Layn Pegs Monk Fruit as a “Cross-Functional” Reduced-Sugar Solution

April 1st, 2019


Category: Sugar

(Food Ingredients First) – The plant-based and “free-from” movements are “picking up steam across global food and beverage markets” and monk fruit is becoming a front-running sweetener solution that meets consumer demands. This is according to Shaun Richmond, Global Vice President for Sweeteners at Layn Natural Ingredients, a supplier of plant-based sweeteners and functional botanical extracts.

Layn’s newly launched Lovia platform combines monk fruit mogrosides with specific steviol glycosides to enable more profound sugar reduction with a sugar-like taste. Layn’s line of Monk Fruit Juice Concentrate is the latest innovation demonstrating Layn’s expertise in plant-based sweeteners.

Richmond says there is an increased demand for natural sweeteners globally. “Consumers are more educated and demand to understand the labels of their favorite foods and new foods and beverages that are coming to market,” he tells FoodIngredientsFirst.

Sugar taxes have been introduced across many markets across the globe, which has sparked increased interest from brands and manufacturers in finding alternatives to sugar. “Many notable companies have made commitments to reduce the use of sugar and artificial ingredients in their products,” Richmond says. From these companies, there’s a strong demand for alternatives that are free from artificial ingredients and still offer a balanced sweetness that mainstream consumers enjoy.

In addition, the global food and beverage industry has an incredible wave of new entrepreneurial companies using ingredients like monk fruit. Just several years ago these companies and their products would have been seen as alternative brands.

“With the ability to now sell high volumes of foods and beverages online to a global marketplace, these products are now available to many people throughout the world. Accordingly, these brands have seen momentous growth, large food and beverage companies have acquired some and they have accelerated consumer awareness and education around products like monk fruit,” Richmond explains.

On the consumer side, Richmond says “we’ve never experienced such a large vocal population that wants to ensure that their families consume nutritionally dense foods with easily understood ingredients while still offering the taste and convenience their busy lifestyles demand.” These dedicated consumers share their preferred brands with friends in everyday interactions and often across social media platforms. The passion around these brands and ingredients they choose is a significant force in the growth of these companies and ingredients like monk fruit, he notes.

According to Richmond, the primary challenge in using monk fruit, as many formulators know, is that it’s not sugar. “Monk fruit is many times sweeter than sugar, which offers a unique mouthfeel and taste profile. So it is important that formulators from food and beverage companies understand these differences and work with organizations that provide them the right tools to allow sugar reduction in the finished product while retaining a sugar-like taste profile,” he explains.

“Most food and beverage formulators will agree that no one sweetener will perfectly replicate sugar on its own,” Richmond points out. For this reason, after completing research on the sensory profile of various natural sweeteners, Layn developed many multi-sweetener platforms using monk fruit.

For example, the company’s Lovia sweetener platform uses both the mogrosides from monk fruit and select glycosides from stevia to provide a sweetener solution that combines the strengths and synergies of the two compounds to perform well in key food and beverage applications.

Richmond also states that monk fruit is becoming a preferred option within the sweeteners space and a good addition to “better-for-you” and “clean label” products.

Companies including Layn have invested significantly in agriculture programs and techniques to drive compelling cost-in-use. They are also looking to secure the supply chain so that even with large multinational companies now using monk fruit in flagship products there is ample fruit available to support global demand, he adds. “Where there is a need for sugar or artificial sweetener reduction, there is an opportunity for monk fruit. Whether in conjunction with other sweeteners or paired with a reduced level of sugar, monk fruit can be used in many different applications including beverage, dairy and increasingly in sports nutrition products,” he comments.

Layn offers different formats of monk fruit including extracts, powders and concentrates on accomplishing sugar reduction goals across many applications. Layn Corp. will demonstrate products incorporating its Lovia sweetener platform and the recently introduced Monk Fruit Juice Concentrate at SupplySide East 2019 trade show in Secaucus, New Jersey (April 9 and 10).

Show attendees will be able to sample a variety of products, including:

• Mango Orange Beverage – a refreshing beverage sweetened with Layn’s Monk Fruit Juice Concentrate.

• Vegan Energy Protein Drink – a cross-functional beverage providing a boost of energy from Layn’s green coffee bean extract, plant-based pea protein, with natural sweetness from the Layn Lovia platform.

• Gut Health Snack Bar– leveraging both Layn’s plant-based sweeteners and functional botanical extracts.

Add New Comment

Forgot password? or Register

You are commenting as a guest.