Inulin and isomaltulose don't contribute added sugars to formulations, but are naturally sweet.

There are a number of ingredients that naturally provide sweet taste without being considered sweeteners; thus, they do not contribute added sugars to a product formulation. One of the more common ingredients is chicory-root-fiber inulin.

“Some chicory-root-fiber inulin ingredients are as high as 65% the sweetness of sugar yet still contain at least 75% dietary fiber,” said Scott Turowski, technical sales manager, Sensus America, Inc. “Chicory-root fiber is synergistic with high-intensity sweeteners and has masking properties to help provide a clean sweetness.”

Another new ingredient is sprouted whole wheat powder. This first-of-its-kind whole grain nutritive sweetener developed by Briess is 100% pure sprouted whole wheat and is declared as such on product labels. It delivers nutrition and sweetness created during natural sprouting, gentle cooking and drying.

“Simultaneously, it contributes zero ‘added sugars,’ while replacing part to all of the sugar in a formula, reducing or eliminating the amount of ‘added sugars’ on the label,” said Judie Giebel, technical services representative, Briess Malt & Ingredients. “One example is a pound cake with 50% of the added sugars reduced through the use of sprouted whole wheat powder.”

Another interesting sweetener is isomaltulose, which is made from beet sugar and occurs naturally in honey. It is an effective and healthy sugar with a mild, sweet taste. Having a low effect on blood sugar levels but being fully digestible, it provides full carbohydrate energy in a balanced and sustained way, eliminating the undesired “boost and crash effect” generally associated with other sugars, according to Jon Peters, Beneo president.

“Our isomaltulose is a proven contributor to better fat oxidation in energy metabolism, potentially providing longer-term benefits for body composition and weight management,” Mr. Peters said.

“US consumers are becoming increasingly aware that not all sugars are alike,” Mr. Peters concluded. “They are seeking balanced energy and good taste in a healthier sugar from natural sources.”