How we work: Turning ideas into a delicious reality

Helping to lead the sugar replacement healthy revolution is sometimes more complex than it sounds. Our 4-stage production cycle allows us to create advanced products that offer your consumers the same tastes and textures that have made yourbusiness a success, while ensuring that your business finds an expert partner that is committed to your success.

There is nothing more important than working with people who understand the challenges that you face, and how best to overcome them. Sharing a passion for outstanding food and drink, with an unwavering commitment to creating a healthier future, SWT is a natural choice for any business looking to play a leading role in the global health and nutrition revolution.

 

  1. From your ideas to reality

The first stage of our development process comes directly from you. Using the product brief that you provide us; we identify how to best meet your needs and provide great-tasting products with all the healthy sweetness you would expect. With cutting edge, sustainable technology, our development team is able to identify ways to ensure that the goods you produce will remain almost identical, but with significant reduction of sugars and fats. With our years of industry-leading expertise, you can be assured that working with SWT means working with a natural partner who shares your same desire for innovation and quality at every turn.

 

When our experts develop the formulas for your new or improved product lines, we always ensure that your intellectual property is respected and protected – we will never make information about our cooperation public, without your specific authorisation.

 

  1. Development and feedback

With our technical expertise, SWT can help you to reformulate both existing products and new market entries. From pastries, to drinks, to confectionary and even when modulating sweetness in savoury foods, our development teams have led the way in reducing fats and sugars, creating products that remain healthy but keep the sweetness that consumers continue to demand. As regulators in many markets make moves to mitigate unhealthy products on supermarket shelves, it is more important than ever to ensure that your products are placed to take advantage of sugar and sweetener taxes affecting competitors, as well as to fill emerging gaps in the market.

 

Thanks to our precise and highly specialised set of sweetening protocols, we can match any flavour profile that our partners require, using specially formulated mixes of natural sweeteners to achieve the exact flavours, all whilst ensuring a reduction in sugars. These have been created in tandem with leading research facilities in universities in Europe and South America – giving you access to literally a whole world of expertise.

 

  1. Marketing and collaboration

As soon as you are satisfied with the final prototypes, SWT can help you to move the next stage. Thanks to our outstanding reputation, we have forged excellent networks across global markets – including in the most challenging and creative environments. We can help tailor your product to any marketplace and any client base. We can create flavour profiles that match the needs of different regions and can create delicious sweetness solutions for even the most specialised markets and consumers.

 

  1. Co-packing and Launching, Feedback and Adjustment

As part of our final development step, SWT can support you in finding co-packers and assist in helping you to progress with your product launch - ensuring everything runs smoothly, and that your product is finished to your exacting standards. Thanks to our extensive experience in global product launches, we can predict, manage, and mitigate supply chain and development issues before they occur, allowing you to feel supported by a partner that is as invested in your success as you are.

If at any point you need to communicate directly with SWT, our expert support team is always ready to assist you in any task that you require.

As a responsible member of a reliable supply chain, choosing SWT is choosing success right from the very step. With natural, healthy sweetness in every detail, there is no better partner to take your product to the next level.

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Non-nutritive sweeteners and human glucose tolerance: is stevia an exception?

While generalised research suggests that non-nutritive sweetener may impair glycaemic responses, stevia specialists are finding that this hypothesis may be flawed when it comes to the effects of stevia rebaudiana.

Stevia is an exceptional weight-loss tool, with repeated studies suggesting that it provides a sustainable, healthy and low-glucose alternative to current processed diets. In academic studies however, it can sometimes be erroneously grouped with other non-nutritive sweeteners (NSS) such as aspartame or saccharine, which leads to researchers concluding that NSS in general do not provide a healthy alternative to traditional free sugars, and by extension, unfairly tarring stevia with the same brush.

The study Personalized microbiome-driven effects of non-nutritive sweeteners on human glucose tolerance, a recently published study in Cell Scientific, by Suez et al., examined various sweeteners and their effects on blood-glucose levels. The study did not regard stevia as a tool to combat both high levels of blood sugar, and the global obesity crisis (which are intrinsically linked through processed diets), despite a significant number of studies suggesting otherwise.

It can be suggested here that the aim of the study is to promote innovative solutions related to personalized nutrition, rather than practical ones, and by minimising the impact of stevia (alongside all the other major benefits in moving away from modern high-sugar diets) they are intentionally misleading readers to improve the perception of their product, while reducing perceptions of stevia.

It is possible that as the researchers appear to have approached this study with the aim of promoting their own personalised nutritional ventures, they have unintentionally biased the results of the work. The desire to define a top respondent (a participant who responded negatively to stevia) to demonstrate the effects of NSS may have been affected by their pre-exposure to microbiome heterogenicity.  While an interesting approach for personalized nutrition, the statistical significance of its results, essentially segregated, remains unclear.

So, if the Suez study does not really look at the benefits of stevia usage, what evidence is available to support the claim that stevia is a highly beneficial?

Let us instead consider the wealth of information that suggests stevia is a long-term solution to obesity and gut health. A 2019 joint study conducted by Liverpool Hope and Bern Universities has found that stevia does not result in a raise in postprandial glucose levels. The study goes on to suggest that these findings mean that stevia has a role to play in combatting global obesity levels thanks to the fact that unlike many other NSS, it acts as an appetite suppressant (Farhat, Berset & Moore, 2019) – meaning that the use of stevia in food production is likely to encourage lower overall levels of consumption – resulting in not only good health outcomes, but environmental ones too.

This is in line with findings in a separate 2020 study (reference), found that there was little difference between the blood-glucose levels in participants who consumed stevia, and those who did not eat at all – suggesting again that stevia was not directly responsible for the glucose tolerance issues suggested in Cell (Ajami et al., 2020). This particularly study, which took place in Iran, worked primarily with diabetics, demonstrating that for glucose-sensitive groups, such as diabetics, stevia results in a safe and effective form of glucose control.

 Equally, a 2021 study into the potential risks of stevia claimed that claimed that “Groups of diabetic mice that consumed the antioxidant fraction of Stevia supplements showed better glucose tolerance than the control group” and that “Stevia leaf extract was found to be able to inhibit α-amylase and α-glucosidase. This can potentially slow down carbohydrate metabolism and reduce the risk of hyperglycemia in patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes (Ruiz-Ruiz et al., 2015).” (Peteliuk et al., 2021)

Critically (and in direct contrast to Suez), the study also noted that “some studies on humans found no effects of supplements of Stevia aqueous extract on glucose, insulin, and glycosylated hemoglobin levels, but also no side effects (Barriocanal et al., 2008; Ajami et al., 2020).” – suggesting that the rise in blood-glucose levels in Suez are overstated, potentially as a result of the study serving as a platform for the DayTwo startup.

Once again, the environmental benefits of stevia are also notably absent from the original Suez study. Stevia uses less water, significantly less land and can be refined through a 100% water-based system, meaning that a switch to stevia not only benefits the consumer, but also the planet as a whole – something not seen in other sweeteners.

It seems that the wealth of stevia-based research that exists largely agrees that stevia does not lead to significant glycaemic alteration (especially when compared to saccharine and sucralose, two of the most popular sugar alternatives) – and that studies which suggest that this is not the case are outliers. When it comes to healthy sweetness, there is little in the world that has as much potential to benefit waistlines as stevia.

 

References

 

Ajami M, Seyfi M, Hosseini FAP, Naseri P, Velayati A, Mahmoudnia F, et al. Effects of Stevia on glycemic and lipid profile of type 2 diabetic patients: A randomized controlled trial. Avicenna J Phytomed. 2020;10:118–27.

Barriocanal LA, Palacios M, Benitez G, Benitez S, Jimenez JT, Jimenez N, et al. Apparent lack of pharmacological effect of steviol glycosides used as sweeteners in humans. A pilot study of repeated exposures in some normotensive and hypotensive individuals and in Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2008;51(1):37–41.

Farhat G, Berset V, Moore L. Effects of Stevia Extract on Postprandial Glucose Response, Satiety and Energy Intake: A Three-Arm Crossover Trial. Nutrients. 2019 Dec 12;11(12):3036. doi: 10.3390/nu11123036. PMID: 31842388; PMCID: PMC6950708.

Peteliuk V, Rybchuk L, Bayliak M, Storey KB, Lushchak O. Natural sweetener Stevia rebaudiana: Functionalities, health benefits and potential risks. EXCLI J. 2021 Sep 22;20:1412-1430. doi: 10.17179/excli2021-4211. PMID: 34803554; PMCID: PMC8600158.

Ruiz-Ruiz JC, Moguel-Ordoñez YB, Matus-Basto AJ, Segura-Campos MR. Antidiabetic and antioxidant activity of Stevia rebaudiana extracts (Var. Morita) and their incorporation into a potential functional bread. J Food Sci Technol. 2015;52:7894–903.

 

 


WHO recommendations on NNS: Are we overlooking a huge opportunity?

The United Nations has commissioned a report on non-nutritional sweeteners as a tool for public health control and a new frontier on the war against obesity and non-communicable disease. With science backing up sugar substitutes providing structure and sweetness, like inulin and stevia, are we overlooking a huge opportunity to make positive change?

 

The recent report World Health Organisation report is designed to help guide public policy makers in drafting legislation and promote public health objectives, especially when replacing traditional sugars with non-sugar sweetener alternatives (NSS) –identified as the greatest challenge facing health organisations in the near future.

The WHO report, a literature review based on much of the existing body of stevia research, was based on the evidence of 283 randomised trials, which demonstrated that the removal of sugar could lead to sustained weight loss, amongst other health benefits. A meta-analysis of 45 studies found that daily sugar intake was reduced by 38.4 gram on average, resulting in improved health outcomes.

Participants examined in these studies were drawn from a variety of nations – including countries with high obesity levels such as the United States, Mexico and the United Kingdom. Those who had higher levels of NSS consumption (and so less sugar consumption as a result), had “lower bodyweight and lower BMI as a result”. The positive effects of stevia on the reduction of dental cavities was also noted, with two studies demonstrating that the decreased consumption of sugars (replaced by stevia), led to better oral outcomes and fewer cavities overall.

The report did not recommend stevia as a promotional tool for public health measures, as a result of the WHO finding little confidence in much of the existing research discussed within. This is partially due to the volume and the diversity of the studies included (which

contained research on the effects of NSS on BMI, dental health, foetal development and growth in young adults). This mixed approach to analysis, coupled with some methodological questions surrounding the studies themselves – the report cites that “most of these trials provided NSS or free sugars-containing foods and beverages in addition to existing diets and therefore did not directly measure the effects of replacing free sugars with NSS.” – suggests that the scope of WHO research into stevia was seeking to establish the validity of NSS as full time alternative to sugar, and not to directly identify the health benefit of the plant.

As a result, it is difficult to say whether the WHO’s reluctance to recommend NSS as a key pillar of public health is due to a lack of confidence, or simply because it is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to the existing problem. Stevia itself is not a new product, and has more than 15 years fully integrated and formulated as a central part of our understanding of modern healthy sweetener systems.

Based in a thorough review of available research, it is evident that the experience of sweetness can be totally re designed and turned into a healthy, low-sugar one – and this can be done by embracing stevia . As an example, there is evidence that compounds like inulin fiber, can have a beneficial effect on our digestive system, by stimulating the growth of healthy bacteria in the human intestine (1,2) , and consumption of stevia can provide significant benefits in terms of high pressure and blood glucose levels in people with Type 2 diabetes. These findings are well documented, in reliable and prestigious medical journals – with research on the effects of the pancreatic beta cell function is enhanced characterized and published in Nature (3) .

The issue that we face is that the generalisation of NSS (such as that made by the WHO in their report) may waste the opportunity to redesign the experience of sweetness from a health point of view. This may stimulate black/white analysis of different compounds which benefit may come from the synergistic effect between them when replacing sugar.

On top of the direct health benefits offered by stevia,  we are aware that we are also on a planet that is in the grip of the climate crisis. The report did not examine the outstanding sustainability offered by stevia, and the need for widespread adoption of higher-yield, lower-acreage crops and environmentally friendly processing systems – an area in which stevia (and SWT in particular) is particularly notable.

These benefits are tangible - in terms of sweetness equivalence per crop surface, stevia figures are remarkable. In 2022, the total surface of planting of Sugar Beet, Sugar Cane and Corn in the US was 5 million Acres, producing a total of equivalent 15.7 MM tons of sugar. This is roughly the size of the state of New Jersey. This total of 5 MM acres has a yearly requirement of 23.298 MM Cubic Meters of water – almost 15% of Lake Tahoe. This surface could be replaced by 0.15 MM acres of stevia (considering stevia sweetness equivalence and crop yield), with a water consumption of just 4.4% of the water used by caloric sweeteners, resulting in an overall 91% water footprint reduction from field-to-table.  Examining the CO2 footprint sees a  reduction of  around 70% when comparing sugar cane and stevia at their equivalent sweetness powers and yields per hectare (4,5), making stevia an obvious candidate in the push for carbon neutral production.

While the expertise and methodology of the World Health Organisation is unimpeachable, and it is clear that the report on the inclusion of NSS as a public health strategy is well sourced and researched, existing reports and studies make it difficult to agree that the report on NSS represents an examination of the health benefits of stevia when compared to free sugars – and as such does a disservice to the genuine alternative to the unsustainable diet that is currently causing severe damage to global health. Couple this to the environemntal benefits of decreased pollution, water usage and carbon output, stevia seems the obvious candidate to push the NSS revolution forwards.

 

References

  • Meyer D, Stasse-Wolthuis M. The bifidogenic effect of inulin and oligofructose and its consequences for gut health. Eur J Clin Nutr 2009;63(11):1277-89.

 

  • Roberfroid M, Gibson GR, Hoyles L et al. Prebiotic effects: metabolic and health benefits. Br J Nutr 2010;104(Suppl. 2):S1-S63.

 

  • Philippaert, K. et al. Steviol glycosides enhance pancreatic beta-cell function and taste sensation by potentiation of TRPM5 channel activity.Nat. Commun. 8, 14733 doi: 10.1038/ncomms14733 (2017).

 

  • British Sugar Company: http:/www.silverspoon.co.uk/home/aboutus/carbon-footprint, Feb 2008.

 

  • Ashwell M. Stevia, Nature’s Zero- Calorie Ssustainable Sweetener: A New Player in the Fight Against Obesity. Nutrition Today. 2015; 50(3): 129-134. Doi: 10.1097/NT.0000000000000094.

Can we cite this? This would refute part of the issues raised by WHO

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Eating for mental health: How a great diet can help you to feel better physically and mentally

Making sure that the body receives a balanced diet does more than just help keep you physically healthy. Emerging research suggests that proper nutrition also plays a role in good mental health.

In a world of processed food, it can be very difficult to keep track of exactly what we are eating – especially when living increasingly hectic lives. Specialist diets have for years suggested that cutting out specific ingredients, while including others holds the key to unlocking better health for all of us. This is fundamentally true for our mental health as much as for our physical health. With the rise of ultra-processed food products, it can be extremely difficult to know exactly what we consume on a regular basis – which means we can often make poor nutritional choices that adversely affect our health, all while never understanding why.

We have always known that having too much sugar in our diets is a bad thing, but it is only relatively recently that the truth about how bad it really is has clearly emerged. Studies – dating back to 2004 – have demonstrated that too much refined sugar can lead to a heightened risk of depression and schizophrenia – and that ensuring that we maintain a low-sugar diet is essential to helping keep the brain (and the rest of our bodies) functioning in a healthy manner. A follow-up study to the original research in 2017 – this time by researchers at University College London, confirmed the findings, noting that an overconsumption of sugar also leads to depression.

Chronic mental illnesses such as the types caused by an overconsumption of sugar have also been proven to shorten our lifespans, and to increase mortality rates. This is true of even minor mental illness – so taking the time to make sure that we eat properly is more important than ever if we want to see our brains stay healthy as we age. In order to do this, we need to ensure that our brains manufacture sufficient levels of the protein BDNF, which it uses to repair and power itself.

BDNF – or brain-derived neurotrophic factors – is the name given to the proteins produced by our brains to help regenerate and power themselves. The lower the levels of recorded BDNFs, the lower the levels of brain health, so keeping levels high by avoiding potential inhibitors (such as products with high levels of processed sugars) holds the key to long-term mental health benefits.

Low BDNF levels have been linked to a litany of mental disorders – from serious disorders like Alzheimer’s Disease, and epilepsy to anorexia and OCD, all of which are characterised by a lack of BDNF levels in the brain. Low BDNF has also been suggested to inhibit learning, meaning that school-age children also need to avoid an overconsumption of sugar in order to maximise their learning opportunities.

BDNF levels also drop markedly as we age – which is why cognitive decline is often observed in the elderly. Recent research now suggests that by reducing sugar (and swapping the sweetness for a healthier, natural source like stevia), brain performance can be maintained for longer as BDNF is conserved.

Beyond our mental health, evidence has emerged that an overconsumption of sugar can affect even our immune systems. Professor Robert Lustig, of the University of California, cites evidence that excessive levels of fructose – a common sweetener in processed foods – can increase insulin resistance. While the link between excess sugar and diabetes is by now well understood, the insulin resistance also correlates with wider issues regarding the functionality of leptin receptors – the system in our bodies directly related to making us feel satisfied after eating. This research, which was published in 2022, demonstrates that there is still a significant amount of damage caused by our overreliance on traditional sugar that we are yet to fully understand.

This suggests that by eating high-sugar foods, our bodies see a decreasing ability to recognise when we need to stop eating – causing continued intake of sugars, repeating the cycle, with increasingly serious effects each time, declining our ability to feel healthy in body or mind.

For those who are considering a switch to a more consciously healthy diet, cutting down on sugar should be the absolute priority. This change in fundamental food philosophy is being experienced not only by consumers looking to make better food choices, but also by manufacturers, who are looking to reduce their dependence on unsustainable refined sugar and move across to a more natural and healthy form of sweetness.

The unrivalled natural sweetness of stevia provides an opportunity to keep the same delicious flavours of all your guilty pleasures, while reformulating them to ensure that they are low or even zero-sugar products. This keeps BDNF levels in the brain high and helps to keep fat – another ingredient linked with BDNF reduction – lower than ever.

Given the evidence for the benefits of a low-sugar diet in children, adults and the elderly, there is clearly no better time to take control of what you eat, and choose a new kind of sweetness that reflects the healthier, more sustainable future that we are all searching for.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The development of the Stevia plant

Aside from being an incredible source of natural sweetness, Stevia rebaudiana has seen an emergence as a leader in the healthy revolution that is currently sweeping the food industry. As the world looks to fundamentally change how we make our food and alter our understanding of our diets, stevia has rapidly become the key to unlocking a healthier future. But how has SWT learned to maximise the very best of the plant, while refusing to compromise on quality? What is the secret to a sweetness that is so powerful, but without any of the negative side effects usually related to the sweetening of foods?

The health properties of stevia leaves go further than just tasting great. Steviol glycosides – the active elements of the leaves that give it the beneficial properties for which it is known – are powerful antioxidants, thanks to a rich profile of phenolic compounds found inside each and every stevia crop we cultivate.

A study at Leuven Catholic University by biologists Stijn Ceunen and Jan M. C. Geuns noted that “During the past few decades, the nutritional and pharmacological benefits of
these secondary metabolites have become increasingly apparent…For the past few decades, S. rebaudiana has been the subject of extensive phytochemical analysis, during which time a large number of molecular structures have been identified. Most studies were done on the isoprenoids and phenolic compounds, but many other constituents such as macro- and micro- nutrients, fatty acids, and vitamins have also been found in S. rebaudiana.”

It is these nutrients and vitamins – as well as positive fats – that have seen stevia become increasingly widely used by nutritionists looking to rebalance global diets and decrease waistlines.

The exhaustive study by Ceunen and Geuns comprehensively broke down the stevia plant in a manner that few researchers had managed before – despite the discovery of the plant by western biologists in the late 19th century. Scientific reports on steviol glycosides (and the seasonal variations that accompanied them) first emerged at the beginning of the 1970s – giving cultivators a unique insight into when the best time to harvest would be – it also allowed them to locate the best sources of these glycosides within the plant, analysing the content of leaves, roots, stems and branches to determine where the areas richest in glycosides could be found.

These glycosides are found most abundantly within the leaves – which is exactly why SWT has refined harvesting processes to focus on getting the maximum out of every single leaf . By waiting for the moment when the stevia plant is about to flower, and harvesting it, Ceunen and Geuns agree that SWT have found the moment when the plant is richest in steviol glycosides, and therefore at the most perfect moment for harvest.

In line with the findings in the study, SWT harvest their stevia plants several times a year (dependent on atmospheric conditions in our fields), as repeated harvesting of the same plant is able to increase the number of glycosides in each leaf, ensuring that our stevia is as naturally sweet as our consumers demand. Close to the tropics, the plants are harvested four times per year, as the plant grows fast as a result of high radiation and enter flowering frequently as a result of short days all year round – meaning that the plants reach their sweetest and most delicious once every 3 months.

As well as knowing when the best time to harvest a crop, it is essential to understand which variants of stevia rebaudiana yield the highest number of glycosides in order to create an outstanding extract – SWT grows plants that are rich in Rebaudioside A, but still containing all other glycosides. Stevia plants contain around 35-40 sweet molecules, from which Rebaudioside a and Stevioside are the more abundant. Rebaudisoide M - a very minor variant but one that is quite sweet - is specially selected for the ability to be intensely cultivated and to deliver outstanding sweetness in every leaf.

Beginning in 2017 with 10,000 varieties, SWT has carefully selected the 50 best strains of stevia to cultivate in our fields, prioritising the production of glycosides to give our extracts the best and most natural flavours, all without any added chemicals or enzymes in our processes.

While the antioxidant properties of stevia leaves are well known, it is often underestimated just how effective an oxidant they are. Steviol glycosides display an ROS scavenging ability of between 1.5 and 2.5mM, which can be further enhanced during the cultivating and processing portions. This helps to keep the body healthy by ensuring good oxygenation of the blood.

With the cutting edge 100% water-only processing used by SWT, no part of the leaf is wasted, and every ounce of goodness is extracted in order to form part of an eco-friendly solution to global nutrition. Thanks to the technical staff behind our incredible product, we are learning how to harness more of the power of the stevia leaf with every harvest, ensuring that the healthy sweetness revolution is stronger than ever.

 


Can Stevia reduce inflammation in COVID-19 cases?

A new study into the effects of steviol glycosides on COVID-19 has revealed that a regular dose of stevia may help to boost the immune systems of the medically vulnerable in case of contracting the virus

A study from the Laboratory of Functional Biology in Leuven, Belgium has found that a regular dose of stevia extracts (or dried leaves) may help to reduce many of the inflammatory risks associated with COVID-19 – especially amongst those in at-risk groups, such as the obese and those with heart disease.

Dr. Jan Geuns, a well-established stevia researcher with a long history of stevia-related research, has established a potential link between regular doses of steviol glycosides (an active ingredient found in stevia leaves and extracts), according to new research published in the Archives of Food Science and Nutrition Research.

High ROS scavenging – associated with increased blood oxygenation, which is critical for COVID-19 sufferers, especially those who may be overweight or have respiratory issues – was demonstrated to make a meaningful difference to the bodies of those struggling to fight COVID-19 infection. By oxygenating the blood more efficiently, a dose of stevia may help to relieve the pressure on organs that often leads to poor health outcomes in COVID-19 sufferers. Stevia leaves naturally contain a number of high ROS ingredients.

Critically, the presence of Selenium in stevia leaves and extracts plays a critical role in ensuring that the blood and vital organs remain well oxygenated, according to emerging research in Wuhan, the ground zero for the pandemic. By ensuring a good intake of selenium, which can be found in stevia, alongside a host of other beneficial nutrients, COVID-19 sufferers can reduce the likelihood of adverse consequences.

The study identifies an at-risk group – those with a BMI of above 30, and those with hypertension, cardiovascular disease and lung diseases. This group is statistically much more at risk of negative outcomes when suffering from COVID-19, as they have a natural deficiency in Vitamin C, GSH and enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants. Dr. Geuns hopes that treatment using steviol glycosides will help to alleviate this increased risk.

Other recent studies have also demonstrated the effectiveness of steviol glyocides against Lyme disease. With researchers from the United States, China and the United Kingdom also suggesting that COVID-19 has made traditional influenza more virulent in nature, it will become increasingly necessary for medicine to find a way to contain respiratory illnesses in the near future.

High-purity stevia extracts may also prove to be as beneficial as whole leaves, as a purity of >95% has proved sufficient to yield the same benefits as unrefined leaves – meaning that products produced with quality stevia extracts may provide protection against COVID-19 as well.

 


SWT confectionary products help make healthy sweetness a delicious reality

In addition to an amazing range of healthy, low-sugar products, SWT Stevia has unveiled a fantastic new range of delicious, healthy chocolate products.

While chocolate ranks amongst one of the most popular sweet treats in the world, it’s also a high source of sugar. By substituting the traditional cane sugars for stevia and other healthy and natural sweeteners however, SWT has managed to create chocolate that looks and tastes identical, but without the vast majority of the negatives that come with it.

“We believe that enjoying a healthy diet which includes responsible food choices, shouldn’t mean making sacrifices as a consumer, so we work tirelessly to ensure natural solutions to keep food tasting delicious, while at the same time allowing these treats to benefit our overall health” says Lizet Dircio, one of the R&D specialists in charge of product development at SWT.

For food producers, SWT solutions can offer these products in a variety of different applications – from standalone chocolate products to rich desserts and even in baked goods.

The range is extensive, with applications such as ice cream, baked goods, syrups and chocolate bars. Also as ingredients in jams and spreads all benefitting from SWT research and development. With almost endless applications, making a health directed switch away from sugars and towards stevia has become easier than ever.

Here are some of our industry-leading new products, which places healthy sugar reduction just at the reach of your hand:

No-added sugar chocolate bars

 

  • Dark chocolate (70 to 80% of cocoa)
  • Flavoured dark chocolate (mint, orange, saffron, coffee, caramel and sea salt)
  • Superfood boosted (quinoa, oats and vitamin-enriched bars)
  • Peanut Butter and vegan chocolate
  • Chocolate chips

 

No-added sugar syrups

SWT offers a wide range of no-added sugar syrup products – from traditional offerings like caramel, maple syrup and chocolate, to diverse new flavours such as strawberry, cherry and orange. These syrups products can be added to existing products as a method of reducing overall sugar content (making your classic product line healthier, without changing the flavour or texture), or can be used as stand-alone condiments and sauces to accompany other types of food.

 

Spreads, jams and marmalades

With a variety of chocolate, hazelnut and vanilla-style spreads already in our product portfolio, SWT has further refined its product line to offer you traditional in a variety of flavours. Choose from strawberry, pineapple, blackberry, summer fruits, apple and orange, with all of the flavour but a fraction of the sugar contents of traditionally-formulated jams and spreads.

 

No-added sugar cereal bars and cookies

With the rise of the on-the-go breakfast, offering genuinely healthy cereal bars and mid-morning snacks has never been more important. To help your company make a difference in nutrition improvements, SWT has reformulated many popular styles of snack bar in order to create a low-sugar alternative to what has traditionally been a sugar-laden market.

For those who prefer to eat later in the day, SWT has also recreated popular styles of brand-name biscuits and cookies, but with added nutritional benefits and reduced sugar and fat contents overall.

With mixes of cereal, fruit, chocolate chip and seed ingredients, breakfasts can taste delicious, fill you up and do you good all at the same time.

Besides designing chocolate and confectionary products that are lower in hydrogenated fats and unhealthy sugars than traditional confectionary, the team at SWT have also managed to create nutritionally enriched foodstuffs that are rich in antioxidants, flavonoids, magnesium, iron and zinc. Our stevia-sweetened spreads and cereal bars are also high in prebiotic fibre, providing the basis for a healthier gut and a tastier diet.

Thanks to industry-leading experience, SWT has created all of this without affecting the texture and the flavour that consumers love. Our team of developers can help to add these benefits to existing products – helping you turn best sellers into high-quality superfoods without losing any of the organoleptic qualities that makes your food the food you love.


SWT: Who we are, why we do what we do and how we help to make the world a healthier place to live

Beyond delivering incredible, 100% water-processed and sustainably produced Stevia, SWT has made it an integral part of our mission to help improve global health. SWT team members from across Latin America discuss what motivates them to work to form part of the solution to the current global health crisis.

To make the world a healthier and happier place, you need a team that is motivated to work towards success, no matter how difficult it might seem at first. Luckily, working at SWT means being part of a supportive family who help each other to push the boundaries of health and nutrition. We know that if we work together, we will be able to create a world that is healthy, where people can be guaranteed access to quality, nutritious foods.

The difference that people can make as part of SWT is a huge part of the reason that we can welcome Abraham Javey to his new role as Production Manager for SWT Mexico. We look forward to a successful partnership, where we all do our part to change the world for the better. At SWT, we also understand that we need to put the rest of the world first – we work reactively, put people over profits and ensure sustainability is at the heart of everything that we do.

We believe that as a company, we are more than just the sum of our parts – and that you can join us in what we do. Máximo Oliva, part of the SWT office team based in Chile says; “What inspires me most about working for SWT is almost intangible – it is the group of people that work here. The team we form together makes me feel so thankful and it is wonderful to get up and work together with people you really want to work alongside.”

So, as well as 100% all-natural processing facilities and prioritising the use of renewable energy as a cornerstone of our operation, SWT is also trying to help people without meaningful access to healthy food to change their lifestyles for the better as well. If society is serious about making a lasting change in eating habits (and research shows us that we need to be), then we all need to play a part in changing how we live. This is as true for the public sector as it is for government and NGOs, notes Máximo – and this motivates him to work as part of the SWT team where he really feels that he is making a difference to his community and to millions across the world in need of a more sustainable diet.

The obesity pandemic that has gripped the world over the last 20 years has created a public health emergency. In order to do our part in combatting this, SWT has created a range of products and services – for producers and for consumers alike – that will help to reduce waistlines, while providing the opportunity to make body-friendly diet choices much easier to make. “I firmly believe that these problems are from diets” says Mariana Alamos, who works in Mexico City. “I think that a new sweetness, with balanced calories that is health and natural can change the quality of life for many people who are currently suffering”

Mariana notes that since the eradication of wide-scale disease, poor dietary health and the conditions that it brings about have become one of the cause of death across the world. She also thinks that the only way to solve the crisis is to change the way we produce and consume modern food. “I’m [motivated to work here] because I really believe that we are fighting a new disease, born from the massive-scale production of high-sugar products.”

The World Health Organisation recommends less than 25g of free sugars (those added to products) per day, as they contribute to obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and working together, we can help to transform the way that people enjoy a balanced diet.

It is important to remember however, that the manner in which we look to make these changes needs to be done with respect to the needs of the planet, and with a high-yield, low-acreage crop like stevia, processed in a completely natural way, SWT are making sure that the future of healthy sweetness is also the future of a healthy planet the future of a healthy working environment too.

 

 


Meeting the UK National Food Strategy for Nutrition

It is no secret that modern, commercialised food production methods have had disastrous consequences for our health and overall diet. With the cost of public care increasing and the need to adapt diets to accommodate changes in eating habits that will inevitably be brought about the need to combat climate change, the UK government has commissioned the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition to map out the dietary changes required over the next decade[1].

According to existing UK government research, around 64,000 people in the UK die from poor diet ever year[2] – with more than 50% of over-45s suffering from diseases brought on by the effects of bad food choices[3].

HFSS legislation is due to be introduced in the UK in 2022[4] – giving producers and retailers time to make relevant alterations to product formulation to avoid needing to place visible warnings on food products.

The starkest, and most necessary reductions that should be made are around sugar and HFSS (foods high in Fat, Salt and Sugar). To meet the 25% reduction in HFSS foods, large-scale reformulation of baked goods and other confectionary will inevitably be required. The sugar tax levied some years ago has meant that sugar content is lower[5], but with a 50% reduction still needed to meet targets, there is some distance to go, and the replacement of sugar with alternative sources of sweetness – such as stevia - is likely to be in high demand from major manufacturers.

Outside of the HFSS requirements, the resultant National Food Strategy (NFS) cites the need to reduce sugar intake by 50%. Of the 14 recommendations made by the report, 11 are direct results of sugar-related issues. The widespread adoption of stevia in place of the traditional cane and beet sugars that currently dominate the UK market would allow manufacturers to meet the stringent new requirements with minimum impact to consumers.

With concern that Type 2 Diabetes is likely to cost the National Health Service around £15 billion per year[6] (around 150% of the current annual cancer bill), the UK government is looking to comprehensively transform the state of the national food market, changing public attitudes for the better.

This task will not be easy for producers and manufacturers who are currently in the business – especially those who work in the snack food and confectionary fields. Reformulation with sugar substitutes can be tricky to get right, and there is always the concern that consumers will not enjoy the reformulated products as much as the traditional recipes, particularly if foot texture is affected in the switch away from sugars.

When it comes to successfully executing a reformulation however, SWT Stevia is uniquely placed to help manufacturers and producers to meet the upcoming requirements by providing the sweetness profiles demanded by consumers at the same time as meeting the sugar reduction specifications demanded by UK authorities. With an embedded understanding that consumers are looking to make choices that affect their health without making choices that affect their enjoyment of food, SWT is able to help producers create the same traditional products, with improved formulation.

How a switch to stevia can help meet the first 7 recommendations of the UK National Food Strategy:

 

Recommendation 1

Introduce a Sugar and Salt Reformulation Tax. Use some of the revenue

to help get fresh fruit and vegetables to low-income families.

Recommendation 2

Introduce mandatory reporting for large food companies.

Recommendation 3

Launch a new “Eat and Learn” initiative for schools.

Recommendation 4

Extend eligibility for free school meals.

Recommendation 5

Fund the Holiday Activities and Food programme for the next three years.

Recommendation 6 

Expand the Healthy Start scheme.

Recommendation 7

Trial a “Community Eatwell” Programme, supporting those on low incomes to improve their diets.

 

As the first 7 recommendations involve government control, promotion, and regulation of food production – to ensure that healthy choices are made where possible – making the switch to stevia early can save producers a significant number of problems in the longer run.

With a focus on a new “Eat and Learn” project designed specifically to help young children to understand the benefits of a balanced diet, the promotion of stevia as a central part of a healthy yet delicious diet allows for a significant change in public attitudes towards the use of alternative sweeteners, which are still on the periphery of some key demographics.

The crux of the initial seven recommendations stems from the dual approach taken by the UK government. While there are heavy educational campaigns recommended as a key stone policy, these are also backed up by a call for transparency and monitoring.

The eligibility of free school meals in Recommendation 4 will be subject to the already stringent existing regulation[7], requiring providers to meet low-sugar and low-fat targets in order to be eligible to supply the food. With the aim to increase the number of school meals provided to pupils, there are major gains available for those companies who make the choice to adapt to the new reality of nutrition first.

Given the ever-increasing taxes on unhealthy food, coupled with the health ramifications of living unsustainably unhealthy lifestyles, the move to alternative sweeteners is, at this point, looking inevitable. For food producers, making the switch sooner rather than later is likely to yield positive results and should form the central pillar of any long-term manufacturing strategy.

 

[1] National Food Strategy. (2021) available at https://www.nationalfoodstrategy.org/the-report/
[2] Global health data exchange. (2020). Global Burden of Disease, 2019 data. Available at: http://ghdx.healthdata.org/gbd-2019
[3] National Food Strategy analysis using data from: NHS Digital. (2020). Health Survey for England 2019: Adult’s health.
 Available at https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/health-survey-for-england/2019
[4] Promotions of unhealthy foods restricted from October 2022: Department of Health and Social Care (2021). Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/promotions-of-unhealthy-foods-restricted-from-october-2022
[5] Soft Drinks Industry Levy comes into effect: HM Treasury (2018). Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/soft-drinks-industry-levy-comes-into-effect
[6] Hex, N. et al. (2012). Estimating the current and future costs of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes in the UK, including direct health costs and indirect societal and productivity costs.
[7] School meals – Healthy eating standards. https://www.gov.uk/school-meals-healthy-eating-standards

SWT Stevia and Juiceinnov8 are working together to transform traditional fruit beverages into low-sugar treats, from Thailand to the rest of the world

Aside from understanding the natural purification approach by SWT, coupled with their deep knowledge on the foundations of sweetness, we have achieved in very short periods of time products where our customers cannot identify the level of sugar reduction”  Sean Traitratkeyoon, JuiceInnov8

 

Overview

Founded in 2014, Juiceinnov8 has set out to change the way that we enjoy traditional fruit-based drinks.

Using a similar process to the one used in the fermentation of wine, JuiceInnov8 have selected non-GM microbes from organic cultivars and used them to reduce the amount of sugars (and by extension, calories), contained in undiluted fruit juices – allowing producers to create healthy alternatives to traditionally high-sugar products.

The result of this revolutionary technology is a reduced sugar juice, but one that keeps the original flavors and taste entirely intact. This reduced sugar is used as a base, for other juices or beverages.

The partnership between SWT and Juiceinnov8 founder Sean Trairatkeyoon goes back 3 years. Sean, a food technology entrepreneur from Thailand, was involved in a breakthrough in technology used to reduce the sugar content in fruit juices – without affecting the outstanding nutrition or delicious flavour.

Using native yeasts selected and isolated from the peels of the oranges themselves, Juiceinnov8 and SWT have created a process which allows these yeasts to consume much of the sugar within the juice, leaving behind only water and CO2, which, once evaporated, gives consumers nothing but delicious, low-sugar juice that tastes no different from any other natural product, as well as retaining all the beneficial minerals and nutrients inside.

 

Approach

Natural fruit juices, which were once considered healthy thanks to their high nutrient, antioxidant and mineral content, have fallen out of favour in recent years, due to their high sugar content.

There have been previous attempts to resolve this dilemma – including enzymatic conversion into fibre - but our work with JuiceInnov8 has led to selective fermentation and provided consumers with the freedom to choose an all-natural process, in line with our stevia extraction methods.

To reduce sugar and replace the traditional sugars with identical, but healthy sweetness, we quickly understood the need to solve two key problems. Working closely together, the issues of how to reduce sugar and produce the perfect blend of juices was quickly resolved and the final product was outstanding.

The feedback from clients has been excellent. Sean feels that the flexibility, adaptability and the technical knowledge of the science between sweetness has made a critical difference to product development, and the final juice has proved impossible to distinguish from traditional fruit drinks.

 

Our results

Our collaboration with Sean and JuiceInnov8 has led to an understanding of the sweetness profiles of the naturally occurring sugars in the juice. The carefully designed product is an incredible, low-sugar drink with 50% less natural sugar than the original juice, while maintaining everything that makes juices natural, healthy and delicious.

JuiceInnov8 launched Incredible™ Juice, a zero sugar juice platform, dedicated for beverage industry in 2021. Incredible™ Juice becomes a building block for the next generations of beverage; from Incredible™ Sparkling Juice with 75% less sugar, to Incredible™ Fruit Tea—a healthier concept with more than 50% less sugar for food service & teahouses in the APAC market.

 

Product reception

In Thailand, JuiceInnov8 has proved a huge success, with sales in national chains, including Alto Coffee. The company  has gone on to win a number of awards for their innovation and for their incredible, healthy juice. Thanks to this success, incredible Juice was a finalist in the Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas 2021 contest – in no small part thanks to the expert technical partnership with SWT that has allowed JuiceInnov8 to return the sweetness to all the products in the Incredible Juice range, without ever compromising on the original taste.

 

What comes next

Thanks to the technology developed by JuiceInnov8, other fruit juice products can be altered to remove the harmful excess sugars – from full juices to juice-containing products. The expertise gained by SWT in reconstructing sweetness profiles means that for consumers and producers, the difference between a 50% reduced sugar and an untreated juice should prove completely indistinguishable – providing almost limitless possibilities for application.

For JuiceInnov8, a series of exciting collaborations – including with global energy drinks giant Red Bull also beckons.