Conagen commercialises scalable sweetness enhancers

Conagen is to commercialise its portfolio of natural sweetness enhancers for taste modification in sugar reduction solutions for food and beverages as consumers seek ways to improve their diets and are increasingly interested in natural and clean ingredients.

The enhancers are made with precision fermentation, a technology that has led to an extensive platform of phenolic antioxidants.

Conagen said its precision fermentation method is a preferred, clean, and sustainable method for developing sweetness enhancement compounds over sweetness enhancers made by chemical synthesis or by using an organic solvent extraction method, both of which are time-consuming, labour-intensive, and environmentally unfriendly, according to the company.

“These unique molecules are yet another example of how Conagen leverages its molecular platforms and precision fermentation capabilities to create useful ingredients for food and beverage applications. Our ability to rapidly scale modern, clean and sustainable sweetness enhancers provides additional and better options for taste modulation and sugar reduction beyond those enabled by the non-caloric sweeteners already on the market,” said Casey Lippmeier, Ph.D., vice president of innovation at Conagen.

Conagen’s sweetness enhancers belong to a group of natural product molecules called phenolic compounds, found extensively in many plant species. Phenolic compounds are commonly found in vegetables and fruits and are a significant part of the human diet. They are biosynthesised by plants and lichens as secondary metabolites and comprise a diverse group of phytochemicals.

Conagen and its partner Sweegen, a global leader in wellness-based sugar reduction solutions, have previously teamed up to develop modern natural sweeteners that can replace up to 100% sugar in particular food and beverage applications and bitter blockers to mitigate up to 80-100% bitterness in consumer trending products, such as energy drinks, sauces, and confectionery products with low to no sugar.

“Together, with Conagen, we’re building a bridge of natural solutions with mainstream taste,” said Casey McCormick, head of global innovation at Sweegen. “These new molecules can modulate mouthfeel and boost the sensation of the sweetness of other sweeteners and flavours in food and beverages, leading to a significant reduction in sugar usage.”


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