Cargill (Minneapolis, MN) introduced the latest addition to its sweetening and flavor portfolio called ClearFlo, which is an extract of a botanical that Cargill discovered exponentially increased the solubility of stevia glycosides. This opens up new possibilities for Cargill’s Eversweet ingredient as well as its other steviol glycosides, such as Reb M and Reb D.
“Within stevia, there are a few things that it can’t do or couldn’t do in the past, and one of them is make a concentrate, because while in a beverage there are no solubility issues at use-level, if you want to make a concentrate syrup, for say, a carbonated soft drink or a fountain beverage, or coffee syrup, you couldn’t do that with stevia,” explained Andrew Ohmes, global product line manager HIS for Cargill, to Nutritional Outlook. In combination with Cargill’s EverSweet stevia sweetener, ClearFlo results in a solution that is up to 30% stevia.
ClearFlo also contributes to the flavor of stevia, giving it even greater functionality. “Because of the sensory benefits, even if you don’t need that extra solubility, the addition stability and rounding out of stevia and other flavors, it’s really a powerful tool,” said Ohmes. “It’s originally focused on beverage because of the solubility aspects of it, but we’re also looking into baked goods, dairy. Because of the way the sensory interaction happens, you get a perception of more mouth feel which people describe as more sucrose or sugar-like when they taste it. It doesn’t enhance sweetness and the product itself does not taste like anything alone.”
Because the botanical it’s extracted from is already in the food supply, ClearFlo is already GRAS (generally recognized as safe), but because of its functionality as a flavor, Cargill is also going through the steps of getting the ingredient approved for FEMA (Flavor Extracts Manufacturers Association) GRAS status, which is more specific to flavors. Once FEMA GRAS status is achieved, Cargill will begin marketing it in combination with EverSweet.