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Jennifer Grebow is editor-in-chief of Nutritional Outlook.
Icon Foods says the sweetener is designed to help achieve clean-label sugar reduction for edible cannabis products.
Sweeteners supplier Icon Foods (Portland, OR) is offering makers of edible cannabis products a new tool to cut sugar content: a proprietary sweetener blend of allulose, stevia, and monk fruit that the company says is especially tailored to cannabis product applications.
Called CannaSweet, the sweetener’s combination of natural allulose, stevia, and monk fruit adds only 0.2 calories per gram and is “specifically designed to work with cannabinoids,” Thom King, president and CEO of Icon Foods, told Nutritional Outlook.
Cannabis products have specific sweetening needs, King said. “Most of the edibles require the sweetening system to have some kind of participation in maillard (caramelization) as well as cooperation with hydrocolloids, as is the case with gummies. Allulose achieves this. Additionally, the specific blend of stevia and monk fruit has masking properties that can mask the off-notes that some cannabinoids impart.”
With CannaSweet, edible-cannabis formulators are able to create products that meet the same trending targets for clean label and sugar reduction as the general food and beverage market. “As the market for edible cannabis products continues to expand, regulators must identify and control food safety and quality concerns,” said King in a press release. “Today’s consumers are looking for products made from nature, while at the same time limiting sugar intake to reduce calorie consumption and manage the glycemic response, but they aren’t willing to compromise on flavor. CannaSweet delivers exceptional flavor, while also allowing developers to achieve clean-label sugar reduction.”
The company says that allulose is a sweetener naturally occurring in wheat, figs, raisins, and jackfruit and is glycemic friendly because it is not rapidly digested and absorbed. CannaSweet is available in crystalline and liquid formats and can be used in products such as carbonated and noncarbonated beverages; frostings; baked goods such as cakes, pies, pastries, biscuits, and rolls; frozen dairy desserts; jams and jellies; sweet sauces; syrups; chewing gum; confectionery such as hard and soft candies, gummies; and puddings and fillings.