Even though more than 70 % of Asians are actively trying to reduce or moderate their sugar consumption¹, and 73% place importance on having no sugar added to their food or beverage², the taste is still a key driver³ when it comes to dining choices. Despite the many sugar substitutes in the market that claim to be healthier or better than sugar, sugar remains a dominant ingredient in many beverages, sauces, dressings, snacks, and candies for its functional role in defining the product’s flavour, texture, appearance, and overall taste.
Alchemy Foodtech, a venture-backed, multi award-winning, Singapore-based carbohydrates and sugar reduction food technology company, announces the launch of Alchemy SweetFibre™. Alchemy SweetFibre™ is a sweetener created under the proprietary Alchemy Technology™. Like sugar, it dissolves easily in water and can be made into a clear sugar syrup. Alchemy SweetFibre™ is sugar-free and high in dietary fibre and prebiotics. When replacing sugar with SweetFibre™, it helps to reduce sugar and calories while increasing dietary fibre content.
A key challenge for food and beverage manufacturers when formulating healthier options is the ability to deliver great taste and texture. Sugar reduction is no different. This is where Alchemy Foodtech’s sugar replacement trumps others in the market. Cooked foods, baked goods or desserts and drinks using Alchemy SweetFibre™ will provide an excellent sweetening profile and rounded mouthfeel, like sugar, making it hard to tell via taste and appearance that sugar was not used. There is little to no change in recipes and manufacturing processes needed, making adopting Alchemy SweetFibre™, a quick and immediate healthier solution for restaurant menus and packaged foods worldwide. With Alchemy SweetFibre™, manufacturers may also claim “sugar-free”, “no sugar added”, “low-sugar”, “high-fibre”, and products containing “high prebiotics” on their packaging, making their products even more appealing to health-conscious consumers.
“Alchemy SweetFibre™ is a holistic solution for more nutritionally acceptable, yet tasty products. It functions like sugar does, providing sweetness, texture and bulk in our food and drinks the way sugar does, minus the calories”, says Verleen Goh, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Alchemy Foodtech. “Companies wishing to re formulate their products now have a ready solution and we look forward to working closely with them to bring healthier food to the world.”
In February, the company collaborated with Subway to launch the new Subway Chocolate Chip Cookie Siew Dai, using Alchemy SweetFibre™ to reduce sugar content by almost half from 17.5g in the original chocolate chip cookie to 9g in the lower sugar version, without compromising the original taste.
Most recently in May, Alchemy Foodtech partnered with China’s largest e-grocer platform, Dingdong Maicai, to introduce a new “0 sugar, high fibre high protein white toast” for their own bakery brand Bao’s Bakery. The toast is made with Alchemy SweetFibre™ and has wheat germ added as a mix-in. The toast comes in packs of 6 slices, and remains fluffy and moist, without compromising the original flavour that consumers love. The launch aims to meet the increasing demand of Chinese consumers for healthier food options that promote both physical and mental well-being.
The taste test
Now, what kind of journalists would we be if we didn’t do proper taste test and to review how products made with Alchemy SweetFibre™ fare? During the media launch, we managed to try out the Alchemy SweetFibre™ syrup which is usually used in beverages such as teas and their Passionfruit Lemonade; Alchemy SweetFibre™ which is used in other products such as Kaya, Strawberry Jam as well as baked goods (which we’ll cover later).
Firstly, let’s talk about the syrup. Tried it in both the black tea as well as the Passionfruit Lemonade and while I appreciate the low calories and zero sugar, I could still tell that it was sweetened with something else other than sugar. Not quite convinced that I’d like this as an alternative to my brown sugar, white sugar and honey.
Now, onto the jams. I was really pleased with the kaya and the strawberry jam! The kaya’s consistency may not be what most people are used to but then, I’m familiar with the more traditional form of kaya, so I do think that they’ve nailed it in terms of the taste but most people would prefer a greener kaya or even brown to mimic gula Melaka. As for the strawberry jam, the consistency was thick enough for spreadability and it was a nice balance between sweet and tart.
Besides Subway, Alchemy Fibre is also working with some other brands to come up with some sugar-free and high-fibre products:
- Swee Heng’s Pandan Chiffon Cake
- Sourbombe’s Custard Donuts
- Baker Boy’s muffins as well as brownies
I have to say that the baked goods taste just as good as the regular full-sugar versions, which is exactly what the companies aimed for. After all, if healthier meant compromising on taste, most people would rather give up the healthier option and go for the full-flavoured OGs and maybe run 1km more during workout days.
We’re very excited to see what other products are going to come soon as hopefully more businesses adopting Alchemy SweetFibre™!
For more information, please visit www.alchemyfoodtech.com.
Images: Alchemy Foodtech and The Wellness Insider