Thaumatin is a low-calorie sweetener and flavour modifier. It is a mixture of proteins isolated from the katemfe fruit. The Thaumatoccus danielli tree is native to the tropical rainforest areas of West and Central Africa.
It is a sweet protein that can replace sugar in food and will not raise blood sugar or insulin levels.
Ninety-nine per cent of all fruits in the world derive their sweetness from sugar. Yet, there are very few fruits that contain a sweet protein, rather than a sugar.
Proteins used as a sweetener have a significant advantage over sugar – they are digested by like any other protein. Protein-sweetened chocolate cannot lead to obesity nor contribute to diabetes.
Proteinaceous Food Ingredient
The sugar substitute market is worth around $9 billion a year
A completely natural product, Thaumatin, is extracted from fruits by water-based physical extraction.
It is a proteinaceous food ingredient up to 3 000 times sweeter than sugar and is non-carcinogenic with no glycaemic index. Thaumatin is water-soluble, stable to heating and its pH ranges between 2 and 8.
The body digests Thaumatin in the same way as any other protein and it is stable in food and drink formulations. It is a powerful masking agent and improves palatability. Thaumatin is a protein sweetener.
The calorie intake of thaumatin is negligible (4.1 cal/g = 17 J/g). It modifies the sensory quality of products – masking unpleasant or bitter tastes. The powder is also soluble in glycerin, propylene, ethanol and polyols like sorbitol.
Used in antibiotics, analgesics, antacids, cough syrups, herbal products, pharma drugs, and medicated gums due to the following reasons:
- Powerful masking agent reducing bitterness and medicinal notes
- Reduces after taste and bitterness of Vitamin C
- Reduces bitterness and astringency of Vitamin B2 & B6
- Reduces bitter caffeine notes
It is already used in oral care products, such as mouth wash and toothpaste, for the following reasons:
- Increases the cooling effect of mint flavours. It leaves a fresh, clean taste in the mouth
- Masks the taste of anti-plaque agents such as zinc citrate trihydrate
- In mouthwash liquids, the mouthfeel is improved by giving the perception of more body or viscosity
- Tooth friendly
Thaumatin is a protein sweetener suitable for the table or combined with other sweeteners and is healthier for the following reasons:
- Insignificant calorie contribution
- Masks after taste of some high-intensity sweeteners like stevia
- Delivers a sugar-like taste in combination with some high-intensity sweeteners and polyols
- It’s 3000 times sweeter than sugar
- Non-harmful to animals
Dairy and Non-Dairy
- Works particularly well in yoghurts, mousses, ice cream and soy-based desserts
- A perceived increase in the body, particularly in low-fat yoghurts and desserts
- Improved flavour perception in low-fat products
- Masks astringency or unwanted notes from other ingredients
- It is suitable to produce candies and chocolate because it:
- Enhances, improves and prolongs flavours, particularly citrus, berry and mint
- Helps to reduce the aftertaste of other high-intensity sweeteners
- Sugar-like taste in combination with polyols and high-intensity sweeteners
- Thaumatin offers a healthier option
- It needs to be used in parts per million (ppm) levels only
- It imparts virtually zero calories
- It can as well be used in combination with sugar, where 90% sugar can be replaced in the sweet by the proportionate amount of Thaumatin, thus bringing down the calories drastically
- Ideal for water-based flavoured and non-alcoholic drinks, including dairy and soy-based beverages
- Perfect at working with a primary sweetening system to enhance and round the flavour, including the sweetener profile
- Masks after taste of some high-intensity sweeteners
- Helps extend the shelf life of beverages by masking the breakdown of citrus
- Low-fat dairy beverages seem creamier
- A longer-lasting flavour is a must for every chewing gum manufacturer
- Significant enhancement of spearmint, peppermint, citrus, and other fruit flavours
- Improved sweetness profile with polyols and high-intensity sweeteners with an enhanced cooling effect