With the growth in sugar reduced or low sugar products, demand has increased for sugar replacers and bulking agents.

With the growth in sugar reduced or low sugar products, demand has increased for sugar replacers and bulking agents.

Sugar is still a great product. As well as providing sweetness and enhancing the flavour of many products, sugar provides a stable filler to products such as chocolate, helps control water activity in products such as jams and fruit concentrates, depresses the freezing point in frozen products and has a host of other roles.

However, the calorific content of sucrose, along with its impact on glycaemic index and links to obesity, mean that food technologists must sometimes consider alternatives to sugar.

Bulking agents can be classified into two broad groups: nutritive and non-nutritive.

Nutritive Bulking Agents

Maltodextrins are bland, nutritive saccharide polymers consisting of glucose units. Maltodextrins can be used to increase soluble solids, inhibit sugar crystallisation, and control freezing point. They have also been used as fat mimics in frozen desserts.

HWL can source a range of Maltodextrins from ADM; the most commonly used is ADM Maltodextrin DE10.

We also suggest you consider ADM Cornsweet Fructose. Fructose is classified as a sugar and has the same calorific content as a normal carbohydrate, but is sweeter than sucrose by weight, and it has a very low glycaemic index. It may be well suited to products where the control of glucose content and glycaemic index is important.

Non-Nutritive Bulking Agents

Non-nutritive bulking agents are usually carbohydrate-based products that are only partially absorbed by the body. Non-nutritive bulking agents tend to have varying degrees of sweetness, and often need to be supplemented with high intensity sweeteners.

Polydextrose is a randomly assorted structure, based on glucose and sorbitol. It has around a quarter the normal calorific content of normal sugar, has very little sweetness and is extremely water-soluble. It will also help in lowering both water activity and freezing point and is very stable in a wide range of formulations.


Matsutani/ADM’s Fibresol-2 is a digestion resistant Maltodextrin produced using a proprietary method of enzymatic hydrolysis of cornstarch. The powder contains 90% soluble fibre and gives a bland flavour and mouth feel.

The unique functionality of Fibresol-2 allows technologists to formulate products with high fibre content with minimal impact on viscosity. It has low sweetness and is both acid and heat-stable.

As a water-soluble fibre, Fibresol-2 can effectively promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. Additionally, secondary and tertiary benefits from fermentation by-products can add to maintenance of intestinal health.

Matsutani Fibresol®-2 applications

Citrus Fibre

HERBAFOOD, a division of Herbstreith & Fox, also produces a range of fibres including Herbacel AQ Plus citrus fibre.

This product has a high water holding capacity and will disperse easily in cold water. Trials in HWL’s test kitchen indicate that it can be used to provide a viscous mouth feel to beverages and fruit products.

  • Maltodextrin: Nutritive bland bulking agent
  • Polydextrose: Bland bulk agent with 25% calories of normal carbohydrates
  • Fibresol-2: Very low viscosity resistant maltodextrin
  • Herbacel AQ Plus Citrus Fibre: High viscosity fibre