It isn't just the sweet that consumers miss when their favorite drink cuts back on the sugar to cut back on calories. It's also the thickness and slipperiness of the liquid.
That is why Cargill has created a new reduced-calorie solution specifically for beverages, called TasteWise. Available worldwide, the new solution was unveiled this month.
"Any time you remove sugar from a beverage, the sweetness is affected, but also the mouthfeel," explained Andy del Rosal, team leader of Cargill's beverage application scientists. "In order to compensate for the reduction of sweetness, zero-calorie, high-intensity sweeteners are added, often combined with flavors, to optimize taste. Although this combination compensates for the loss of sweetness, the beverage often still has a ‘thin’ mouthfeel and a different taste profile."
TasteWise solutions were designed to better balance the sweetener, flavor and texture of the product. Cargill says it uses a combination of texturizers, sweeteners and flavors to balance the taste and the mouthfeel.
The pre-screened texturizing blends, commercialized as Trilisse blends, optimize mouthfeel based on specific applications. The blends are customizable based on customer need (the amount of sugar they are looking to reduce) and the application (CSD, juice, alcohol drink, etc.)
This can save companies money, del Rosal said, because TasteWise and the Trilesse blends can speed product development time. And, depending on the application, a beverage maker may be able to use fewer sweeteners or other ingredients to achieve the same mouthfeel provided through the use of the blends.
The TasteWise solution utilizes Cargill’s stevia-based, zero-calorie sweetener Truvia rebiana. "However, customers can use whatever sugar-reduction or flavor system they prefer, and still leverage the benefits of the TasteWise solution," he said.
The company has six patents filed on TasteWise, and is now working to extend its capabilities into food products, including dressings, sauces and soups.