2017 Sweetener Products Sampling Station & Taste Demonstration

The desire for sweetness in foods is innate. As interest in health grows and as nutritional researchers, regulators, and consumers pay increased attention to how products are made sweeter, the industry is developing innovative foods, beverages and supplements.

The following products were offered for sampling at the 2017 Sweetener Systems Conference, November 7, 2017, Lombard, Ill. We wish to thank:

Bullet PointLayn Natural Ingredients as sponsor of the 2017 Sweetener Systems Sampling Station.

Bullet PointMelanie Goulson, Merlin Development for an interactive Taste Demonstration: “Balancing Sweet & Sour” that shows how to optimize the sweet/sour balance in products.

Bullet PointRTI International for assistance in identifying consumer products with an interesting twist on sweeteners.

NOTES: Ingredient statements and nutritional information may be subject to change due to product reformulations and other factors.

Smarty Grow  Omega-3 Bars

Ingredients:  Peanuts, Fructooligosaccharide (FOS), Raisins (Raisins, Sunflower Seed Oil), Almonds, Brown Rice Crisps (Brown Rice, Malt Syrup, Salt), Cane Sugar, Dried Cranberries (Cranberries, Sugar, Cranberry Concentrate, Sunflower Oil), Quinoa, Rice Syrup, Brown Rice, Peanut Butter(Roasted Peanut, Peanut Oil, Salt), Palm Oil, Agar, Natural Flavors, Omega-3 DHA Algal Powder.

Nutrition Facts:  Serving Size 1 Bar (40g),  Calories per serving 180. Total Fat 11g (14% DV), Saturated Fat 1.5g (8% DV), Trans Fat 0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 20mg (1% DV), Total Carbohydrate 21g (8% DV), Dietary Fiber 2g (7% DV), Total Sugars 7g – Includes 4 g added Sugars (8% DV), Protein 5 g.

GFF Comments: Claims include DHA All Natural Healthy Gluten Free Non-GMO. $14.99 for a box of twelve 1.4oz bars.

thinkThin Protein & Probiotics Whey, Madagascar Vanilla Bean Beverage

Think Thin Probiotic Protein 2017 SSC Sampling StationIngredients:  Protein Blend (Whey Protein Concentrate, Whey Protein Isolate), Chicory Root Fiber, Natural Flavor, Sunflower Lecithin, Xanthan Gum, Sea Salt, Organic Stevia Extract, Vanilla Bean Seeds, Monk Fruit Extract, Bacillus Coagulans (Probiotic), Greek Yogurt Powder (Cultured Skim Milk), Vitamin A Palmitate.

Nutrition Facts:  Serving Size 2 Scoops (34g).  110 Calories, Calories from Fat 10. Total Fat 1f (2%DV), Saturated Fat 0.5g (3% DV), Trans Fat 0g, Cholesterol 55mg (18% DV), Sodium 120g (5% DV), Total Carbohydrates 10g (3% DV), Dietary Fiber 5g (20% DV), Protein 20g (40% DV).

GFF Comments: Claims include 20g Protein, 1 Billion Probiotics, 5g Fiber, 2g Sugar, Prebiotics, Antioxidant Vitamin A, Gluten Free and GMO Free. It was chosen in part for its combined use of monk fruit extract and stevia extract for sweetness. Chicory root fiber may also contribute sweetness.  A 14oz canister generally costs $19.99 at most online stores.

Lakanto Maple Flavored Sugar-Free Syrup

Ingredients:  Purified Water, Vegetable Fiber, Lakanto Monk Fruit Sweetener {Non-GMO Erythritol, Monk Fruit Extract), Vegetable glycerin, Natural Flavorings , Sea Salt, Vitamin B 35b (Plant Based Preservative), Guar Gum.

Nutrition Facts:  Serving Size 2 tsp (30 ml), Calories 20, Fat   0g,   Saturated Fat  0g, Trans Fat  0g, Cholesterol   0mg, Sodium   75mg, Carbohydrates   11g,   Fiber  5g, Polyols/Sugar Alcohols  5g,  Sugars  0g, Protein   0g

GFF Comments:  Claims include the product “looks, smells, and tastes like real maple syrup with fewer calories and a lower glycemic index. All natural – Vegan – 100% Sugar Free – Gluten Free and Non-GMO” and that it “is perfect maple syrup alternative for blood sugar and weight management, and is ideal for sports enthusiasts, keto diets, diabetics…”, or those who want to stay away from too much sugar which isn’t good for your health. Chosen as an example of the use of erythritol and monk fruit extract. Product cost $10 per 13 oz. bottle of syrup.

Lakanto Sugar-Free Chocolate Bars

Ingredients:  Arriba Cocoa Beans, Lakanto® Sweetener (Erythritol, Monk Fruit Extract), Cocoa Butter, Vegetable Fiber, Sunflower Lecithin, Sea Salt, Natural Flavors.

Nutrition Facts:  Serving Size 0.5gm (Servings Per Container 2); Amount Per Serving: 120 Calories, Calories From Fat 90, Total Fat 11g (17% DV), Saturated Fat 6g (30% DV), Trans Fat 0 g, Cholesterol 0mg, Total Carbohydrate 27g (9% DV) [Dietary Fiber 9g (36% DV); Sugars 0g; Sugar Alcohol 12g], Protein 3g

GFF Comments:  Lakanto’s Sugar Free Chocolate bars also combines erythritol with monk fruit extract. It has 0g sugar and 12g sugar alcohol. $5.69/3 oz bar online.

Wella Bar line of Chilled Organic Protein Bars

Wella-Bar-variety-pack-150Ingredients (Variety: Powerful Peanut):  Dry Roasted Peanuts*, Honey*, Milk Protein Concentrate*, Dry Egg Whites*, Non Fat Dry Milk*, Virgin Coconut Oil*, Dry Roasted Almonds*, Vanilla Extract* (contains ethyl alcohol). Contains Peanuts, Almonds, Coconut, Eggs and Milk.  *USDA Organic.

Nutrition Facts:  Serv. Size: 1 bar (58g), Amount Per Serving: Calories 280, Total Fat 19g (29%DV), Sat. Fat 3g (16%DV), Trans Fat 0g, Cholesterol 0mg (0%DV), Sodium 30mg (1%DV), Total carb. 21g (7%DV), Fiber 3g (14%DV), Sugars 14g, Protein 13g, Vitamin A (0%DV), Vitamin C (0%DV), Calcium (8% DV), Iron (4%DV)

GFF Comments:  Originally found at 2017 NPEW, the Peanut Cacao variety claimed “Wild Flower Honey” on the front of the pack. Identifying the flower source is popular with some high-end honey products. By late summer 2017, that differentiating characteristic was declared only on its website. Label notes that “A portion of sales of Wella Bars goes to fund research to enhance the health and vitality of honey bees.” Bars require refrigeration.

Bitsy’s Sweet Potato Raisin Oatmeal Cookies

Bitsys_Brainfood_sweet-potatoIngredients:  Organic Whole Flour, Organic Light Brown Sugar, Organic Palm Shortening, Organic Molasses, Organic Pastry flour, Organic Oats, Organic Dehydrated Sweet Potato, Organic Raisins, Organic Pea Protein, Vitamin Premix, Organic Vanilla Flavor, Organic Eggs, Organic Cinnamon, Organic Milled Flaxseed, Sodium Bicarbonate, Sea Salt

Nutrition Facts:  Serving Size 1 oz (28g); Calories 110; Calories from Fat 35; Total Fat 4g (6% DV), [Saturated Fat 1.5g (8& DV), Trans Fat 0g]; Cholesterol 0mg (0% DV); Sodium 55mg (2% DV); Total Carbohydrate 17g (6% DV), Dietary Fiber 1g (4% DV), Sugars 6g; Protein 2g

GFF Comments:  Found at 2017 NPEE. Product uses two added sweeteners, brown sugar and molasses as well as two whole foods (raisins and dehydrated sweet potato) to obtain the desired level of sweetness. Company’s website says: “Just like grandma made but with way less sugar. Bitsy’s Sweet Potato Oatmeal Raisin Smart Cookies bring together veggies and sweetness in perfect harmony.” Cost $16.99 online from company for three 5oz bags.

KIND Fruit Bites

KIND Fruit Bites Cherry AppleIngredients:  Apple, Cherry

Nutrition Facts: Serving Size 1 pouch (18g); Calories 60, Total Fat 0g, Total Carbohydrate 14g (5%DV*), Dietary Fiber 1g (4%DV), Total Sugars 11g, Includes 0g Added Sugars, Protein 0g
*  Based on a diet of 2,000 calories a day

GFF Comment: KIND website‘s product description: Tart cherries meet sweet apple in these bite-size snacks. Made with only two ingredients and no juices, purees, concentrates, preservatives or added sugar, they’re the perfect fruit snack for any lunchbox. $4.29 / five 0.6oz (18g) pouches

KIND Fruit Bites Promotion Times SquareIn August, 2017, Kind placed kid statues that looked like they were made of sugar and what looked like 45,000 lbs. of sugar in Times Square. The purpose was to promote its Pressed by Kind bars and Kind Fruit Bites that are made without added sugar. Ad Age reports that Drew Nannis, head of integrated communications at Kind, has said “”We have nothing against sugar.” Some other Kind products contain sugar and glucose syrup. The company was trying to differentiate itself from other fruit snacks that do add sugar.  August 22, 2017 Ad Age Online

Säpp Birch Water

Säpp birch water

Ingredients: Organic birch sap (99%), citric acid

Nutrition Facts. Serving Size: 1 Bottle (10.2oz, 300ml), Calories 10, Total Fat 0g, Sodium 0g, Total Carbohydrates 3g [1% DV], Sugars 3g**, Protein 0g, Calcium, Zinc and Magnesium all 2% DV, Manganese 125% DV. ** Only sugars naturally occurring in birch trees [on label]

GFF Comment: In the last few years, some have suggested birch water will be the Treo birch waternext super drink. Sapp is one of several brands on the market. The xylitol is derived from xylan hemicellulose in the bark. Products are touted for their low glycemic index and magnesium content. Birch tree-derived xylitol is more expensive than from corn cobs.  $3.04/10.2oz bottle from LuckyVitamin.com .

Treo Birch Water Infusion is a more recently introduced product. The Peach Mango variety contains “Filtered Water, Organic Birch Sap, Organic Erythritol, Organic Mango and Peach Juice Concentrate, Citric Acid, Natural Flavors, Organic Fruit and Vegetable Juice (Color), Sodium Citrate, Ascorbic Acid, Organic Stevia Extract.” The product states that “Birch water is also jam-packed with naturally built-in nutrients, minerals, electrolytes, and antioxidants,” and that “Treo gets its lightly sweet taste from xylitol, a naturally occurring sugar found in birch sap, that’s also good for your teeth and gums.”

Crave Crush

Crave Crush suppliments

Ingredients: Gymnema, zinc, sorbitol, and mint

GFF Comment: An August 7, 2017 press release explains that Crave Crush, a dietary supplement, is a lozenge that helps limit cravings for foods with sugar within seconds.  Its main ingredient, gymnema, influences the tongue’s sweet taste receptors, thereby preventing activation of those receptors by sugar molecules and preventing those receptors from signaling the brain. Crave Crush will suppress your sense of sweet taste for up to an hour. All the ingredients are natural. Cost from Vitamin Shoppe Aug. 11, 2017 $34.99 for 30 tablets. See further comments in Crave Crush Press Release


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