MINNEAPOLIS — Cargill has become the exclusive distributor of Treha trehalose for use in foods and supplements in the United States and Europe after finalizing an agreement with Nagase Group in Japan. Treha, a glucose disaccharide, is about 38% as sweet as sucrose.

“Treha trehalose could literally go into 20 different finished products for 20 different reasons,” said Deborah Schulz, specialty carbohydrates product line manager for Minneapolis-based Cargill. “This really is a unique ingredient that provides value in many areas due to its many functional properties.”

Treha has been shown to extend the shelf life of bread and other baked foods. It has been shown to make glazes on baked foods less likely to stick to packaging. Other benefits include preventing the formation of ice crystals and freeze-thaw damage in frozen foods; retaining moisture and texture in cooked proteins such as chicken, shrimp, pork and beef; and masking a range of unpleasant tastes and odors in beverages.

Hayashibara Co., Ltd., a Nagase Group company in Japan, manufactures Treha trehalose.

“Treha’s unique functionalities have been harnessed for food and beverage innovation in Asia in extremely diverse ways,” said Bradley Hilborn, director of business development at Nagase America Corp., New York. “Our partnership with Cargill will help us bring these innovative solutions to the U.S. and European communities, as well as work together to discover new possibilities for the ingredient.”