Tate & Lyle creates reduced sugar and calorie solutions for U.S. school districts

Posted: 31 August 2010 | Tate & Lyle | No comments yet

Tate & Lyle has created proprietary chocolate milk drink formulations that have slashed calories and sugar by as much as 30 percent.

Tate & Lyle has created proprietary chocolate milk drink formulations that have slashed calories and sugar by as much as 30 percent.

In some U.S. school districts, lunch menus are missing a long-time staple and kid favorite: Flavored milk. And, other school districts are actively contemplating its removal.

Tate & Lyle has created proprietary chocolate milk drink formulations that have slashed calories and sugar by as much as 30 percent, resulting in flavored milk drinks with calorie and sugar levels approaching those typically found in low-fat white milk. These formulas were created using custom blends of well-known and accepted sweetening ingredients, including sugar, crystalline fructose and sucralose.

“As a company focused on health and wellness, Tate & Lyle understands the challenges school districts face when determining the most nutritious foods and beverages to serve to its students,” says Dave Tuchler, Vice President, Global Marketing, Tate & Lyle. “Tate & Lyle is a strong advocate of developing leading-edge solutions that allow school districts to consistently deliver nutritious, lower-calorie meals with a healthier profile that parents approve of and kids enjoy consuming.”

Kid-Friendly, Mother Approved

To fully understand parents’ attitudes about sweeteners in children’s products, Tate & Lyle regularly commissions consumer insights through leading independent research organizations. While recent research confirms that a significant proportion of parents believe some products contain too much sugar, this study revealed that parents are comfortable with a variety of sweeteners, including some no-calorie sweeteners, when the sweeteners provide a reduction in calories and sugar.

“Tate & Lyle’s research found that 72 percent of parents generally accept the use of no-calorie sweeteners to reduce sugar for their children ages 3-15,” Tuchler says. “More specifically, when parents were presented with ingredient and nutritional information for two flavored milk formulas, 8 out of 10 parents preferred a chocolate milk drink that was lower in calories and sugar and that had been sweetened with a combination of sugar and sucralose, compared to a typical low-fat flavored milk.”

In addition, it was found that a majority of consumers are comfortable with fructose as a sweetener.

Reducing Sugar and Calories with Custom Sweetener Blends

When determining the most nutritious products to serve students, school districts are faced with providing foods and beverages that taste good and are suitable for school-aged children while staying within budget.

Meeting these targets largely depends on custom formulations with various types of sweeteners that are deemed acceptable by parents and can help create a healthier profile without adversely affecting taste. These formulations can include blends of sugar, crystalline fructose and sucralose.

“Sugar and crystalline fructose each contain four calories per gram,” explains Mike Harrison, Senior Vice President, New Product Development, Tate & Lyle. “Since crystalline fructose is 17 percent sweeter than sugar, less of it can be used to achieve the same sweetness levels of sugar while simultaneously reducing calories.”

Harrison continues: “If school districts are interested in gaining an even greater reduction in calories, which also can help them stay within their budgets, a blend with sucralose, a no-calorie sweetener, and a caloric sweetener, such as crystalline fructose or sugar, can reduce calories up to 30 percent without affecting the taste that kids love.

“School districts and dairies should work with a partner like Tate & Lyle which has expertise in creating science-based solutions that help them achieve their nutrition goals while staying within their allocated budgets. “

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