The German-based ingredients supplier has conducted trails in recent months for a 30% reduced sugar chocolate and a no added sugar version.
The chocolates use a combination of HSI inulin - a type of inulin with a shorter chain length derived from chicory root - and isomalt LM, a version of isomalt with low water content, to replace sugar.
‘A really good match’
“This combination wasn’t tested before,” Veerle De Bondt, food application manager at Beneo, told ConfectioneryNews.
“With inulin you are close to plain sugar chocolate. We saw a really good match when HSI is used in chocolate due to the fact it has the certain sweetness that’s needed,” she said.
HSI inulin also ups fiber content. In its trials, Beneo found 15% fiber in its reduced sugar chocolate and 30% for the no sugar added version, compared to 2% in a full sugar control.
Both sugar-replaced chocolates also showed no difference in processing, said Beneo after comparing refining, conching and tempering to the full sugar control.
The supplier recognizes inulin and isomalt are more expensive than sugar, which at current prices is one of the cheapest ingredients in chocolate.
But De Bondt said “You have to think of the benefits of adding less sugar and adding fibers. It’s a question of making it more healthy and I think it’s worth it.”
Beneo said it had stepped up its search for sugar replacers in chocolate due to mounting consumer concern over sugar and rising interest from chocolate manufacturers for technical solutions.
Launches of chocolate products with a low, no or reduced sugar claim increased by 40% from 2013 to 2014 in Europe and Middle East Asia, according to market analysts Mintel.
Beneo said its 30% sugar-reduced chocolate would allow manufacturers to make a ‘reduced sugar’ claim in the EU.
A full sugar replacement with inulin and isomalt allows manufacturers to make a ‘no added sugar' claim under EU labeling regulations. But milk chocolate varieties may still contain sugar from lactose in milk powder.
The no-added sugar version requires an additional intensive sweetener such as stevia or sucralose.