The ingredient is derived from sucrose and maltose, and is designed to provide the full energy of sucrose.
Cargill said that because the ingredient is a syrup, it allows food and beverage manufacturers to apply the benefits of a sugar alternative with slow energy release and low glycaemic response to a potentially wider range of products.
Additionally, Xtend Sucromalt can replace multiple sweeteners and bulking agents in many formulations, which could allow food manufacturers to simplify ingredient labels and potentially reduce the amount of simple sugars in the formulation.
"We are confident of gaining novel foods approval next year for Xtend Sucromalt, as it is an excellent example of a solution that will help food manufacturers respond to the latest trends," said Anne Mollerus, global product line manager
Indeed, the interest in the glycaemic index (GI) of foods and the digestibility of carbohydrates has increased considerably in recent years. A number of studies suggest that a low GI and slowly digestible carbohydrates can contribute to the prevention of obesity and diabetes.
The glycaemic index measures how quickly certain foods release carbohydrates into the body, which then raise consumers' blood glucose levels. High GI foods cause blood sugar levels to rise more rapidly.
Furthermore, novel foods approval was recently granted to Xtend Isomaltulose, also part of Cargill's portfolio of slowly digestible sweeteners. This ingredient is obtained from sucrose by enzymatic conversion, and is also designed to provide energy release over a longer period of time.
Isomaltulose is targeted for use in the formulation of sports drinks, energy drinks and tablets, cereal bars and meal replacements, and recently won the 2006 Gold award at Health Ingredients Europe for the best innovation in health ingredients.
The company says that both sweeteners have GRAS (Generally Recognised As Safe) status in the United States.
"Xtend Isomaltulose and Xtend Sucromalt together fill a functional gap between full-calorie sweeteners and reduced-calorie sweeteners such as polyols," said Mollerus.
"The potential benefit of slow digestibility is a sustained energy supply resulting in a blunted glycaemic response, which presents opportunities for food manufacturers to create low-GI products.
"With Xtend Isomaltulose behaving like a sugar and Xtend Sucromalt behaving like a corn syrup, the products have great potential for inclusion into a wide range of applications."