ISRAEL – An Israeli company has launched a next-generation sweetener that contains one-tenth of the calories of sugar.
Liteez is shaped like a meringue, but can be melted into hot drinks or baked into snacks as a substitute to more calorific sweeteners.
They are egg-free, sugar-free and vegan – and two pieces of Liteez provide around 2kcal, compared to the 20kcal in a single teaspoon of sugar.
It has been developed by Lampados International using just six plant-based ingredients.
Lampados CEO Noam Kaplan explained: “The idea was to craft a whole new concept for a healthier, tasty, and indulgent sweetener – to simply create a new experience for coffee and tea, or as a casual snack.
“Many consumers crave something sweet both in and with their coffee.
Our new ‘meringue kiss’ fulfills both needs for a delicious, low-cal sweetener or as an indulgent dessert, without compromising on taste and while helping with weight management.
“The real challenge was to create a tasty meringue kiss without eggs or sugar — two common indispensable ingredients for making a baked meringue, and that provide its texture, shape and taste.
In Liteez, the fibers create the texture, yet it is stable and crunchy with great flavor.”
Liteez uses a vegetable protein that has the ability to foam like eggs to help create the desired kiss texture and form.
Sugar’s functionality is replaced with prebiotic fibers to form a stable foam and maintain the kiss shape, while being highly soluble in hot drinks, such as coffee or tea.
It was developed in collaboration with Israeli innovation company Practical Innovation.
“Our mission was to help a traditional sweetener company make a completely novel product that takes the concept of sweet indulgence to a unique level,” said Practical Innovation CEO Tal Laizer.
“This is not just a new sweetener but an entirely new look and feel thereby providing a complete 3D flavor experience.”
The ingredient is inspired by growing consumer awareness of sugar, which has prompted governments around the world to introduce levies on sugar-sweetened beverages.
In 2016, the British government announced that it would bring in a £520 million sugar tax on soft drinks.
Similar legislation is set to take effect either this year or next in South Africa and Ireland.
“We hear a lot about sugar tax and sugar reduction,” Laizer continued. “At the end of the day, consumers seek healthier sweetening choices, but they don’t want to skip indulgent experience.”