Europe, 7th November 2012: One year after the addition of the latest low calorie sweetener (steviol glycosides, commonly known as stevia) to the array of ingredients available to food and beverage manufacturers, the International Sweeteners Association (ISA) is celebrating the industry’s accelerated level of product innovation, which means consumers can enjoy a ever widening variety of great-tasting low calorie foods, beverages and table-top sweeteners.
Chairman of the ISA, Hugues Pitre comments: “We are excited by the dedication of the industry to provide consumers with a greater range of low calorie sweetened products. Consumers are increasingly conscious of their diets and should be poised to see even more variety on the shelves. The range will continue to grow to provide even more choice for every occasion and lifestyle. Stevia’s introduction to market sparked a new wave of innovation and we look forward to seeing this continue to ripple through the industry.”
Low calorie sweeteners have been used by the food and beverage industry in Europe since the discovery of saccharin in 1879. Over the last 30 years, the range of sweeteners available for the development of food and beverages has increased dramatically to include acesulfame-K, aspartame, sucralose, neotame and now steviol glycosides. New sources of sweetness without calories continue to be developed. From 1994 the Regulations governing their use were harmonised allowing all of the authorised sweeteners to be used throughout the European Union.
Used to replace the sugars in everyday foods and beverages, low calorie sweeteners provide product designers with the ability to give consumers the sweet taste they enjoy with fewer calories. When consumed as part of a balanced and healthy diet, they can be an effective weight management and dental hygiene tool and since they do not impact insulin and blood sugar levels, low calorie sweeteners can also enable people with diabetes to enjoy sweet-tasting foods and beverages.