How we taste sweetness

how we taste sweetness

Despite sugar being universally regarded as the number one enemy in today's diet, our sweet tooth shows no signs of abating. The demand for sweeter beverages has not slowed, but sugar as an ingredient is increasingly being legislated against.

As a global society we are becoming increasingly concerned about our health and wellbeing. This trend has inevitably been fast-tracked by Covid-19.

Legislative changes being introduced over the world are forcing beverage manufacturers to reduce sugar and calorie levels and reformulate recipes.

To address the demand, beverage manufacturers may look to simply replace sugar with high intensity sweeteners. The challenge is that although these ingredients are sweet, they don’t taste the same as real sugar.

Sugar is not just the taste of sweetness – it also has an overall flavour.

Flavour is a combination of taste (sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami) and aroma – what we smell. The majority of flavour actually comes from aroma. Try pinching your nose before putting a flavoured sweet in your mouth; with your nose pinched it just tastes sweet, but when you release your nose, you’ll experience a rush of flavour – that’s the role that aroma plays in flavour.

Because of this overlap between smell and taste, any aromas which we associate with sweetness prompt a physiological response in our brains to make flavours taste sweeter.

We know a lot about this as we are proud to be trailblazers in sugar reduction, first developing our range of solutions nearly 20 years ago. We understand that for a consumer to properly taste sweetness, the flavour of sugar still needs to be present.

We have developed a range of natural sugar flavours – they are derived entirely from sugar but contain no sucrose. On their own they’re not particularly sweet, but when paired with a high intensity sweetener, they provide a much more authentic sugar-like experience, smell, and flavour. Whether reformulation requires a natural or artificial high intensity sweetener, Treatt’s sugar reduction products can keep a sweet-tooth sated and satisfy health-conscious consumers.

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