05/10/2021 | Ingredients

Sweegen expands sugar reduction portfolio

Sweegen is expanding its extensive sweetener portfolio in early 2022 with the zero-calorie, high-intensity nature-based sweetener brazzein. The product was developed in collaboration with its long-term partner Conagen, which has scaled it to commercial production.

Brazzein is a small, heat-stable protein, 500 to 2,000 times sweeter than regular sugar, making it “very attractive to food and beverage manufacturers seeking excellent value in a sweetener,” according to Sweegen. Brazzein’s qualities stand out among high-intensity sweeteners, but the quest to scale and commercialize it has proven difficult until now, the company details. As a sweetener, it promises little to no bitter aftertaste and helps to reduce sweet lingering, reducing taste modulation challenges in the natural sweetener space. Brazzein is stable in a wide range of pH levels and retains its qualities after pasteurization. It is also readily soluble, making it ideal for sugar reduction across a spectrum of food and beverage applications.

Health-conscious consumers are turning away from artificial sweeteners and accepting nature-based sweeteners, such as stevia and allulose. Found sparingly in nature, brazzein derives from the West African climbing plant’s fruit, oubli. To scale it sustainably, Conagen produces it by a proprietary precision fermentation process.