protein market is taste and aroma.

If your protein does not taste good no one will want to come back for a second helping.

Well MycoTechnology has also developed a unique fermentation process that uses shiitake mushrooms to solve these deficiencies through a natural fermentation process that removes the undesirable aspects of plant based proteins while enhancing with the nutritional qualities of Shiitake mushrooms.

The result is a slightly savory, complete vegan protein, that is highly digestible, with the nutritional characteristics unlike any other plant based protein on the market.

You can find MycoTechnology at booth 1982.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5mwBaavDho[/embedyt]

3. Rice Flour Increasing Shelf Life and Stability

Having a product that can stay on the shelf for a long periods of time is critical for new product development but…

shelf life and clean label often do not go hand and hand.

And with more and more consumers aware of what they are eating it is critical to find a way to increase shelf life while maintaining a clean label.

Well the folks over at Ingredion have found a way for companies to use “rice flour” while adding robust functionality, stability and shelf life.

And with the nutritional label only requiring rice flour you can be sure that your customers will be at ease.

The rice flour will be available to food manufacturers in the United States, Canada and Asia-Pacific following IFT 2017.

You can find Ingredion at booth 2056

Also download a copy of their rice flour brochure here:



4. Preserving Flavor Through Drying

You have spent months with your flavor company in order to perfect the flavor profile of your new product but there is just one problem…

When you scaled up your production process the flavor was completely destroyed…

Drying tends to be quite damaging to flavors so how do you protect your product to ensure that your customers are getting the best experience possible.

Well Clextral has made a breakthrough in its drying technology which claims to enhance the flavor and functionality of powdered foods.

This could be a major breakthrough that would have a significant impact in a wide range of food products.

You can find them at booth 2698

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pq_dFxY6W-I[/embedyt]


5. Push the Limits of Shelf Life in Dairy Beverages

Increasing the shelf life particularly in dairy beverage applications can be quite difficult.

Especially when compounded with high protein and fat content.

The solutions that have previously been available are not particularly friendly to your label…

If you are a beverage developer you should definitely check out the Ticaloid Pro 192 line developed by Tic Gums.

You can find them at booth 1050.


6. Plant Based Natural Color Line

Color can make or break a product…

Ever heard that you eat with your eyes?

Well its true…

Color can make a product more sweet, sour, salty, or bitter. Color can manipulate our perception of foods and our experience with them.

But now a days consumers want their colors to come from natural sources.

Naturex has one of the most extensive lines of plant based colors.

Their unique expertise in plant based ingredients and toll manufacturing make them ideal in developing products that your customer will actually enjoy.

You can find them at booth 2457 and be sure to download a copy of brochure here

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4aauqXhluvs[/embedyt]


7. FOOD EVOLUTION Film Premiere

You can often get swept up in the excitement of IFT and forget to go to the sessions.

But there are a few that you do not want to miss…

At IFT they will be premiering the film Food Evolution, which is directed by academy award nominated director Scott Kennedy and narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson. The film goes into why consumers distrust the food industry and starts a conversation to rationalize the role of sound science in the global food system.

This is one that you definitely do not want to miss.

The premier starts on Tuesday, June 27, 8:30-10:30 a.m.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIpmsh-qUn4[/embedyt]

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Does Plant Based Protein Have What it Takes

does plant based protein cut it

A few months back a customer came to us looking to improve the flavor of a plant based protein (pea). They were looking to make a beverage but were struggling with the flavor profile.

They had been trying to formulate for quite some time but were forced to add excessive amounts of sugar just to make it palatable.

Although we were able to help using ClearTaste™, it got us thinking about the challenges of the plant based protein market.

Alan Hahn and Pete Lubar discuss the challenges with plant based proteins and identify what it will take to gain mass consumer acceptance.
Key Points:

1:57 What the industry is using as their plant based protein of choice.
2:20 How much sugar is needed to cover up the off flavors of plant based protein
3:35 There is a big push to move towards plant based protein.
3:51 How consumers are embracing non-animal protein but not the sugar.
4:27 The challenges with formulating with plant based proteins
5:14 Center plate protein vs. peripheral protein
5:49 Protein portions off the chart

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lqad8ftQzIo[/embedyt]
Where you can find Alan Hahn
Twitter: http://bit.ly/29NYVY0
Linkedin: http://bit.ly/29NYZqE

Where you can find Pete Lubar
Twitter: http://bit.ly/29NYVY0
Linkedin: http://bit.ly/29VqhOk

Opportunities for Innovation in the Protein Industry

Opportunities in the Protein Industry

Here’s the alarming truth about protein industry:

By 2050 we will no longer be able to supply the world with enough protein to sustain life.

With our heavy reliance on animal based protein and a growing population, protein security will be a major issue.

But there is hope:

Alan Hahn and Pete Lubar of MycoTechnology discuss the harsh reality of the protein industry and what needs to be done to ensure that we are able to feed the world.

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znLH1qnInFY[/embedyt]


BBC Tomorrow’s Food: Reducing Sugar in Chocolate by Using Mushrooms

BBC Tomorroow’s Foods, Dr. Shini Somora

It may be hard to believe, but mushrooms can dramatically reduce the amount of sugar needed in chocolate. Denver based food technology company, MycoTechnology is able to reduce sugar requirements in chocolate by over 50% using their organic process.

Recently, they debuted their technology on BBC Tomorrow’s Food, which Alan Hahn CEO of MycoTechnology explained that the secret is in the root system of mushrooms:

“In nature mushrooms act as the clean up crew for the forest, breaking down toxins and providing nutrients for other plants to grow. By harnessing the root system of mushrooms, they consume the bitter compounds found in chocolate, ultimately reducing the need for masking agents such as sugar.”

Hahn goes onto explain that, “The reason chocolate has upwards of 70% sugar is due to bitterness. Food manufacturers will add sugar to mask the undesirable bitter flavors found in chocolate to the point where it can be detrimental to health.”

Sugar has gone under heavy scrutiny over the past few years, with research indicating its direct role in diabetes and obesity. This is of particular concern with the recent findings from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which found that toddlers between the ages of 0-2 consume the same amount of sugar as adults. With sugar running rampant in everything from bread to sweets we need innovations from companies like MycoTechnology to help solve the sugar epidemic.

How does it taste?

BBC Tomorroow’s Foods, Dr. Shini Somora

In episode three of Tomorrow’s Food, BBC host, Dr. Shini Somora, did a blind taste test of both the treated and the non-treated cocoa nibs (ground chocolate beans without sugar). First she tasted the unprocessed 100% cacao and found the taste to be almost unpalatable saying, “that is really bitter, it seems like I have just eaten some car tire.” Next, she tried the cacao treated with MycoTechnology’s mushrooms, finding the chocolate to be much more pleasant, “its bitter but its nice, its smooth. This is definitely your chocolate.”

Tomorrow’s Food, Chris Bavin Hits the Streets

Later in the episode, they took to the streets to have passerby’s taste test between the processed chocolate and the every day sugar-laden bar.

BBC Tomorrow’s Foods Mushroom chocolate

BBC Tomorrow’s Foods Mushroom chocolate taste test

Reaction to mushroom chocolate sugar reduction

People were amazed to find out that even with 50% less sugar they were not able to taste a difference between the two bars.

Subscribe and get early access

The chocolate is not available for commercial purchase but MycoTechnology will give subscribers early access to purchase the mushroom chocolate bars before its made available to the general public.

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IFT 2016 Survival Guide: How to Navigate the Show

IFT 2016 Guide

IFT 2016 Guide

It is that time of the year again that we all start preparing for the national IFT 2016 in Chicago:

Planning for the conference, entertaining potential clients, networking and team building are only some of the things you have to think about. To help make the most of your experience, we have compiled a comprehensive guide that will provide you the best places to stay, things to do and interesting tips and tricks to make the most of one of the biggest food conferences of 2016!

Navigation Links:

Section One: Planning for IFT – Tips, tricks and strategies to make the most of your IFT experience

Section Two: Right Before the Expo – Things you need to do before the show

Section Three: The Day of IFT – Welcome to IFT 2016, how to get the most from the show

Section Four: What to do after the Expo – Things to do and exclusive deals on local activities

Section Five: Unique ways to entertain clients – Special deals included

Section Six: Additional Resources

 Planning for IFT 2016

Tips, Tricks and Strategies to Make The Most of Your IFT Experience

Hotel Strategy:

The Palmer House Hilton is the preferred hotel for IFT and is conveniently located in the heart of downtown Chicago making it an excellent location to entertain clients. However, it is approximately 2 miles from the convention center and although there is a complementary shuttle that will drop you off and pick you up directly at the show, it may take a little longer than you hope for.

Palmer House IFT

The alternative is to book a hotel next to the convention center where you can walk directly over, but the location is less ideal for entertainment.

Discounts on Hotels:

If you are looking to save a little extra money, you can book your hotels directly through IFT and receive a discount. Hotel reservations must be made by June 23, 2016 to receive special rates, but act quickly because rooms are booking up fast. At the time of this article, the Palmer House Hilton only has the Executive Level available for ~$330 USD a night with the IFT discount.

Additional Accommodations Nearby:

Wyndham Grand Chicago Riverfront for $349/night

Hyatt Regency McCormick Place for $294/night

Hilton Chicago – SOLD OUT

Hotels around McCormmick Place

Hotel Alternatives

Since hotels are booking up fast you may also want to consider options like AirBnB or VRBO:

These websites allow people to list their personal property as a hotel alternative that you can rent just like a hotel. These resources can be a great bargain.

Plan your meals and make reservations ahead of time, when possible:

Chicago is full of excellent dining options, especially being home to the famous Chicago deep dish pizza and excellent steak houses. Whether you plan on entertaining, networking, or celebrating with your coworkers, be sure to make your reservations today to secure a wonderful dining experience.

For Lunch: 

Cafecito: Great Cuban restaurant for an easy, quick lunch:
Address: South Loop, 26 E Congress Pkwy, Chicago, IL 60605
Phone: 312-922-2233

Publican Quality Meats has great salads, sandwiches and soups:
Address: West Loop, 825 W Fulton Market St, Chicago, IL 60607
Phone: (312) 445-8977

Little Goat is a hip and popular restaurant any hour of the day:
Address: West Loop,  820 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607 
Phone: (312) 888-3455

For Dinner: 

Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab is perfect for meetings and celebrating a great conference with your team.
Address: Near North Side, 60 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: (312) 379-5637

Prime & Provisions is perfect dinner spot with tons of options.
Address: The Loop, 222 N La Salle St, Chicago, IL 60601
Phone: (312) 726-7777

Lou Malnati’s is the place to grab deep dish, popular and busy, but worth it!
Address: South Loop, 805 S State St, Chicago, IL 60605
Phone: (312) 786-1000

Download the IFT app

The IFT 2016 app is full of great information to help you plan for a successful trade show. You can download the IFT app on android and iOS. COMING SOON

The weather in July

Weather varies from mid 70s – to mid 80s with mostly summer skies with the occasional rain shower due to the higher humidity. Be sure to bring an umbrella as weather can be unpredictible at times.

Section 2 Transportation

Transportation to McCormick Place


From Chicago O’Hare Airport:

When you arrive at Chicago O’Hare International Airport you will need to arrange transportation to get to downtown. Here are several options to choose from:

  1. ‘L’ Train System Blue Line ($5 USD ~45 minutes) directly from the airport you can hop on a train that can take you right into downtown. Pop in your hotel on your smartphone and select the train option, which will give you detailed instructions on which line to take.
  2. Uber/Lyft ($32-50 USD ~50 minutes)
  3. Taxi (~$45 USD ~50 minutes)
  4. Rental Car (Varies)

From Chicago Midway Airport:

When you arrive at Midway International Airport you will need to arrange transportation to get to downtown. Here are several options to choose from:

  1. ‘L’ Train System Orange Line ($5USD ~45 minutes) directly from the airport you can hop on a train that can take you right into downtown. Pop in your hotel on your smartphone and select the train option, which will give you detailed instructions.
  2. Uber/Lyft ($17-23 USD ~20 minutes without traffic)
  3. Taxi (~$40 USD ~20 minutes without traffic)
  4. Rental Car (Varies)

Navigate Chicago Without a Signal:

Downloading maps ahead of time is particularly useful for international travelers who do not wish to pay the high fees associated with international data rates. You can easily download a map of Chicago and use it for offline use with the Google Maps app. Even without a signal, you will be able to navigate the windy city without burning through your data.

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qS8LzMHOVsM[/embedyt]

Skip to 1:33 to learn how to download maps to your phone with Google Maps. Note: you must have a gmail account and be signed in for this to work.


Making the most of IFT

How to get the most from IFT 2016

IFT is more than just the expo. They put on a lot of great activities that are perfect for networking. Here are a few don’t miss opportunities:

Dine at IFT Bistro

This year IFT is putting on an all-inclusive dining experience right on the expo floor. If you are looking for networking opportunities or just looking for healthy lunch options this is a must go to event. Advanced reservations are required so be sure to register and check out the menu. IFT Bistro can be found next to Mintel’s booth number 4953.

Innovation Zone

This is a new event this year where you can meet with the developers of new products, technologies and innovations to hopefully inspire your next product. (Location TBA)

Featured Sessions

There are tons of great educational sessions that you shouldn’t miss. Be sure to check out these four featured sessions:

  1. Science Versus Sensationalism and Soundbites: How Can Consumers Make More Informed Choices? — Jacques Rousseau
  2. Bad Science — Ben Goldacre
  3. Taming Dragons in the Age of Pseudoscience — Bev Postma
  4. Consumer Panel: Consumers Share Their Clean Label Buying Habits — TBA

On-Trend Exhibit

Get a sneak peak of some of the products that will be showcased on the expo floor. Details of where this is going to be held are coming soon.

ePosters Area

Get information on the latest technical research. You can find the eposters section at booth 347.

Pop-Up Sessions

These popular education sessions give you a chance to sit down and have conversations with your fellow peers to create connections and build relationships.

Career Center

There is no better place to find a career in the food business than the IFT career center. Bring plenty of resumes, dress the part and be ready for formal interviews.

New Exhibitor Pavillion

Is a great way to connect with companies that have yet to exhibit at IFT before. A great, new, innovative company called MycoTechnology, which also happens to be the one that brought you this post, will be exhibiting at the pavilion this year at booth 743.

We have developed the worlds first certified organic flavor modulator, ClearTaste™, that effectively works by blocking the perception of bitterness, astringency, and sourness in a variety of products, which will be demonstrated at the show. Stop by and mention this guide and we will give you a special gift. You can also learn more about ClearTaste below:

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEBLSw5bVV4[/embedyt]

ClearTaste ingredient solution



Things to do in chicago

Things to do and exclusive deals on local activities

There is no shortage of things to do in Chicago. Here are a few must see attractions:

Willis Tower (Formally known as Sears Tower) Sky Deck

Get panoramic views of the city in the tallest building in Chicago. If you are feeling brave, stand out on the sky deck.

Skydeck Chicago

Check Out Cloud Gate (AKA Bean) at Millennium Park

Chicago Bean Cloud Gate

Stop by the Navy Pier

Opened to the public in 1916, today its one of Chicago’s most popular tourist attractions, made up of 50 acres of gardens, attractions, shops, restaurants, concert venues and parks.

Navy Pier Chicago

Unique ways to entertain clients

Unique ways to entertain Clients

Start your evening at City Winery then rent a boat to cruise down the river

There is no better way to entertain clients like drinks and a boat cruise in Chicago.

Start the evening over at the City Winery and have some food and drinks with clients over looking the river (Located only 3 miles from the convention center).

Chicago Electric Boat Company and City Winery

Head across the street to Chicago Electric Boat Company where you can rent boats by the hour. Use promo code “MYCO” and receive a free bottle of wine on your river cruise. Because of the high demand, its best to reserve a boat ahead of time. Many of the boats can seat up to 8  people comfortably with some supporting up to 12 people.


Chicago Electric Boat IFT Promo

City Winery

Be sure to check out Food Navigator’s exclusive resources

Every year Food Navigator puts together a great collection of resources from the show so be sure to visit after the expo.

Download the Free Sugar Reduction E-Book

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Connect and Share

If you have liked this resource, please comment below and if you have any additional tips be sure to include. Don’t forget to subscribe to our email list.

How Do You Solve the Sugar Epidemic? Solve Flavor Defects

 sugar epidemic and flavor defects
With the average American consuming three times the daily recommend amount of sugar and obesity reaching epidemic proportions, the food industry is frantically trying to develop healthier products. However, taking sugar out of foods is not as simple as it sounds as it provides a critical role in product development due to flavor defects.

Product formulators are tasked with creating great tasting products that can be enjoyed by the masses. The challenge is that many natural ingredients have flavor defects such as bitterness, astringency and sourness which are off-putting to consumers. Their efforts become particularly challenging when developing products that are also, non-GMO, chemical-free and organic. To combat flavor defects, food manufacturers have adopted a practice known as masking, which is capable of hiding the unwanted tastes. Flavor masking works by over satiating taste receptors to the point of not being able to detect flavor. Vanillin and aroma chemicals are common masking agents but the most popular is sugar. Sugar is highly effective, inexpensive and provides structure to foods that few ingredients can; however, its health implications and the changing consumer landscape poses a challenge for its use in future product formulations.

But the challenges continue:

Although more than 51% say they want less sugar in their foods, taste is the most important factor in product acceptance and consumers are unwilling to compromise. Over the past several years, food manufacturers have been looking for solutions that are capable of providing full flavor without the added calories; however, finding effective sugar replacements that align with consumer trends has posed challenging.

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Artificial sweeteners

One of the first solutions to solve flavor defects without the use of sugar was artificial sweeteners. These substances were created to have zero calories while mimicking the taste of sugar. It was promoted as the perfect solution for the obesity epidemic. It wasn’t until the 1980’s that researchers found a link between the use of artificial sweeteners and bladder cancer. Soon after, researchers also implicated aspartame (a popular artificial sweeter) in causing a variety of tumors. In 2008 research showed that consumption of artificially sweetened beverages is associated with increased risk of diabetes.

Natural Sweeteners

Because of the controversies surrounding artificial sweeteners, scientists today are in constant search for healthier alternatives, especially from natural sources. Stevia is one of the most popular natural sweetener alternatives available on the market. Derived from a plant, this natural sweetener is 200-300 times sweeter than sugar with zero calories. The challenge with Stevia is its bitter metallic aftertaste. Several companies are looking for a solution to the aftertaste issues of stevia.

What is Reb A Stevia
Stevia Leaves – Image courtesy pixabay.com

Monk Fruit is another popular natural sweetener alternative. Monk fruit was GRAS approved in early 2010 and has seen traction in several different categories. However, monk fruit’s high price point and unique aftertaste has limited its potential. Typically, monk fruit has been used in conjunction with stevia to increase overall sweetness with less flavor defects.

Monk Fruit – Image Courtesy wikimedia.org

Artificial Bitter Blockers

Flavoring companies have also tried to address bitterness by developing synthetic bitter blocking compounds. They work by blocking a bitter taste from binding with a taste receptor site; without the binding, the bitter taste is not perceived. Historically, chemical blockers have had varying degrees of success at mitigating bitter tastes, usually with limited applications and parameters. Artificial bitter blockers have also had challenges with the evolving consumer landscape who are looking for more natural ingredients.

Organic Bitter Blockers

Till recently there have been no known organic bitter blockers available on the market. It wasn’t until mid 2014 that MycoTechnology discovered the first of its kind. The certified USDA organic blocker is derived from a mushroom extract and used as a processing aid to effectively modulate a wide variety of substrates. MycoTechnology recently struck a deal with several major sweetener manufacturers to improve the flavor defects of stevia and monk fruit, however, it can be used in a broad range of applications.


9 Sugar reduction strategies that food manufacturers can implement today

Sugar Reduction Strategies



The alarming number of obesity and overweight cases in recent years pose serious public health concerns and has prodded food manufacturers to implement new sugar reduction strategies. An observational study in 2007 and a newsletter issued by the Harvard School of Public Health showed a strong correlation between the consumption of simple sugars (such as glucose, fructose and galactose) and the growing obesity epidemic. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends restricting sugar intake to less than 10% of total daily calorie intake but highly recommends to consume only 5%. Now consumers are taking their health into their own hands and demanding healthier food choices, without caloric sweeteners.

According to the discussion held in 2014 at the Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting & Food Expo, New Orleans consumers are shifting towards low salt and sugar foods with more than 50% of consumers opting for such food variants. With this rising trend, the food industry is making headway towards reformulating their food products to bring about healthier options that consumers are demanding.

Following are some sugar reduction strategies that food manufacturers can implement today:

Sugar Reduction Strategies of 2016:


1. High Intensity Sweeteners

Nowadays, consumers are opting for natural sweeteners instead of artificial in order to avoid potential health issues. Stevia is one such non-nutritive, zero glycemic index, natural sweetener that has recently been approved for use in foods by the FDA. It been popularized because its 200-300 times sweeter than the table sugar without the added calories, however, its aftertaste poses a challenge for product formulators. Several have tried to create better tasting stevia through the use of bitter blockers, modifiers, GMO’s and organic strategies.

Recently, a team at Cornell University found that bovine serum albumin helped to reduce stevia’s aftertaste. Cargill developed a GMO yeast that produces steviol glycosides (the sweet part of stevia) that has less bitter off notes. However, there are organic alternatives that can improve the taste of stevia. MycoTechnology found a particular mushroom extract used as a processing aid, eliminates the aftertaste of stevia which is certified USDA Organic.

2. Sweet receptor modulators

Most sweet receptor modulators are Positive Allosteric Modulators (PAM), which are substances that modify the perception of sweetness and improve sweet taste receptor activity. PAMs do not produce sweetness on their own, but trigger the sweetness intensity of low-calorie or zero‑calorie sweeteners. The advantage of using sweetness modulators is to reduce the associated bitterness and lingering tastes of sweeteners.

3. Cross-Modal Correspondence

Using molecular biology, your taste buds can be tricked into thinking foods are sweeter than they actually are. This works because sweetness is perceived in the mouth and when a sweetener interacts with salvia an interaction happens between olfaction and gustation. This is why when using vanilla above or below the aroma threshold, enhances the perceived sweetness of a product.

Other cross-modal correspondence that can be used to change the perception of sweetness is the color and shape of a product. For example strawberry mousse was perceived to be 10% sweeter and more well liked on a white plate than a black plate. Hot chocolate tastes sweeter and has more of an aroma in a dark cream cup than in white or red cup. Foods that are red are perceived as sweeter.

4. Sugar alcohols

Sugar alcohols are a type of reduced-calorie sweetener that has less of an effect on blood glucose levels. These can be used as a sugar reduction strategy due to their minimal caloric effect. The challenge with sugar alcohols is their laxative effect, particularly in children. Some of the legally approved sugar alcohols include: sorbitol, xylitol, lactitol, mannitol, erythritol and maltitol.

5. Reduce the bitterness


Many foods in their natural state are bitter. Often times this is a natural defenses against predators and may signal to the predator some type of toxicity. The tried and true way to cover the bitter flavors has been sweeteners. Organic bitter blockers are now available that reduce the need for sugar. Bitter blockers work by inhibiting a bitter taste from binding with a bitter taste receptor.

MycoTechnology recently introduced a certified organic bitter blocker called ClearTaste™ which is a novel way to effectively reduce the lingering bitterness from a variety of food and beverage applications, particularly stevia and monk fruit.

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEBLSw5bVV4[/embedyt]


6. Prebiotics

Sweeteners such as sucralose and saccharin have detrimental effects on gut microflora, which may result in complications like glucose intolerance. These sugars also elevate the secretion of a hunger hormone- ghrelin, leading to obesity.

On the other hand, an indigestible synthetic polymer called polydextrose has been recognized by the FDA as a soluble fiber. Polydextrose, can be used as a sugar substitute in various food processes since it functions as a prebiotic. It also serves as a thickening agent in many formulations. Additionally, the research has shown that xylitol contributes in reducing the levels of salivary mutans streptococci significantly.

7. Antioxidants

Normal table sugar doesn’t have antioxidant property. However, naturally occurring sugar alcohol erythritol comes with a plus that it has a potent antioxidant property. Additionally, as erythritol provides 60‑70 percent sweetness as sucrose, it can be efficaciously used as a sugar substitute. Its caloric value is 0.2 kcal/gm giving 95 percent lower calories than table sugar.

Recent research says that erythritol acts as an antioxidant and may help in protecting against hyperglycemia-induced vascular damage. The scientific data also supports the use of erythritol as a ‘diabetic-safe’ sweetener.

8. Ribose sugar for ATP-depleted muscles

Ribose sugar is made naturally in the body and consists of five-carbon bonds. Ribose is a base of vital compounds like DNA, RNA and adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP molecules are required for energy generation and these molecules are depleted faster.

Research supports that external ribose supplementation helps in ATP synthesis and replenishes muscle cells from stress. Ribose can be used as a low-calorie sweetener and is half as sweet as sucrose. Various studies also reveal that ribose administration can benefit patients with congestive cardiac failure and ischemic heart failure by increasing heart muscle power.

9. Bulking agents

As sweeteners tend to be multiple times sweeter than sucrose, they are required to be added in small quantities. As a result, the bulk of that particular food product decreases raising the question about its volume, texture and mouth feel. Hence, bulking agents are needed along with sugar substitutes.

An appealing approach to address this problem is to use natural sugar substitutes such as sorbitol, maltitol, xylitol, erythritol, isomalt, maltodextrin and mannitol as they provide sweetness and texture to the food product. Other bulking agents that would add volume, but not sweetness are soluble fibers like inulin and polydextrose.

 Have another strategy? Add it to the comments below.


What is Reb A Stevia?

What is Reb A Stevia

What is Reb A Stevia

While stevia refers to the entire plant, Rebaudioside A or Reb A is the primary steviol glycoside that make stevia sweet. There are typically 10 different steviol glycosides that can be found in varying concentrations within the stevia plant.

10 Steviol Glycosides found in Stevia

  • Stevioside
  • Steviolbioside
  • Rubusoside
  • Dulcoside A
  • Rebaudioside A
  • Rebaudioside B
  • Rebaudioside C
  • Rebaudioside D
  • Rebaudioside E
  • Rebaudioside F

Extraction Process of Steviol Glycosides

In order to be used in foods the glycosides need to be purified into extracts, which can be done with simple water/alcohol extraction techniques. The extraction process does not effect the composition or structure of the steviol glycosides.

The first step in the extraction process involves soaking the stevia leaves in hot water in order to separate the liquid from the plant. The plant is further purified using water and/or food grade alcohol to make a fine white powder.

FDA Regulatory

In the United States, stevia extracts must be comprised of 95% steviol glycosides in order to be used as a general purpose sweetener. While the overall percentage of steviol glycosides needs to be above 95%, the industry often refers to stevia based on its primary glycoside Rebaudioside A.

Sensory Analysis of Reb A

Most manufacturers produce stevia that has a Reb A concentration of 95% or higher. This is because although stevia is 200 to 300 times sweeter than sugar, its flavor profile is often found to be unfavorable by many consumers, which is more noticeable in lower concentrations of Reb A. Stevia has eight different flavor characteristics which can be tasted in the following order:

  1. Sweet Taste
  2. Bitter Taste
  3. Licorice
  4. Astringent
  5. Sweet Aftertaste
  6. Aftertaste
  7. Cooling
  8. Total Aroma

Even stevia extracts with a high percentage of Reb A, still has some of these negative attributes however, it is less noticeable.

Human taste buds contain different receptors to identify sweet and bitter compounds. While there is only one receptor responsible for sweetness, there are 25 that identify bitterness; however, only two receptors, hTAS2R4 and hTAS2R14 are activated when consuming stevia. The challenge for stevia is that sweetness and bitterness come from the same glycoside and the different solutions that have been developed typically will effect both bitterness and sweetness together.

Innovations in the stevia industry

Companies looking to use stevia in their product formulations are looking for innovative solutions to solve the taste defect issues found in stevia. There are three different approaches that have been used:


Several companies have developed synthetic solutions to help reduce stevia’s aftertaste. Synthetic chemicals are used as a bitter blocker to block a bitter taste from binding with a bitter taste receptor. Without the binding affect a person would not be able to perceive the bitterness from stevia. Synthetic solutions however are not 100% effective and are often limited to specific applications and tend to lose some of the total sweetness.

Genetically Modified

Other companies have developed genetically modified solutions to help with the aftertaste. Companies have created methods to genetically modified yeast to produce Reb A glycosides. Although the yeast is genetically modified the Reb A glycosides are considered natural by the FDA; however, the Non-GMO project verified committee has already commented saying that they will not be approving any product using this method.


Another company has taken a different approach and developed an organic bitter blocker derived from mushrooms that effectively improves stevia’s flavor profile. Bitterness, licorice, astringency, sweetness aftertaste, aftertaste and cooling effect are all improved will maintaining total sweetness. The organic technology has recently been adopted by some of the top stevia manufacturers in the world.

History of Stevia

Stevia is a native shrub to South America which has been used for centuries as a sugar substitute. Stevia was first commercialized in Japan just over 40 years ago, which was used as a natural sweetening agent. Now stevia has been approved for use in Korea, Mexico, Taiwan, China, Russia, Australia, Argentina, New Zealand, Colombia, Peru, Uruguay, Brazil and Malaysia. However, as of mid 2015 India has approved stevia extracts to be used in foods, which has exponentially grown the stevia market place.

Consumers Driving the Stevia Market

The World Health Organization (WHO), estimates that stevia could replace 20-30% of all dietary sweeteners within the coming years. This is based on consumers becoming more educated on the effects of sugar and artificial sweeteners, which in turn is driving demand for natural, non-caloric, high intensity sweetener alternatives like stevia. With new technologies and innovations the stevia market could soon become a successful alternative to sugar.