ASIA January 2020
Interview with Tate & Lyle President, APAC on Sweetener/Sugar Replacement Products
Asia Food & Beverages Report has the opportunity to interview Harry Boot, President, Asia Pacific, Food and Beverage Solutions at Tate & Lyle to find out more on the latest trends relating to the development of next-generation sugars in Asia.
Tate & Lyle is a leading global ingredients and solutions provider, and the following are excerpts of the interview:

Can you describe what are the 3 top trends/innovations that relate to creating better 'next-generation' sugars which will have an impact on the ASEAN region in the next 5 years?

The top 3 trends in the ASEAN region are a better quality of carbs which have lower/no sugar and calories, healthier products such as fibre fortification, and plant-based products.
Consumers are becoming better informed about nutrition and healthy eating and are increasingly looking for healthier options, such as low/no sugar or reduced calorie products, as well as products fortified with fibre.
We expect to see a trend towards rare sugars like our DOLCIA PRIMA® allulose, a sweetening ingredient with all the taste and functionality of sugar with only negligible calories and no impact on blood sugar. It provides not just the sweetness, but the texture, mouthfeel, caramelisation, freezing point depression and many other benefits of sugar without the downsides. This ingredient is opening up sugar reduction solutions that have until now been very difficult to solve using high-intensity sweeteners alone. Allulose also has synergies with low calorie sweeteners such as sucralose and stevia, making it even more useful to the formulator when developing new sugar-reduced foods and beverages.
Fibre continues to play an important role in reducing sugar in foods and beverages in response to consumer demand and calls from regulators and health authorities. The food and beverage industry is using fibre more for its sugar replacement capability than its enrichment properties; however the growing consumer awareness of fibre’s health benefits is driving demand for enriched products, and brands are responding.
Our focus is on helping customers to understand the science behind fibre, and how to use different fibre variants to enrich products and reduce sugar and calories. Through our customer support, including nutrition education seminars, Tate & Lyle provides helpful guidance for consumer brands to consider when communicating these benefits to their consumers, including on company websites and via on-pack information, including health and nutrition claims.
Demand is also increasing for natural, sustainably sourced ingredients. We are proud to be working with our partners Sweet Green Fields to provide a portfolio of stevia solutions driven by our intent for best-tasting stevia ingredients at an acceptable cost in use. Tate &Lyle’s global footprint and local applications know-how, coupled with Sweet Green Fields’ deep stevia knowledge from seed to product, make this an impactful partnership. The partnership has also invested in a project with Earthwatch to fully review our stevia production, and will deliver a full report and action steps to ensure that our supply chain is fully sustainable for stevia production now and in the future. We intend to ensure that stevia not only improves consumers’ lives, but also supports sustainable livelihoods and farming practices in the supply chain, with minimal impact on the environment.

Are these innovations beneficial to an F&B manufacturer in this region ?

Yes, the trends are relevant to the F&B industry in this region. Health concerns such as diabetes and obesity are increasing and sugar taxes have been implemented in many ASEAN countries. At the same time, consumers still love the sweet taste of certain types of product and expect this to remain. On top of that, Asia’s population is large – about 60% of the world’s population lives here, and it’s growing. This means there is a huge market for innovative sugar-replacement ingredients that make tasty foods healthier and healthy foods tastier. We believe we can make a difference here and that’s why we’re committed to the region and investing in new application, technical and commercial capabilities.
Sugar price is relatively low in Asia compared with other regions, so here there is a particular need for cost-competitive solutions.

What can Tate & Lyle offer to the F&B industry as the region strives to introduce new/existing products with less sugar to meet growing regulatory restrictions and rising consumer health awareness ?

Our purpose is to Improve Lives for Generations so we continue to focus our innovation pipeline on adding more lower sugar and calorie as well as health and wellness-focused ingredients to our portfolio, thereby helping manufacturers bring down the sugar and calorie content of their products. Tate & Lyle offer a wide range of solutions, including sweeteners, fibres and texturants. New sugar replacers like allulose, Tate & Lyle’s low-calorie sweetening ingredient, could prove to be game-changing, thanks to its sugar-like taste and functionality with virtually none of the calories.
Having a portfolio of solutions is key. Whether it be reformulating an existing product or launching a new product, Tate & Lyle’s broad portfolio of ingredients and solutions, and technical expertise, enables us to give consumers the healthier products they want, while maintaining great taste.
For us, it’s also really important to be close to our customers, especially since taste is local. We develop local solutions for local needs. That’s why we’ve expanded our application and technical capabilities in Shanghai and Singapore and will continue to build on our presence in the region.

What is Tate & Lyle plan for the Asian region relating to the sugar replacement/sweetener industry? Any new investments/product innovations on the drawing board?

We are partnering with customers and providing formulation expertise, using our complete toolbox of sweeteners, fibres and texturants to meet the challenges of sugar taxes and regulation, without compromising on taste or consumer acceptance. Our unique combination of ingredients and expertise make us a trusted partner to deliver on the formulation challenges our customers are faced with every day.
We have recently launched our flavor modulation solutions specific to countries such as China. These new solutions improve consumer experience in stevia-sweetened products, while doing so at an acceptable or improved cost in use vs existing solutions.
In addition, our stakeholders in the region (industry, consumers, government bodies, etc.) are becoming more aware of the importance of clinical data for the Asian population in order to understand the effectiveness of these new ingredients. Tate & Lyle is continuing to identify and foster meaningful scientific partnerships with research organisations and academic institutions in the region to collaboratively develop clinical trials on topics such as metabolic health and glycemic responses. This research then feeds into our product innovation and strategic decision-making.

Can you describe how important is the sugar replacement/sweeteners category for Tate & Lyle business in Asia?

Sugar reduction is a key focus for us as a business. At Tate & Lyle, we care deeply about finding practical and effective solutions in beverages and foods to allow consumers, food producers and governments to address the worrying levels of obesity and associated diseases like Type 2 diabetes, and we can make a positive and lasting difference thanks to our toolkit of ingredients and reformulation expertise.
We believe people should be able to make healthy food and drink choices by having access to low calorie, low sugar and high fibre options - that’s why we have a range of ingredients that food and beverage producers can use to make the products that, ultimately, could help prevent or manage incidences of Type 2 diabetes and obesity around the globe.
Our business in Asia Pacific represents around 10-15% of the sales of our global Food & Beverage Solutions division, and together with Latin America is delivering strong growth. Having seen attractive growth over the last few years, we are investing in Asia Pacific to grow the business, building on the already extended application labs in Singapore and Shanghai.
Asia is a key market for us and we are looking forward to expanding our presence further, staying close to our customers and their consumers to provide innovative solutions in line with our purpose of improving lives for generations.



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