The use of artificial sweeteners in food and drink products could rise as soaring sugar prices make aspartame and sucralose an attractive alternative.
Global sugar prices have increased 14% over the past 12 months [Mintec], driven by a combination of crop failures and demand from emerging markets.
Earlier this week, sugar analyst Czarnikow cut its global production forecast for 2010/11 by 3.8 million tonnes to 165 million tonnes. In the UK, production is expected to be down by as much as 30%.
High sugar prices had already led to it being substituted for corn-based alternatives in Mexico and China, said Leonardo Bichara, senior economist at the International Sugar Organisation. In the EU, low-calorie, high-intensity sweeteners were on the rise, he added.
Tate & Lyle VP of sucralose product management and speciality food ingredients Craig Donaldson recently highlighted the use of "custom blends" of sweeteners as a way of producing products "without the risk of increasing manufacturing costs that would occur using sugar."
Soaring costs 'will turn orange juice into a luxury’ (28 January 2011)
Commodity crunch: the raw materials to watch in 2011 (analysis; 15 January 2011)