Wild is introducing a new version of its Fruit Up sweetener, specially designed for use in fruit jelly confectionery products and angled towards helping manufacturers tap the healthy confectionery market.
The German ingredients firm first launched its Fruit Up sweetener in 2001, and has developed versions for beverages, bakery, and ice-cream productions. The logo was re-launched last year for the ingredient brand.
But building on the success so far, Wild sought to make it suitable for a new category of products - fruit jelly confectionery. This includes products like fruit pastilles, fruit gums, wine gums and gummibears.
"Fruit Up is perceived well and has caused high interest in the beverage industry and a lot of interest from food customers," the company told FoodNavigator.com. "This is the reason for spreading it to the confectionery market."
Emilio Colom, product manager for Fruit Up, explained that the difference between the versions lies in the balance between the carbohydrates from fruits, such as glucose and fructose for instance. This is important so as to ensure the right sweetness profile and technical attributes.
For fruit jelly confectionery, Wild has hit upon the mix of carbohydrates that prevents browning or crystallisation on the surface of the finished product.
The beverage version, on the other hand, is monosaccharide-rich, Colom said. The flavour profile needs to fit with the expectation that the product will be sweet when first sipped, but to fade thereafter.
Wild is supplying the new version of Fruit Up both as an ingredient and in its jelly confectionery concepts - that is, ready made blends of ingredients to which the manufacturer of the finished product only needs to complete the production stage. It also supplies "marketing arguments" that the customer can use.
The sweetener is described as a composition of different fruit concentrates.
"This ingredient has no intrinsic flavour but creates a naturally sweet sensation in the final product," said the company. The sweetness intensity is said to be similar to that of sugar.
Low-GI for health
As for the healthy aspect to the sweetener, Wild says Fruit Up has a low glycaemic index.
The glycaemic index measures how quickly certain foods release carbohydrates into the body, which then raise consumers' blood glucose levels. High GI foods, including white bread, white rice, many prepared breakfast cereals and sugar, cause blood sugar levels to rise more rapidly. Low GI foods include most vegetables, fruits, beans and unprocessed grains.
Low glycaemic foods are presently receiving considerable attention for their contribution to a healthy lifestyle. The approach was originally designed to help diabetics manage their blood sugar levels by diet, but a low glcyaemic diet has also been linked to a reduced risk of developing diabetes and heart disease.
In some countries, since as Australia and the UK, glycaemic index has also been adopted by consumers as a weight management approach. The idea is to choose good carbohydrates, rather than eliminating them entirely as was the approach in the previously popular Atkins diet.
Wild conducted a scientific study on the level and effect of the glycaemic index of Fruit Up in collaboration with researchers from the Nutrition and Food Science Group at the School of Life Sciences at Oxford Brookes University in the UK.
The company says this study showed it has a "very low glycaemic index". FoodNavigator.com has not seen the full methodology or results, and the study has not been published in a journal.
The healthy confectionery market
A report published in March by Global Industry Analysts predicted that healthier eating patterns and strong economic growth, in both developing and developed markets, will boost global confectionery sales to $159.6bn by 2010.
According to the report's authors, the market will on average experience compound annual growth of 3.95 per cent, thanks to products such as sugarless sweets and functional chocolate.