‘Household names’ trial new fruit-based sweetener as R&R Ice cream prepares new desserts launch

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

Sweet Freedom
Sweet Freedom
‘Household names’ in food and drink manufacturing are conducting trials with fruit-based sweetener Sweet Freedom following its successful launch in the retail market.

The sweetener, which is derived from naturally-occurring sugars in carob, apples and grapes, has secured listings in Tesco, Holland & Barrett, Waitrose and Ocado, where it is sold in 400ml bottles.

However, it has recently increased its profile amongst food manufacturers after Kirsty Henshaw, a contestant on TV show Dragons’ Den, secured funding to develop a new range of iced desserts containing the sweetener.

The desserts, manufactured by R&R Ice Cream, will be launched in supermarkets next month.

25% fewer calories than sugar, gram for gram

Leading food manufacturers are now trialling Sweet Freedom in health bars, coffee syrups, frozen yogurts, sauces, fruit compotes and several other products, Tina Michelucci, joint md of brand owner Diet Freedom told FoodManufacture.co.uk.

“Manufacturers appreciate the sugar-like, neutral taste, and many of the more natural focused firms are now switching to Sweet Freedom from agave syrup - we have two-or three enquiries a week - and from maple syrup, which is almost triple the price of Sweet Freedom at the moment.”

The sweetener, which is claimed to have 25% fewer calories than sugar gram for gram, can replace sugar, honey, high fructose corn syrup, glucose, gomme, golden, maple, agave and rice syrups in a range of products. As it has a low glycaemic load it is also a good option for diabetics, she added.

It also has excellent binding properties, making it ideal for cereal coatings, bars, flapjacks and cookies, claimed Michelucci. “It is ambient with a two-year shelf life and unlike honey is very stable and will not crystallise.”

A darker variant is also being used instead of honey in granola, flapjacks, smoothies, drinks, cakes, bars and dressings.

Labelling - front and back of pack

Firms keen to highlight their 'natural' credentials have been using terminology such as: 'only contains sugars naturally occurring from fruit' on the front of pack, and listing Sweet Freedom on the back as: 'natural fruit extracts (apples, grapes and carob)', she explained.

Others are using the phrase 'sweetened with Sweet Freedom' on their packaging as awareness of the brand has increased through retail listings.

Extracted using water (rather than chemicals or enzymes), Sweet Freedom contains a variety of naturally-occurring sugars and polyols, but less fructose than agave syrup, golden syrup or honey.

Related topics Ambient foods Frozen

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