Food & Beverage Perspectives
Clean Label Beverages_Exec Summary

Erythritol Ingredient Approved as Flavor Enhancer for Beverages in US, Europe

<p>Cargill&#8217;s Zerose&#174; erythritol is now available for use as a flavor enhancer in multiple geographies, including the United States and Mexico, and most recently in Europe.</p>

Cargill’s Zerose® erythritol is now available for use as a flavor enhancer in multiple geographies, including the United States and Mexico, and most recently in Europe. 

When used as a flavor enhancer, Zerose erythritol masks the off-tastes that are sometimes caused by high-intensity sweeteners, as well as the sour and bitter notes that tend to come with vitamins and some other ingredients. The ingredient allows beverage makers to create low-calorie products without sacrificing taste. Possible applications include sports drinks, functional waters, teas and energy drinks.

Functional beverages often tout a healthy halo, and can benefit from ingredients such as Zerose erythritol, especially when sugar-reduction is desired. Fortunately for beverage manufacturers, advancement in ingredient technology and innovation have made it easier to achieve great taste in reduced-sugar formulations. INSIDER Managing Editor Judie Bizzozero explored some sugar-reduction ingredients for functional products in her article, “Ingredients Fueling Functional Foods, Beverages."

Regarding Zerose erythritol, the ingredient was recently approved for use as a flavor enhancer by the European Commission after reviewing the March 2015 European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) positive opinion. It can be used in beverages at up to 1.6 percent, which opens the door for use as a flavor enhancer in a host of beverages such as energy and sports drinks and dairy- or fruit-based beverages. 

In the United States, the Flavor & Extract Manufacturers Association of the U.S. (FEMA) recognized in September 2015 the GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status of Zerose erythritol for use as a flavor in non-alcoholic beverages at use levels of up to 1.25 percent.  When used as a flavor, it can be labeled as a “natural flavor" in the ingredient panel. FEMA GRAS is also recognized in Mexico.

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