IBIE 2016

Answering the call for sugar reduction and clean label: Briess launches whole grain sweetener

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Malt and ingredients company, Briess, was sampling pound cake with 50% of the added sugar reduced by its first whole grain nutritive sweetener, InnoSweet, during the recent IBIE in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

InnoSweet is 100% sprouted whole wheat, according to the company, and it also contributes to zero added sugar to the bakery products.

Briess’ technical manager Bob Hansen, who is responsible for developing new products, told BakeryandSnacks that InnoSweet was designed to help food formulators tackle challenges of added sugar labeling.

Nutrition obtained from the sprouting process

“What we’ve done is that we took the wheat berry itself, and we sprouted and germinated it, and then slowly cooked it to allow the natural enzymes that were developed during the sprouting process to transform that grain into more nutritious and sweeter sugars,” he said.

Bakery manufacturers have been trying to incorporate whole grains into their products for a long time, and they’ve also been interested in some of the micronutrients that are resulted from the sprouting process, Hansen added.

“[InnoSweet] has both of those, and it also provides an added source of sweetening to answer the call for sweeteners that are less refined, and more nutritious.”

Targeting clean label trend

Hansen said there are various ways for food manufacturers to reduce sugars in their products, such as using high intensity sweeteners and sugar alcohols. InnoSweet represents one type of solution, specifically “targeting natural foods and clean labels.”

Speaking about the definition of clean label, he explained, from both scientist and consumer perspectives, it could mean ingredients from nature that are easy to understand.

“I would personally define clean labels as simple ingredients that have a meaning to the general consumer. Things like whole foods, or anything you can find on store shelves or in a pantry.”

Addressing changing labeling laws

FDA announced in May this year that food manufacturers are required to include “added sugars in grams and as percent daily value” on the labels of their packaging in support of the new dietary guidelines.

Scientific data shows it is difficult to meet nutrient needs while staying within calorie limits if someone consumes more than 10% of their total daily calories from added sugar, FDA said in an earlier statement.

Hensen said sugar represents an important functional ingredient in many baked goods, and has a specific role in texture, shelf life and other characteristics, but using high intensity sugar or sugar alcohol might not make the products natural and label friendly.

Hansen believes Briess’ SweetInno can help address some of the US nutrient labeling changes.

“Sweet foods are not going to go away,” he said. “I don’t think that reducing in refined sugars would fundamentally change the food industry, but it would just steer in different directions. The outlook for sweet baked goods is good.”

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