Reducing sugar has become more important now that the Food and Drug Administration will mandate that the Nutrition Facts Label on retail products include a line for added sugars. Grain-based foods manufacturers at IBIE also may seek solutions for reducing sodium. One other big focus for attendees may be seeking natural ingredients to replace artificial ones in baked foods.

The F.D.A.’s enforcement of the mandatory declaration of added sugars on the Nutrition Facts Label begins Jan. 1, 2020. Added sugars are those that either are incorporated during the processing of foods or are packaged as such and include sugars (free, mono- and disaccharides), sugars from syrups and honey, and sugars from concentrated fruit or vegetable juices that are in excess of what would be expected from the same volume of 100% fruit or vegetable juice of the same type.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020 recommends added sugars account for less than 10% of people’s total energy intake. Sweets and snacks account for 31% of the added sugars in American diets, according to the Guidelines.

A new option in sugar reduction has appeared in allulose, known as a rare sugar. In its draft guidance in April, the F.D.A. said it will use discretion to allow allulose to be excluded from the total sugars and added sugars declarations on the Nutrition Facts Label when used as an ingredient. The F.D.A., which previously counted allulose as a sugar and added sugar, gave the ingredient a caloric value of 0.4 calories per gram, down from a previous value of 4 calories per gram, the same as sugar.

“The latest data suggest that allulose is different from other sugars in that it is not metabolized by the human body in the same way as table sugar,” said Susan Mayne, Ph.D., director of F.D.A.’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. “It has fewer calories, produces only negligible increases in blood glucose or insulin levels and does not promote dental decay.”

Tate & Lyle, P.L.C. offers allulose under the Dolcia Prima brand.

“It’s very rewarding to receive this decision and unlock the great potential that allulose has to reduce calories in a significant way while delivering great taste and functionality,” said Abigail Storms, vice-president of global strategic marketing, Tate & Lyle.

In December 2018 Ingredion, Inc., entered a relationship with Matsutani Chemical Industry Co., a company in Japan that developed Astraea brand allulose. Ingredion is currently constructing a dedicated Astraea allulose manufacturing site in Mexico.

“From our research we know that more than 60% of consumers are actively monitoring the sugar content of products they purchase,” said Afrouz Naeini, Ingredion’s platform leader for sugar reduction in the United States and Canada. “Astraea allulose can help enable food and beverage brands to reduce sugar and calorie counts on nutrition facts labels.”

When replacing sugar, formulators often use a bulking agent, erythritol for example, along with high-­intensity sweeteners such as stevia and sucralose that are hundreds of times sweeter than sugar. Allulose works as a bulking agent, and it is 70% as sweet as sugar.

Options for sodium reduction

Americans on average consume 3,400 mg of sodium per day, which is more than the limit of 2,300 mg per day recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020. Sweets and snacks account for 8% of the salt in American diets, according to the Guidelines. Rice, pasta and grain dishes account for 7%, and pizza accounts for 6%.

The most obvious contributor to sodium in baked foods is sodium chloride, but chemical leavening agents like sodium bicarbonate may also add sodium to baked foods. Potassium bicarbonate and ammonium bicarbonate are potential substitutions for sodium bicarbonate.

IBIE Interactions

During IBIE, companies mentioned in this article can be found at the following show floor locations:
AB Mauri, No. 6653
Cain Food Industries Inc., No. 5206
Corbion, No. 6049

When reducing salt, potassium chloride often is used in place of sodium chloride, and food companies now have a new way to label the ingredient. In May, the F.D.A. issued draft guidance on using the name “potassium chloride salt” as the alternative to “potassium chloride.”

“The flexibility in declaring potassium chloride in the ingredient statement on food labels may help inform consumers of the use of potassium chloride as at least a partial substitute for sodium chloride, thereby leading to the selection of foods with lower sodium content and decreasing the amount of sodium consumed,” the F.D.A. stated in the guidance.

It also took into consideration a citizen petition from NuTek Food Science, which had requested the use of the name “potassium salt” for potassium chloride.

In a statement, the F.D.A. responded that “potassium salt” is not a common name for potassium chloride and the agency is unaware of evidence that would support a regulation enabling “potassium salt” as the common or usual name.

Cain Food Industries works with NuTek Food Science to help bakers interested in reducing salt in their products by using NuTek’s potassium chloride ingredient. And Cargill offers Potassium Pro potassium chloride.

Free-from ingredients

Nielsen data show consumer interest in avoiding artificial ingredients. While U.S. sales growth for conventional food and beverage products was 0.7% in the 52 weeks ended March 9, sales growth for products with nothing artificial was 2.7%. Nielsen considered such products to be free from artificial colors, flavors, preservatives and sweeteners as well as free from hormones and antibiotics.

IBIE attendees will likely see natural mold inhibitors on display at the Expo. Cain Food Industries offers AlphaFresh, an acid-based system derived from natural fermentation, to replace calcium propionate and deliver mold inhibition for up to 21 days. Corbion offers Verdad MP100, a combination of vinegar and natural flavor that matches the mold-inhibiting functionality and flavor neutrality of calcium propionate.

AB Mauri North America works with its customers to understand the baking process and product portfolio before making appropriate clean label recommendations. The company offers ingredients such as dough improvers, leaveners and mold inhibitors.

Pak Group offers a clean label Hawaiian roll improver through its North American brand, Bellarise. The ingredient has no sodium stearoyl lactylate monocalcium phosphate, ammonium sulfate, sodium silicoaluminate or diacetyl tartaric acid ester of mono- and diglycerides.

Reasons to avoid artificial ingredients, as well as sugar and sodium, were found in the International Food Information Council Foundation’s 2019 Food and Health Survey. Nearly 40% of respondents said seeing the word “natural” on labels influenced their purchasing. A majority of respondents said they perceived sodium to be unhealthy, and 80% said they were trying to limit or avoid sugars.