Deliver great taste and mouthfeel — without all the sugar
In the world of RTD sports hydration beverages, sugar free/no sugar added positioning is becoming a standard and an expectation. And for formulators, addressing the challenge of removing the sugar and calories while building back expected sweetness, taste and mouthfeel is job #1.
47% growth in no added sugar claims for RTD sports hydration beverages, CAGR 2017-20191
Sugar free is the third most used claim in new product launches of RTD sports hydration beverages, 2017–20191
1Source: Innova, 2021
How to best address the dual needs for low/no sugar and excellent taste and mouthfeel — while providing the most customer-preferred positioning? Ingredion's experts offer three top tips:
Many RTD sports beverages with reduced or zero sugar claims achieve their desired sweetness levels with artificial alternatives like sucralose and Acesulfame potassium (Ace K). You can stand apart with a “No artificial sweetener” claim on your reduced or zero sugar beverage by selecting innovative sweetener options like plant-based stevia that can provide needed technical benefits together with a non-artificial positioning.
Removing grams of sugar in sports beverages intended for hydration brings challenges. You'll need to strike the right balance of carbohydrates and electrolytes for effective performance. Plus, replicating the sweetness of sugar by using artificial high potency sweeteners and first-generation stevia may contribute to unexpected flavor profiles — but other stevia based systems and/or added flavor modifiers can help to balance and overcome these challenges.
Nutritive sugars add more than sweetness — their solids help to add the anticipated texture and mouthfeel to a flavored hydration beverage. So when removing sugars, you'll need to build back the lost texture to provide a more rounded drinking experience. This can be achieved with hydrocolloids and/or a low-caloric alternative sweetener such as allulose, which effectively builds back texture while providing 70 percent of the sweetness of sugar.
Take advantage of Ingredion’s expert assistance and broad portfolio of sugar reduction solutions to help solve your low/no-sugar sports beverage formulation challenges. Learn more about these and other solutions:
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