Tate & Lyle’s European food ingredients team based in Aalst, Belgium, has launched Meritab - a new direct compressible dextrose. Meritab is designed for use in confectionery products, including candy tablets, mints and energy tablets, and pharmaceutical and neutraceutical applications such as vitamin-enriched tablets. Using a proprietary process developed at Aalst, Meritab brings significant functional benefits to the European tabletting industry.
Kristien Gerits, Product Manager at Tate & Lyle’s European Food Ingredients team said, “Tablets are generally produced using either traditional wet granulation or direct compression. Wet granulation is a multi-stage process which is cost intensive, time consuming and requires a large investment in capital equipment. Meritab compressible dextrose allows tablet manufacturers to stop using wet granulation processes, and so offers a cost effective and simplified production process.”
Meritab compressible dextrose enables manufacturers to produce consistently high quality tablets with a smooth surface and reduced breakage – increasing efficiency in ingredient usage and delivering cost savings. It has excellent flow properties, ensuring regular machine feeding and low tablet weight variation. Compared to standard tabletting ingredients, Meritab requires less machine pressure to yield similar tablet hardness. This reduces press downtime and increases machine longevity – helping to further optimize the manufacturing process.
Suitable for use in chewable and hard confectionery and medication, Meritab compressible dextrose provides improved mixing properties which allows easy and uniform blending with colours, flavours or other ingredients. Meritab has a clean and cooling taste which is great for confectionery and medication alike. It can help to mask bitter notes of other ingredients often associated with vitamins, plant extracts, minerals, active pharmaceutical ingredients and some high intensity sweeteners.
Ms Gerits added, “We applied in-house tabletting technology to evaluate the Meritab powder functionality in comparison to other tablet ingredients. Our findings showed that Meritab provided harder and more consistent tablets in comparison to other ingredients used for direct compression.”
Also produced at Aalst, Belgium, Tate & Lyle recently introduced two improved sieved dextrose grades, Meritose 220 (medium) and Meritose 300 (coarse). These have been launched in response to customer demand for coarser grades of dextrose with less fines.
Ms Gerits said, “Sieved dextrose is increasingly preferred by customers as it is easier to handle and performs better in many applications. Sieved dextrose does not tend to lump and has reduced dusting, better dispersion and less demixing. Meritose 220 and Meritose 300 deliver all these enhanced characteristics.”
Both Meritose 220 and Meritose 300 are used widely across a number of food and industrial applications. In foods, Meritose is used as a sweetening agent or in food applications requiring fermentable sugars such as bakery mixes and meat seasoning blends. Applications include confectionery, fondants, spices and seasoning, tabletting, bakery mixes, sports drinks, and baby foods. It can also be used in industrial applications as a chemical building block (chemically pure dextrose or glucose) and it is widely used for the production of ecologically sound surfactants (APG's).