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A sugar alternative made from the fruit juice of a small melon has helped one Australian manufacturer create a unique new range of chocolate.
Created by Australian health food company Healthy Warrior under The Chocolate Counter brand, the new low sugar, high fibre chocolate line launched in Coles this week with a gluten free recipe that has no added dairy, soy, and all natural ingredients – including no artificial sweeteners but retains a comparable taste and consistency to normal chocolate.
GKC Foods sales and marketing consultant Graeme Hamilton says with around one in ten Australians showing a level of gluten or dairy intolerance, market demand for healthier snacks is increasing.
“Those with allergies or specific dietary preferences are looking for wellness products that have similar properties to normal confectionery.
“We also know that food intolerances often go together in individuals so that someone who reacts to lactose may also have issues with gluten,” he says
Hamilton says many existing low sugar products on the market are made with sugar alcohols, which can exacerbate gastric problems for these groups.
“Our brief from Healthy Warrior was to create a great tasting range of chocolate that was also a good source of fibre and protein and no added sugar. At the same time we looked to substitute new ingredients, which haven’t been seen in chocolate before. This included adding things like chicory root which has significantly increased the fibre levels and a new innovation called monk fruit juice has been used to provide a natural, low calorie alternative to sugar,” said Hamilton.
After six months in development, GKC Foods selected monk fruit juice concentrate as a key component of the sweetener system. In addition to having reduced sugar and carbohydrate the product is also able to be manufactured on the same line as traditional chocolate – offering a comparable texture and viscosity during the production process.
“The monk fruit juice was particularly important as an ingredient as it meant the consistency of the finished product could be produced on the same lines as other chocolate products,”
“Already the initial customer feedback on the finished product has been extremely encouraging for the brand.” Hamilton said.
Monk fruit juice is a natural fruit juice made from a small Chinese melon called monk fruit. A natural low-calorie alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners, it can be used to reduce the sugar and calories in common foods and beverages.
The product also has applications in beverages – with New Zealand based global food multinational Hansells one of the first to use it in developing a 98 per cent sugar free fruit drink.
Telstra Micro Business of the year Nexba has launched a limited edition Christmas range exclusive to Woolworths.
The new sparkling ice tea range, consisting of passionfruit, cranberry and apple natural flavours, will be sold in bespoke 1L glass bottles specially designed for Woolworths.
Drew Bilbe, Co-Founder and Operations Director at Nexba, said the launch into Woolworths marked a massive milestone for the business, making Nexba beverages available in every major Australian retailer.
“With Australians becoming increasingly aware of the harmful effects of sugary soft drinks, Nexba offers quality and taste, but with less sugar and fewer calories. We are stoked to have worked collaboratively with Woolworths to launch this new 1L glass format range, and we’re confident shoppers will love it,” he said.
The new ice tea range has only 4.9g of sugar per 100ml. By comparison, Coca Cola has more than double the sugar at 10.6g per 100ml.
“We want to give Australians as many better-for-you beverage options as possible. Our new sparkling Christmas flavours are the perfect drinks to help transition soft drink junkies off their dangerous daily addictions,” said Mr. Bilbe.
The newest additions to the Nexba range brings the total tally to 10 flavours, which include Brewnette, Australia’s first natural cola with green coffee extract, and Super Infusions, Australia’s first super fruit/ food infused, sugar-free ice tea.
“From day one, Nexba has strived to be The Beverage Innovators by partnering with national retailers and developing drinks their shoppers will love. We are self-funded and don’t have the deep pockets of the bigger brands. What we do have is an unending passion for offering Australians healthier beverages that don’t sacrifice on taste and quality,” said Troy Douglas, Co-Founder and Brand Director at Nexba.
The new Nexba flavours will be available at select Woolworths stores nationwide this week.