DouxMatok partners with Hi-Food on sweetener solutions

Dive Brief:

  • DouxMatok is partnering with Italy’s Hi-Food to create a suite of solutions to reduce sugar in products. DouxMatok is best known for its Incredo Sugar, a sweetener made from sugar that needs only about 40% of it to have same taste. Hi-Food makes Meltec, a semi-solid and tasteless bulking ingredient. Incredo Sugar needs something to increase its bulk in order for it to be used in place of conventional sugar, and this partnership brings those needs together.
  • The two companies have been working for more than a year to devise the best solutions for potential customers, according to a statement. They have developed prototypes for applications including cakes, cookies, chocolate, candy, protein bars, energy bars and snacks. Products made with ingredients from this partnership are expected to launch in early 2022.
  • Incredo Sugar has been viewed as a promising alternative to sugar. Unlike alternative sweeteners, it tastes the same as sugar, though it needs some help from bulking ingredients like fiber in order to be used successfully in products. Israel-based DouxMatok launched its first product, Incredo Spreads, in April.

Dive Insight:

DouxMatok has worked on making Incredo Sugar fulfill its potential for years. Extensive R&D and reformulation challenges for CPG products have slowed the ingredient’s path to mass adoption.

But with the Hi-Food partnership following manufacturing agreements in Canada and Europe, a successful proof-of-concept product in the U.S. and a new CEO with experience in partnerships and branding, Incredo Sugar could have what it needs for mass production and relatively easy use.

“In partnership with Hi-Food, we’ll be able to deliver more than just a specialty ingredient for great tasting sugar reduction solutions to food brands,” David Tsivion, DouxMatok’s chief technology officer, said in a statement. “We can provide a full nutritional platform that delivers the scalability and functionality needed for food developers and food production, and the sweetness and mouthfeel that consumers have come to expect.”

According to Hi-Food’s website, Meltec was custom designed for this kind of purpose.

The process of formulating products to contain less sugar or alternative sweeteners opens up a host of problems because of sugar’s functional qualities. Meltec is structurally similar to sugar or honey syrups, but contains no sweeteners. It’s also made from ingredients of natural origin, meaning that products using it can keep a clean label profile.

The Hi-Food partnership certainly helps DouxMatok meet some of its commercialization aims. The sweetening syrups the two companies can make together may look and behave like the sugar syrups manufacturers are used to using. Reformulating existing products or designing new ones in recognized segments also may get easier because a precisely calibrated formula could create fewer performance differences compared to traditional sugar ingredients.

It does not seem that the partnership can currently solve all of the issues Incredo Sugar faces, however. The ingredient does not work as a sweetener in liquids, and it does not appear that Meltec can solve this problem. In addition, even if its performance could match that of sugar, it’s unlikely that a more syrupy sweetener could be produced for home consumers. 

Considering the resume of DouxMatok’s new CEO, more big partnerships to produce, formulate and promote Incredo Sugar may be on the way.

Ari Melamud, who took over as CEO last month, came from cosmetic ingredients company Sharon Laboratories, where as its leader he helped double sales. Part of this growth came from partnerships that extended the company’s reach into different markets and brought it new opportunities. While the Hi-Food partnership got its start before Melamud was with DouxMatok and the manufacturing agreements also predate him, it’s likely he will have his eyes on more ways to push DouxMatok and its sweetener forward.

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