The functional sweetener, Gaio Tagatose, is now being produced commercially for the first time.
”Over the past seven years we’ve accumulated considerable knowledge about Gaio Tagatose”, says Executive Director Henrik Andersen from Arla Foods, Europe’s largest dairy group. ”We’re delighted to announce the launch of Gaio Tagatose in the US market and we’re confident that the project will become a success – for our customers as well as for us.”
This has been made possible through co-operation between the Danish/Swedish Dairy company, Arla Foods, and the German sugar manufacturer Nordzucker - two of the largest companies in Europe for dairy products and sugar respectively.
The two companies have great hopes for Gaio Tagatose which looks and tastes like sugar, but contains only about a third of the calories and is kind to teeth. In addition, Gaio Tagatose is prebiotic, stimulating the beneficial bacteria in the digestive system, and is suitable for people who focus on a “low carb-diet” including diabetics since it does not affect glucose level in the blood.
Gaio Tagatose offers chocolate and breakfast cereals manufacturers opportunities to produce products with functional properties without compromising on the flavour. Alternatively it can be used as a flavour enhancer. Even in small amounts, it is characteristic for this sweetener to enhance the flavour of products like diet-carbonated drinks, chewing gum and milk chocolate.
The pioneering functional sweetner has been approved for sale in the US and is expected to be approved in other markets as well. A number of US food manufacturers have already declared their intentions to make use of Gaio Tagatose.
“Gaio Tagatose is a unique product and we firmly believe in its market potential,” says Achim Fölster, Director of the Diversification Division at Nordzucker. “Thanks to our scientists and engineers we managed to build an ISO 9001 certified GMP production facility within nine months enabling us to meet world market requirements for high-end and stable quality.”
Arla Foods bought the rights for Gaio Tagatose from the American company Spherix in 1996. The sweetener, which is extracted from the milk product lactose, has a similiar production process to sugar. This explains the co-operation with Germany’s second largest sugar manufacturer, Nordzucker. The new plant is located near Hannover in Germany.
If demand for Gaio Tagatose reaches expected levels, a second plant will be built next to Arla Foods’ largest cheese dairy at Taulov in Denmark.