Israeli sugar reduction technology DouxMatok has landed a partnership with Europe’s largest sugar producer Südzucker, and a similar US announcement is on the way, according to the startup’s CEO and cofounder Eran Baniel.
DouxMatok has boosted the amount of sweetness perceived per gram of sugar by binding the sucrose molecules to the mineral silica, a commonly used anti-caking agent that is approved by the FDA and the EU. Silica is also a naturally occurring mineral in many foods like bananas, carrots, bread, and rice. This binding process causes the sucrose molecules to hit the taste receptors at higher concentrations, increasing the brain’s perception of a sweet flavor.
This technology allows food companies to use 40% less sugar in their products while achieving the same level of sweetness, with no aftertaste, according to Baniel.
The memorandum of understanding sets up the exclusive production, joint marketing, and sales of DouxMatok sugar to customers in Europe.
According to Südzucker, the partnership began because of requests from its customers that had successfully trialed DouxMatok’s sugar.
Baniel and his team have been sending out samples of the product for bakers and food product companies to experiment with and when they wanted to purchase it at scale, the four-year-old startup had a problem — they had no capacity to deliver.
“We said ‘If you want to buy our sugar, tell us who your sugar guys are and then take us to them.’ That’s how we got to know Südzucker and got to meet our US partners. It couldn’t have been better. It’s the demand that took the technology to the supply,” Baniel told AgFunderNews. He added that a comparable US partner will be announced later this year.
He explained that to date, the DouxMatok team has been closely involved with each potential customer to develop new recipes that mimic their existing products, from the taste to the smell, color and even sound of a cookie breaking, using less sugar, which can be a challenge in some product categories.
“We have developed a whole laboratory that does this together with our partners, for our partners,” said Baniel.
Since sugar is an important structural element of many baked goods like muffins and cookies, baking with less of it requires some element of trial and error as well as introducing other ingredients to make up for the bulk lost. Baniel said that a happy result of this is that the end products usually end up with more dietary fiber as a result.
Baniel said that the particular fiber added will vary based on the application. Douxmatok’s product is suitable for chocolate, spreads, snack bars, biscuits, baked goods, and candies, but not yet for soft drinks or liquid applications.
According to Südzucker, the product will be on the market by mid-2019.
“Südzucker Group has been serving the market with sugar reduction solutions for years… The innovative and natural sugar reduction technology of DouxMatok is a logical extension of our diverse product portfolio,” said Randolf Burisch, commercial head of Südzucker’s sugar business unit, in a statement.