New studies have highlighted the growing problem of obesity. To combat this it is important to develop sugar-free foods with similar properties to their sugar-containing counterparts. These food products must meet the requirements of the food industry and must be enjoyable and easily digestible for consumers. Besides conferring sweetness on foods, sugar also provides structure, texture, and volume. Simply replacing the saccharose with sweeteners does not lead to successful food products.
The aim of the project is to develop sugar-free chewy sweets containing açai pulp. The sweets will have an optimal combination of substances providing texture, sweetness, and flavor. Açai berries are rich in natural antioxidants and dietary fiber and so allow chewy sweets to be produced having unique properties.
The Fraunhofer IVV, ITAL, and the University of Campinas are working together to elucidate the complexity of sweetness, texture, and flavor in açai-enriched sweets and the effect of different combinations of sugar substitutes. This work involves comparing the properties of sugar-containing and sugar-free sweets using a variety of chemical, physical, and sensory methods. The model tests will be undertaken on customized formulations. Storage tests, economic evaluation, and market analysis will also be carried out. This approach minimizes the risk for manufacturers for market introduction.