“Not too long ago, a bar made from granola, corn syrup, nuts and fruit was considered the ultimate healthy food. Today’s consumers are demanding more nutrition, so formulators are incorporating exotic grains, omega-3 rich seeds, probiotics and prebiotics, protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and energy-boosting ingredients. All of this must be sweetened and bound together naturally while also reducing sugar.”
Desserts typically contain high amounts of sugar, but what if they didn’t have to? Icon Foods has perfected the process of eliminating sugars from baked goods and replacing them with all natural substitutes. Whether you are looking to clean up your label a bit, or completely eliminate sugars, we can help.
Health is now the number one thing on consumer’s minds and sugar is public enemy number one. Concerns with obesity, diabetes and trendy diets have everyone constantly checking their labels. This is the reason that Icon Foods takes healthier products so seriously.
Clean labels are growing in popularity but they must contain natural ingredients from the best sources. We only use the best sources and our production team is unmatched. You will not be disappointed choosing Icon Foods to help with your baked goods product line.
Corn syrup, the go-to sweetening ingredient of the past, is no longer acceptable in foods bearing natural claims. General Mills’ Nature Valley brand, makers of the first granola bar introduced in 1975, settled a class-action lawsuit initiated by the Center for Science in the Public Interest. In documents filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (case number 3:12-cv-03919) the plaintiffs accused the company of deceptive marketing of its granola bars and thins as natural when, “they contain or contained substantial quantities of non-natural, highly-processed ingredients such as HFCS (high fructose corn syrup).”Clean labeling and natural processing are top food trends in 2016, according to Innova Market Insights, and so are consumers’ desires to avoid sugar. Indeed, sugar is the primary ingredient consumers are trying to cut out of their diets, according to NPD Group. Avoiding sugar and corn syrup presents a conundrum for manufacturers, however, often they are the glue that holds bars together. As developers add more nutritionally and texturally rich ingredients to the mix, stability is challenged. That glue – in the form of binding syrups and gums – also provides humectancy; i.e., they help the bar stay moist over its shelf life. This is especially important for bars higher in protein because water tends to migrate from the syrups to these protein ingredients. Maintaining water activity (aw) is also critical to food safety. An aw of less than 0.65 is generally acceptable. The choice of sugar and the final moisture of the binding syrup determine the bar texture. Fructose, for example, reduces aw and leads to a softer bar. Producers looking for label-friendly binding syrups can use ingredients such as fructose, agave, honey, brown sugar, molasses, and rice. However, all of these have a significant carb and glycemic impact, undesirable for consumers. Manufacturers can replace these high carb/high glycemic ingredients by combining healthy, alternative sweeteners with a clean-label gum, such as gum arabic. Some gums, including gum arabic, have an added bonus, containing additional soluble dietary fiber that is included in the total measure on the nutritional facts panel. The options in natural sweetening agents continue to grow. Many of these options have a host of benefits, for manufacturers and consumers.