HEYLO- a patented sweetener is being advertised as a revolutionary product that could finally substitute traditional sugar, and the sweetener is made from water-extracted stevia and acacia fiber, also known as acacia gum or gum arabic.
Israeli entrepreneur Yuval Maymon at Unavoo Food Technologies has developed and patented HEYLO. The company used a ‘precision blending technique’ to create a clean taste and functionality that it claims can’t be matched by other sugar alternatives. HEYLO is water soluble and 10 to 15 times sweeter than sugar.
HEYLO’s developers and marketers hope to seize a share of the valued $16 billion to $20 billion sugar-alternative market, but they face plenty of competition. The new product will have to deliver in order to dethrone pure stevia, which is riding high in the market right now.
According to Mintel, stevia was an ingredient in more than a quarter (27 per cent) of new products launched using high-intensity sweeteners in the past year. The top categories with new product launches using stevia were snacks, carbonated soft drinks, dairy, juice drinks and other beverages.
This fear of sugar is pushing food companies, both large and small, to use stevia as a fill-in to reduce sugar content in their products without compromising on taste or mouthfeel. PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, DanoneWave, Kraft Heinz, Nestle, Unilever and other legacy brands have helped move the ingredient from niche to mainstream.
Two of stevia’s assets are that it’s naturally 30 to 40 times sweeter than sugar and has zero calories. This natural potency means a little goes a long way, so brands can use far less of the ingredient. Stevia also is relatively easy to grow and can be cultivated nearly anywhere. And, unlike previously popular artificial sweeteners like aspartame, stevia is 100 per cent natural, enabling it to meet consumer demand for clean labels.
All of these attributes have leapt pure stevia ahead of competitors such as monk fruit, agave and honey. But HEYLO does have an advantage — it comes in different varieties. The product will be manufactured as an organic brown sugar alternative, a natural white sugar alternative and as a liquid.
HEYLO seems to have a promising future, but it’s still in its infancy and needs to follow through on various promises such as clean taste. It also needs to be cost-effective and compatible with the ingredients list in many food products. If it changes the texture or costs too much, that could put the sweetener in a backseat.