So what is the best sweetener for sports nutrition products ?
It depends on your marketing aim and if you are promoting all natural then there are limitations on what you can use. We are talking here about the EU and permitted sweeteners are listed on the Sweeteners Directive.
In this blog we look at some of the intense or non-nutritive sweeteners which will impart sweetness but contribute little to nutrition.
Sucralose is an artificial sweetener made from sugar and around 600 times sweeter than sugar. It has a good taste and is stable in liquids and in heat processes . The leader in the market is Tate and Lyle who invented it and who still have the biggest production. China too has some major players including Jubang, Nuitang and JK Sucralose. All of these have EU Offices or representatives. prices around $75 kg for 1000 kg
Asparatme An artificial sweetener 200 times sweeter than sugar with a good clean taste. A much maligned sweetener but probably one of the most tested ingredients existing. Work very well in combination with Acesulfame K and Saccharin where blends produce closer taste to sugar. Major players are Ajinomoto, Japan; Daesang ,Korea; Sinosweet, China. Around $15.00 kg
Acesulfam K. An artificial sweetener about 200 times sweeter than sugar. Very stable under heat and best in combination with other sweeteners.
Sodium Saccharin . An artificial sweetener 450 times sugar . It has been around for many years and still used in drinks and sweetener tablets . China dominates production although PMC USA still holding out .
Stevia. This is a natural sweetener and comes in various formats . The purest forms are quoted as Rebaudiosides A with purities of 97% and 98%. Has problems with taste profiles but works well I am told with chocolate.
There are some additives that can help mask flavours. Glycine is good to take bitterness off and maltols and ethyl maltols can enhance sweetness with extra mouthfeel and well rounded notes
The most favoured sweetener seems to be SUCRALOSE but I would like to hear your opinions of what is best .