Sugar Reduction Solutions In Bakery Applications

Governments around the world are implementing measures to curb the use and consumption of sugar. Public Health directives in the UK required nine food categories, including morning goods, cakes and biscuits to reduce their sugar content by to 20% and in the USA food manufacturers are under strict directives to clearly disclose the grams and percentage daily value of added sugar in their products.

The mandate to reduce sugar consumption in the GCC is driven by a public health initiative to prevent obesity, diabetes and other serious diseases which affect a high proportion of children and adults in our region. These measures also limit advertising and promotions on unhealthy foods in restaurants, cafes, and the retail market space.

However, consumers themselves are also gravitating towards healthier products and scrutinizing the sugar content of products they purchase. In turn, food industry professionals from R&D to Marketing are also looking towards sugar reduction and replacement solutions for their brands. In a survey conducted by the European Bakery Industry with over 400 senior bakery professionals, 73% responded that lower calorie and sugar reduced products are the largest driver of growth for their business. The governments, industry and consumers are all turning away from sugar but where to go from here?

In this edition of our Flavors Newsletter we will be exploring sugar reduction solutions in bakery applications.

Please contact us to discuss any of the solutions presented here.


With sugar contributing to the color, flavor, texture and mouthfeel of baked products, replacement solutions must contemplate all these parameters
to ensure the product delivers the same quality and taste experience. Although there is no other known ingredient with the same taste and functional properties as sugar, there are several ingredients solutions which can reduce the sugar content of bakery products; each with its own benefits and drawbacks.

Artificial sweeteners have been used in the food industry since 1879 and have are now widely used in various food and beverage products. However, due to their high potency and low dosage requirements, it takes a fair deal of push and pull to formulate the right organoleptic properties of baked goods and manufacturers are hesitant about using additives with E numbers which will appear on the label and deter consumers.

Natural low-caloric sweeteners gained consumer favor a decade ago for their natural halo and reports which proved they are safe for human consumption. This lead to the commercial development of polyols, glycosides, oligosaccharide, polysaccharide and other sweet amino acids which offer clean label sugar reduction solutions. Natural sweeteners are effective at replacing the sweetening power of table sugar or sucrose; however, they often have an aftertaste which is difficult to mask and interferes with the taste profile of the final product.

According to Innova Market insights, 14% of new baked good launches in North America have made a no / low / reduced sugar claim since 2010 and this trend is now rapidly spreading to other regions of the world.

In a 2018 Sensibly Sweet consumer research study conducted by Kerry, 55% of consumers wanted reduced sugar products that have no significant change in taste while 27% would prefer a product that tastes less sweet.


FSL and Aromatech have addressed the challenge of sugar replacement head on with the development of 5 unique sweet enhancer flavor solutions. These flavors have been created by our Flavorists and have been tested to identify their efficacy, stability and commercial potential in various food applications. They contain no calories or artificial sweeteners and are just flavors.

Our Sweet Enhancer Flavor Solution P181212-E is a natural glycoside based flavor with no E numbers. It was specifically created to maximize its sweetening efficacy in baked goods without producing any after taste in the final product. Its composition is suitable with a simple and low-cost polysaccharide such as maltodextrin as a bulking agent in the formulation of biscuits.

P181212-E at a dosage of 0.5g / kg of batch weight can reduce sugar content
by 25% to 30% in baked goods without
a significant change in the taste profile. (The FDA defines reduced sugar products as those with a minimum of 25% sugar reduction.) The versatility of its composition allows our Sweet Enhancer Flavor Solutions to be combined with other sweeteners or functional ingredients such as prebiotic fibers to reduce sugar content even further and to deliver additional functional benefits.

However, each baked good has a different flavor matrix and balance of sweetness to replace. We offer our technical expertise to develop sugar reduction formulations for a variety of products in order to support the growth of our customers brands and create a healthier food economy in the region.