The patent-pending additive contains a blend of several steviol glycosides that were approved by JECFA in 2017, and is approved for the Brazilian and Mexican markets, where it can be listed as a natural flavor.
SteviAroma doesn’t provide sweetness but can achieve an extra 1.5 Brix by enhancing the perception of sweetness from either sugars or high-intensity sweeteners, or both, said Shasha Yu, marketing director of Sweet Green Fields.
According to Yu, the problem with high-intensity sweeteners is they provide sweetness only, ignoring mouthfeel.
“SteviAroma addresses this point by providing a rounded mouthfeel with or without a pleasant aroma and imitating the sensory performance of sugar,” she told FoodNavigator-LATAM.
According to China-headquartered Sweet Green Fields, one of the largest privately held, fully integrated stevia producers in the world, SteviAroma “trims” the metallic and herbal flavors that high-intensity sweeteners contain.
Additional flavor notes
The taste modulator can also be tailored to have certain flavors, such as caramel, popcorn, honey or citrus notes.
If a manufacturer does not want these aromas to exhibit, however, it can lower the amount used.
For products such as beverages, cereals, candy, dairy products, and baked goods, Sweet Green Fields recommends an average maximum usage level of 120 parts per million (ppm) for SteviAroma honey and popcorn and 160 ppm for SteviAroma caramel.
The launch comes just one week after Sweet Green Fields’ strategic partner, Tate & Lyle, launched Zolesse, a natural stevia-based flavor.
“They both start from stevia leaf and label as natural flavor per FDA definition, enabling food and beverage manufacturers to keep a short ingredient list. Both are proprietary products,” Yu said.
“What makes them different from each other is that Zolesse natural flavor is a FEMA GSG flavor while SteviAroma is developed from a totally new technology. This technology allows SteviAroma to provide multiple values: sweetness enhancement, flavor modification, full-bodied mouthfeel, and specifically designed aromas.”
Sweet Green Fields did not specify how much of its business came from customers in Latin America, but said the region was “promising”.
“Latin America is one of the key markets for high-intensity sweeteners and SteviAroma as sugar taxes are spreading fast and consumer awareness of stevia is good.
“Mexico is one of these countries where formulators are facing an imminent sugar reduction challenge: using high-intensity sweetener to replace most or all sugar just cannot satisfy the consumers who are accustomed to the taste of sugar,” she added.