Novel low-glycemic index sweetener

A team from the Agricultural Research Service’s (ARS) Midwest Area developed a technology that converts sugar and corn syrup to value-added carbohydrates. This technology was transferred to Cargill Sweeteners North America, leading to the development of a novel low-glycemic index sweetener, Xtend™ sucromalt. The product is named sucromalt because it is derived from a combination of sucrose (cane or beet sugar) and maltose (corn sugar). Cargill’s sucromalt provides food and beverage customers with a natural and slow release carbohydrate syrup. This fully digestible, low-glycemic syrup provides sweetness and body in one natural ingredient for products such as nutritional beverages and bars, ice cream, jams and jellies, and yogurts. The slow and complete digestibility of sucromalt makes it unique among other sweeteners. In food and beverage applications, sucromalt releases its carbohydrates into the bloodstream slowly, resulting in a muted blood sugar response and a ‘sustained energy’ release versus the ‘fast energy’ release and higher glycemic response of sugar. Slowly digestible sweeteners fill a functional gap between full-calorie sweeteners and reduced-calorie sweeteners, such as polyols. Sucromalt is generally regarded as safe (GRAS), has no daily intake limit, and provides a satisfying sweet taste since it is 70% as sweet as sugar. Sucromalt allows manufacturers to simplify product labeling as it can replace multiple sweeteners and bulking agents. Sucromalt provides body and clean taste, and has physical properties similar to glucose syrups. Cargill anticipates that sucromalt will have broad applications, particularly in health-conscious foods and beverages requiring a low glycemic index.
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