Sugar intake reduction is a pillar of international nutritional guidelines. Excess sugar has been demonstrated to be associated to various pathologies, such as Diabetes and Obesity. Sugar provides more than sweetness to foods. When the sweetness of foods containing sugar is replaced with sweeteners (for example high-intensity sweeteners) to reduce the calorie content, other key attributes are often sacrificed. For this reason, other ingredients ("Bulking Agents") are needed to make up with the missing properties. HI-FOOD research has focused on an innovative, viscous, semi-solid system able to replace syrups not from a sweetness stand point but as a texturizing and bulking agent.
MELTEC® (patent pending technology) is a Natural semi-solid ingredient similar to a syrup, that contains less than 1% of natural residual sugars. It is suitable for sugar free applications. It is similar to honey and sugar syrups; the structure is long and thick due to its fibrous nature, with both soluble and insoluble fibers. It is based on natural vegetable fibers from legumes and cereals (in particular from brans and cuticles) with some residual water. The solids are both soluble and insoluble fibers that are all "suspended" thanks to the chemical nature of some fractions of brans containing pectin-like molecules. These pectin-like polymers give the appearance of a suspending effect but in reality, they have reacted with steam at various pressures forming a kind of weak gel trapping the other fibers fraction avoiding the precipitation.
We have tested the replacement of sugar syrups and humectants in various applications, obtaining the same final product.
The low calories together with the insignificant content of sugars carried by MELTEC® allows it to be used to replace syrups in products where the sugars and the energy value want to be reduced by 30% (or more).