Global sweetness and flavor innovator Sweegen announced the launch of Sweetensify Flavors, its newest flavor tool for food and beverage producers to create better-for-everyone products. Powered by Sweegen’s novel sweet protein technology that includes brazzein, thaumatin II, and other unique proteins, Sweetensify Flavors improve and modulate sweet flavor, creating a sugar-like experience.
“Sweetensify Flavors will change how product developers think about reducing or eliminating sugar in beverages and foods,” said Casey McCormick, vice president of global innovation at Sweegen. “The flavor expression enabled by Sweetensify Flavors optimizes the sensory experience and enables a more sugar-like taste. It is substantially better than any previous technology. We target taste receptors on a biochemistry level that others simply cannot.”
Sweegen’s Sweetensify Flavors debuts brazzein, the company’s highly sought-after sweet protein, as well as thaumatin II. At the time of the Sweetensify announcement, Sweegen’s thaumatin II received the Flavor Extract Manufacturer’s Association (FEMA) GRAS status.
“Our regulatory vision is to open global markets and enable brands to access unique ingredients that will support their food and beverage creativity while delivering on health and wellness,” said Hadi Omrani, senior director of technical and regulatory affairs at Sweegen.
Sweet proteins like brazzein have an affinity for different taste receptors on the tongue, especially the receptor known as T1R3, which is associated with both umami and sweetness perception. Leveraging this unique attribute, Sweetensify Flavors will enable product developers to reduce the amount of sugar they use in products while maintaining the quality of characteristic flavors and sweetness.
Thaumatin II belongs to a family of sweet-tasting proteins called thaumatins. Thaumatin II is a variant of the original thaumatin protein with a similar structure and sweetness profile. Thaumatins are known for their intense sweetness, several times greater than sucrose (table sugar). Brazzein is also several thousand times sweeter than sugar, making it a cost-effective tool for brands on a large scale. Thaumatin II is considered safe for consumption by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The entire collection of Sweetensify Flavors has a wide range of benefits across sweet and savory applications, including enhancing flavor tonalities, blocking bitterness, reducing astringency and sweet linger, eliminating unwanted aftertastes, reducing sugar use, and blocking the burn from alcohol.
“Our product development teams are finding incredible synergies between Sweetensify Flavors and Sweegen’s state-of-the-art stevia systems,” said McCormick. “Ultimately, our solutions challenge the taste and cost of artificial sweeteners currently on the market.” McCormick further states, “Our customers are excited about the cross-application utility of the flavor collection enabled by the great pH and heat stability we see for these flavors along with high solubility.”
Sweegen’s Sweetensify Flavors are available for use in countries that allow flavors approved by the FEMA GRAS protocol. The company plans to expand its global availability rapidly.
To scale brazzein and thaumatin II sustainably, Sweegen uses a proprietary precision fermentation process, a technology that produces clean and sustainable ingredients. This allows for cost-effective commercial production of highly-sought after ingredients in global sugar reduction solutions. Sweegen’s innovation and strategic partner, Conagen, developed brazzein and thaumatins I and II with its proprietary protein and peptide production platforms and announced the development of the sweet proteins in 2021.
“We are the only company that has successfully scaled brazzein,” said Luca Giannone, senior vice president of global sales at Sweegen. “The launch of Sweetensify Flavors is one more example of how Sweegen brings to market the industry’s very best ingredient platforms and tools for enabling sugar reduction for health and wellness. This is our mission and our promise to our customers.”
Within one year of Sweegen announcing its ability to commercialize brazzein, it has received great interest in its proprietary sweet protein-based solutions. It has collaborated with several large food and beverage companies on sensory reformulations and new product developments.
“We look forward to the sensory results and feedback from our customers in anticipation of brazzein joining thaumatin II’s FEMA GRAS status,” said Giannone. “Sweegen is forging a path for better health and wellness in food and beverages with stellar ingredients. We are preserving Sweegen’s ability to continue perfecting these unique solutions with patents issued or pending worldwide.”