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Erythritol finally approved for European market

Erythritol is free to join a host of approved polyols and be used in food and beverage categories throughout the European Union 18 months after it was officially approved by the Novel Foods process and a decade of campaigning by various ingredients suppliers.

It's an approval that follows years of sanctioned use in the US, Canada, Mexico, Japan, the Philippines, Singapore and Taiwan.

The polyol gained notoriously difficult Novel Foods approval in 2006 but Member States were granted 18 months to alter their own legislatures.

With that deadline passed, food companies can add the low-calorie sucrose alternative known for its digestive and dental favourability to foods and beverages throughout the EU's 27 Member States.

Market analysts predict bulk sweeteners like erythritol will perform well because they are naturally sourced, a fact that carries increasing sway with consumers in Europe and elsewhere.

Ingredients giant Cargill, which has lobbied extensively for the ingredient's approval for 10 years, released a statement highlighting how the ruling would benefit its proprietary ingredient, Zerose, which is targeted at low-calorie indulgence foods, including bakery items, dairy-based desserts and confectionery items such as gum and chocolate.

Zerose is also being marketed on its ability to extend product shelf life.

The Novel Foods approval stated: "Erythritol has many technological non-sweetening properties that are important in a wide range of foods, from confectionery to dairy products. These include functions such as flavour enhancer, carrier, humectant, stabiliser, thickener, bulking agent and sequestrant."

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