Reducing sugar in fruit juices

There has been a great amount of pressure on the drinks industry to reduce sugar in drinks. Focus has been on fruit juices that are perceived to be a healthy option amongst the sugary drinks. Sugar plays an important technical role as it contributes to the sweetness of a product and plays other roles such as flavour enhancement. In juices the sugar helps to boost the perceived flavour of the fruit.

When creating a juice drink there is the issue of sugars naturally occurring in the ingredients or the product itself. The fruit present in fruit juices already contain fructose, a naturally occurring fruit sugar. In order to reduce the sugar content, diluting the concentration of sugar with water or coconut water can be carried out. Another option is incorporating sweeteners into the recipe which have a reduced sugar content. The issue with changing an original recipe is the alteration in flavour and taste that may occur with a change in sugar level or the addition or removal of ingredients.

Sensory panels are often used to determine how the fruit juice recipe may have changed the taste and or flavour compared to an original recipe standard. Sensory panels are expensive, and time-consuming, therefore a rapid analytical approach to determine flavour changes would be beneficial. Our FlavourSpec system can help with sensory assessment to map flavour profiles, such as looking at relative sweetness flavour changes.