Danisco Sweeteners has developed a range of ingredients designed to help food makers create snacks with less than 100 calories.
The company claims that its Litesse polydextrose and Lactitol products, for example, can help food companies develop controlled calorie snacks that appeal to weight-conscious consumers.
The division has increasingly worked with food companies in order to develop sugar free, reduced sugar, reduced calorie and low fat foods and beverages. Its solutions are clearly a response to this growing global demand for functional ingredients that are also low glycaemic, prebiotic and high in fibre.
Litesse polydextrose for example is 1kcal/gram speciality carbohydrate that the company claims offers food makers a wide range of physiological and functional benefits. For example, it replaces sugar and fat while improving flavour, texture and mouthfeel in a wide variety of applications.
It is also low glycaemic and metabolised independently of insulin. It is therefore suitable for consumers seeking to control carbs, including diabetics.
Lactitol on the other hand is a reduced calorie sweetener derived from milk sugar, which plays a versatile role in foods such as chocolate, ice cream and baked goods. Danisco says that its solubility and viscosity means that the ingredient closely resembles sucrose.
It is also evident that Danisco is increasingly focusing on such value-added ingredients, and is moving away from the commodity end of the business. The new EU sugar regime has impacted on the group's financial performance, while texturant products and sweeteners generated the highest organic growth in the year, according to the group's recently published annual report.
"The EU sugar reform largely turned out as expected although the financial impact in the short term has been bigger than anticipated," said CEO Tom Knutzen.
"Danisco is well into the process of adjusting the production structure and continues its efforts to be among the most efficient sugar producers in Europe once the reform is fully implemented over the next couple of years."
Overall, the company recorded revenue of DKK 20,912 million in the 2005/06 financial year, up 17 per cent on the prior year. Ingredients (63 per cent of revenue) contributed growth of DKK 3,414 million broken down on 5 per cent organic growth, 4 per cent currency effect and 26 per cent from acquisitions.