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Title:
IMPROVED SUGAR COMPOSITION, METHOD FOR MANUFACTURING THE SAME AND USES THEREOF
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2016/097068
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention relates to an improved sugar composition comprising sugar and a sugar replacement composition, wherein (A) said sugar replacement composition contains polydextrose and/or resistant maltodextrin or wherein (B) said sugar replacement composition contains polydextrose and/or one or more polyols, and wherein the weight ratio of sugar to sugar replacement composition is preferably in the range of from 95:5 to 5:95 and more preferably 90:10 to 10:90.

Inventors:
DE BAETS, Sophie (Dorpsstraat 182, 9980 Sint-Laureins, 9980, BE)
Application Number:
EP2015/080112
Publication Date:
June 23, 2016
Filing Date:
December 16, 2015
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
AEGIS NV (Antwerpsesteenweg 124, 2630 Aartselaar, 2630, BE)
International Classes:
A21D2/18; A21D2/36; A21D13/06; A23G1/40; A23G9/34; A23L27/30; A23L29/219; A23L29/244; A23L33/26
Domestic Patent References:
WO2006015880A12006-02-16
WO2012107203A12012-08-16
WO1998041114A11998-09-24
Foreign References:
US20070082104A12007-04-12
AU2012201398A12012-03-29
US20080260925A12008-10-23
US5478587A1995-12-26
DE202014101690U12014-04-17
CA2095567A11993-11-07
US20110274813A12011-11-10
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BACHELIN, Martin et al. (Hoffmann Eitle Patent- und Rechtsanwälte PartmbB, Arabellastraße 30, Munich, 81925, DE)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

1 , Improved sugar composition comprising sugar and a sugar replacement composition, wherein said sugar replacement composition, is selected from the group consisting of sugar replacement compositions (A) and (B), wherein the sugar replacement composition (A) contains polydextrose and/or resistant maltodextrin, wherein the sugar replacement composition (B) contains polydextrose and/or one or more polyols, and wherein the weight ratio of sugar to sugar replacement composition is preferably in. the range of from 95:5 to 5:95 and. more preferably 90: 10 to 10:90,

2. Improved, sugar composition according to claim 1 , wherein the sugar replacement composition (A) contains polydextrose and resistant maltodextrin..

3, Improved sugar composition according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the sugar replacement composition (A) further contains a high intensity sweetener.

4, Improved sugar composition according to any one of claims 1 , 2 and. 3 wherein the sugar replacement composition (A) comprises polydextrose, resistant maltodextrin and. high intensity sweetener, wherein the content of maltodextrin is from more than 60 wt.% to less than 90 wt.%, the content of resistant maltodextrin is from 1.0 wt.% to less than 40 wt.%, and the content of high intensity sweetener is from more than 0%o to 1 wt.%, wherein all wt.% indications are based on the total of the sugar replacement composition, being 100 wt.%, and wherein, the improved sugar composition is free of sugar alcohols.

5. Improved sugar composition according to any one of claims 1, 2, 3 and 4, wherein in the sugar replacement composition (A) the content of polydextrose is from 62 wt.% to less than 90 wt,% and wherein the content of resistant maltodextrin is from 10 wt.% to less than 38 wt.%, wherein all wt.% indications are based on. the total of the sugar replacement composition, being 100 wt.%.

6. Improved sugar composition according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the sugar replacement composition (A) further comprises a fructan, wherein said fructan comprises one or more components selected from inulin, oligofructose and agavin and wherein the total content of said fructan is from more than 0 wt.% to 30 wt.% and preferably from 10 to 25 wt.%, wherein all wt.% indications are based on the total of the sugar replacement composition being 100 wt.%.

7. improved sugar composition according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the sugar replacement composition (A) comprises from 5 wt.% to 15 wt.% of inulin, wherein the wt.% indication is based on the total of the sugar replacement composition being 100 wt.%.

8. Improved sugar composition according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the sugar replacement composition. (A) comprises from 5 to 15 wt.% of oligofructose, wherein, the wt.% indication is based on the total of the sugar replacement composition being 100 wt.%.

9. Improved sugar composition according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the sugar replacement composition (A) comprises:

• polydextrose in an amount of 62 wt.% to less than. 75 wt.%;

• resistant maltodextrin in an amount of 8 wt.% to 20 wt.%;

• oligofructose in an amount of 2.5 wt.% to 15 wt.%; and

inulin in an amount of 2.5 wt.% to 15 wt.%.

I.0. Improved sugar composition according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the sugar replacement composition (A) comprises:

8 polydextrose in an amount of 62 wt.% to less than 70 wt.%;

• resistant maltodextrin in an amount of 8 wt.% to 20 wt.%:

• oligofructose in an amount of 5 wt.% to 15 wt.%; and

• inulin in an amount of 5 wt.% to 15 wt.%.

I I , Improved sugar composition according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the sugar replacement composition (A) comprises:

• polydextrose in an amount of 63 wt.% to less than 68 wt.%;

• resistant maltodextrin in an. amount of 12 wt.% to 18 wt.%;

• oligofructose in an amount of 7 wt.% to 12.5 wt.%; and

• inulin in an amount of 7 wt.% to 12.5 wt.%.

12. improved sugar composition according to claim 1 , wherein said sugar replacement composition (A) comprises polydextrose, resistant maitodextrin, a high intensity sweetener, inulin and oligofractose one or more sugar alcohols selected from the group consisting of lactitol, isomalt, and maltitol, and preferably isomalt in the following amounts:

• polydextrose in an amount of 61 wt,% to 70 wt.%;

• resistant maltodextrin in an amount of 3 wt.% to 1 1 wt.%;

oligofructose in an amount of 0.5 wt.% to 6 wt.%;

inulin in an amount of 1 wt.% to 9 wt.%;

• lactitol. isomalt, and/or maltitol in an amount of 16 to 24 wt.%; and

• high intensity sweetener in an amount of more than 0 to 0.5 wt% based on the total of the sugar replacement composition being 100 wt.%, wherein the sugar replacement composition (A) is free of sugar alcohols other than, lactitol, isomalt, and maltitol.

13. improved sugar composition according to claim 1 , wherein the sugar replacement composition (B) contains polydextrose and at least one polyol.

14. Improved sugar composition according to claim. 1 or 13, wherein the sugar replacement composition (B) further contains a high intensity sweetener.

15. Improved sugar composition according to any one of claims 1 , 13 and 1.4 wherein the sugar replacement composition (B) comprises polydextrose, and at least one polyol, wherein the content of the at least one polyol is from 10 weight% to 70 weight%, wherein at least one of the polyol components is erythritol, wherein the content of erythritol is from 10 weight% to 70 wei.ght%, and optionally a sweetening component comprising one or more sweeteners selected from high intensity sweeteners, and sweetness enhancers wherein all weight % indications are based on. the total of the sugar replacement composition being 100 weight %.

16. Improved sugar composition according to any one of claims 1 , 13, 14 and 15, wherein said sugar replacement composition (B) further comprises resistant maltodextrin, wherein said resistant maltodextrin is present in an amount of up to 6 weight %,

17. Improved sugar composition according to any one of the preceding claims 1 , 13, 14, 15 and 16, wherein said sugar replacement composition (B) further comprises a fructan, wherein said fructan component comprises one or more components selected from imilin, oligo fructose and agavin and. wherein said agavin, inulin and/or oligo fructose are present in a combined amount of from more than 0 to 30 weight %.

18. Improved sugar composition according to any one of the preceding claims 1, 13, 14.

15, 16 and 17, wherein said sugar replacement composition (B) comprises oligosaccharide components and polysaccharide components such that the total amount of polysaccharide components is from 30 to 75 weight %, preferably 45 to 65 weight %, and the total amount of oligosaccharide components is from 5 to 45 weight %, preferably 10 to 30 weight %, wherein the weight % indications are based on the total of the sugar replacement composition being 100 weight %.

19. Improved sugar composition according to any one of the preceding claims 1 , 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18, wherein said sugar replacement composition (B) comprises more than 0 to 15 weight % or less, of inulin, wherein the weight % indication is based on the total, of the sugar replacement composition being 100 weight %.

20. Improved sugar composition according to any one of the preceding claims 1 , 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19, wherein said sugar replacement composition (B) comprises more than 0 to 15 weight % or less of oligo fructose, wherein the weight % indication is based on the total of the sugar replacement composition being 100 weight %.

21. Improved sugar composition according to any one of the preceding claims 1 , 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20, wherein said sugar replacement composition (B) comprises 30 to 60 weight %, preferably 40 to 60 weight %, of polydextrose, wherein the weight % indication is based on the total of the sugar replacement composition being 100 weight %.

22. Improved sugar composition according to any one of the preceding claims 1 , 13, 14,

15, 16, 17, 18, 1 , 20 and 21 , wherein said sugar replacement composition (B) comprises one or mere of the following components:

• more than 0 to 10 weight %, of oligo fructose, more than 0 to 10 weight % of agavin, and/or

• more than 0 to 15 weight % of inulin, wherein the weight % indication is based on the total of the sugar replacement composition being 100 weight %.

23. Improved sugar composition according to any one of the preceding claims 1 , 13, 14,

15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22, wherein said sugar replacement composition (B) comprises oligo fructose, which is fructo-oligosaccharidc that has a DP between 3 to 5.

24. Improved sugar composition according to any one of the preceding claims 1 and 13 to 23, wherein said sugar replacement composition (B) comprises in addition to the polyol component

30 to 60 weight %, preferably 40 to 55 weight %, of poly dextrose, more than 0 to 15 weight %, of inulin, more than 0 to 15 weight %, of oligofructose, 3 to 5 weight % of resistant maltodextrin, or wherein said sugar replacement composition comprises

30 to 60 weight %, preferably 40 to 55 weight %, of polydextrose, more than 0 to 10 weight % inulin, more than 0 to 10 weight % oligofructose, 3 to 5 weight % resistant maltodextrin, and more than 0 to 10 weight % of agavin. or wherein said sugar replacement composition comprises

50 to 75 weight%, preferably than 60 to 75 weight %, more preferably 61 to 70 weight % of polydextrose,

6 to 10 weight %, preferably 7 to 9 weight % of inulin,

4 to 8 weight %, preferably 5 to 7 weight % of oligofructose,

0 to 4 weight %, preferably 0 or 1 to 3 weight% of resistance maltodextrin, and wherein the polyol component contains 16 to 30 weight %, preferably 21 to 27 weight % erythritol and preferably no isomalt, or wherein said sugar replacement composition, comprises

50 to 75 weight%, preferably than 60 to 75 weight %, more preferably 61 to 70 weight % of polydextrose,

8 to 12 weight %, preferably 9 to 11 weight % of inulin.

8 to 12 weight %, preferably 9 to 1. 1 weight % of oligofructose,

0 to 4 weight %, preferably 0 weight% of resistance maltodextrin, and wherein the polyol component contains 6 to 16 weight %, preferably 7 to 11 weight % erythritol and preferably no isomalt, or wherein said sugar replacement composition comprises

50 to 75 weight%} preferably than 60 to 75 weight %, more preferably 61 to 70 weight % of polydextrose,

3 to 9 weight %, preferably 4 to 8 weight % of inulin,

0,5 to 9 weight %, preferably 1 to 8 weight % of oligofructose,

2 to 9 weight %, preferably 3 to 8 weight% of resistant maltodextrin, .and wherein the polyol component contains 16 to 24 weight %, preferably 18 to 22 weight % erythritol and preferably no isomalt or 4 to 12 weight%, preferably 6 to 10 weight% isomalt, wherein the weight % indications are based on the total of the sugar replacement composition being 100 weight %,

25. Improved sugar composition according to any one of the preceding claims 1 and 13 to

24, wherein said sugar replacement composition (B) comprises 0.01 to 10 weight %, preferably 0,05 to 3 weight % of insoluble, non selective, non digestible polysaccharide and/or 0.01 to 10 weight %, preferably 0.05 to 3 weight % of soluble, non selective, non digestible polysaccharide, wherein the weight indications are based on the total of the sugar replacement composition being 100 weight %.

26. Improved sugar composition according to any one of the preceding claims 1 and 13 to

25, wherein in said sugar replacement composition (B) a high intensity sweetener is present, which is selected from the group consisting of acesulfame K, neohesperidine DC, aspartame, neotame, saccharin, sucralose, alitame, thaumatine, cyclamatc, glycyrrhizin, stevioside/stevia extract and monk fruit extract, or is a combination of high intensity sweeteners containing two or more of the listed high intensity sweeteners.

27. Improved sugar composition according to any one of the preceding claims 1 and 13 to

26, wherein said sugar replacement composition (B) comprises glucono-5-lacton, preferably in an amount between 0.10 and 0.20 weight %, wherein the weight indication is based on the weight of the sugar replacement composition representing 100 weight %..

28. Method for manufacturing an improved sugar composition according to any one of claims 1 to 12, which method comprises the step of mixing sugar with polydextrose and/or resistant maltodextrin and optionally one or more further ingredients of the sugar replacement composition (A).

29. Method for manufacturing an improved sugar composition according to any one of claims 1 and 13 to 27, which method comprises the step of mixing sugar with polydextrose and optionally one or more further ingredients of the sugar replacement composition (B).

30. Method according to claim 28 or 29, wherein the mixture is obtained in the mixing step in the dry state, followed by the step of forming a solution of the resulting mixture in an aqueous medium, followed by the step of crystallization.

31. Method according to claim. 28 or 29, wherein sugar, polydextrose and optionally further ingredients of the sugar replacement composition (A) or (B) are mixed in dissolved form to yield a solution in an aqueous medium, followed by the step of crystallization.

32. Method according to claim. 28 or 29, wherein the resulting mixture is granulated and/or agglomerated.

33. Method according to claim 32, wherein granulation, is accomplished by means of wet granulation with an aqueous granulation medium, preferably by fluid bed granulation and/or spray drying.

34. Use of the improved sugar compositions according to any one of the above claims 1 to 27 for the manufacture of chocolate, bakery products, frozen or non-frozen desserts, yoghurts, jam, marmalade, beverages and whipped cream.

35. Method for manufacturing chocolate, which comprises the steps of providing ingredients comprising cocoa, mass, cocoa butter or another source of fat, emulsifier and the improved sugar composition according to anyone of claims 1 to 27 above; mixing the above- mentioned, ingredients in any order, conching at elevated temperature; and cooling the resulting mass.

36. Method for manufacturing chocolate according to claim 35, wherein conching at is performed in a temperature range of from 40 to 90 °C and for a time period of from 60 to 720 min, preferably 180 to 300 min.

37. Method for manufacturing chocolate according to claim 35 or 36, which further comprises the step of grinding the ingredients.

38. Chocolate obtainable according to the method of anyone of claims 35, 36 and 37.

39. Method for making bakery products, which comprises the steps of providing ingredients comprising flour, a source of fat, water, an emulsifier, a leavening agent and the ingredients of an improved sugar composition according to anyone of claims 1 to 27; mixing the above ingredients in any order; heating the resulting dough; and cooling.

40. Bakery product obtainable according to the method of claim 3 .

41. Food preparation, in particular beverage, cream, ice cream, pastry cream, yoghurt, dairy product based desert, chocolate, jam, chewing gum or marmalade, containing or obtainable with the improved sugar composition according to any one of the preceding claims

1 to 27.

42. Process for producing the improved sugar composition according to any one of claims

1 to 27, comprising the step of granulating by means of liquid spraying, press agglomeration and/or spray-drying.

43. Process for producing a food preparation, comprising the step of mixing the improved sugar composition according to any one of claims 1 to 27 with one or more food ingredients and/or the step of adding the sugar replacement composition to an intermediate product.

Description:
]

Improved sugar composition, method for manufacturing the same and uses thereof

1. Technical field of the invention

The present invention relates to the field of food sciences. It provides a composition for use as a sugar substitute. It also provides methods for manufacturing the same and uses thereof.

2. Background of the invention

Sugar (also referred to as sucrose or saccharose) is a widely used food ingredient. Global production in.. 2013 amounted to 175 million tons. There are, however, concerns about negative effects on consumer health that might be related to excessive consumption of sugar. These are, inter alia, tooth decay, diabetes, and obesity.

Having regard to the above health concerns and in view of a general trend towards healthier foods, products have been developed that allow to replace sugar in food products. These are, in particular, high intensity sweeteners such as aspartame or sucralose, which are commercially available as liquid products or in solid form (e.g. Splenda®). Such sugar replacers are, however, not suitable for replacing sugar in all practical applications such as the manufacture of bakery products.

To provide a. wider range of applications in which sugar can be replaced, more comple sugar replacements compositions have been, developed such as the compositions described in WO 2006/015880 AL These sugar replacement compositions may be used for replacing sugar also in. bakery products and the like. However, these compositions are still unsatisfactory in certain performance characteristics. Moreover, many consumers are skeptical about taste and other performance characteristics of sugar replacement compositions.

There is therefore a need for an improved sugar, which allows to combine at least some of the health benefits of the above-mentioned sugar-replacers with the consumer confidence in sugar. To overcome the above problems in the state of the art, the present invention provides an improved sugar, which is easily accepted by a broader range of consumers and which is better for the consumers * health as compared to sugar.

3. Summary of the invention

The present invention provides improved sugar compositions, which contain sugar as well as a fiber-containing sugar replacement composition. According to a first embodiment A, the improved sugar compositions of the present invention are characterized by the following numbered items;

1. Improved sugar composition comprising sugar and a sugar replacement composition, wherein said sugar replacement composition contains polydextrose and/or resistant maltodextrin but no polyol and wherein the weight ratio of sugar to sugar replacement composition is preferably in the range of from 95:5 to 5:95 and more preferably 90:10 to 10:90.

2. Improved sugar composition according to item 1 , wherein the sugar replacement composition contains polydextrose and resistant maltodextrin.

3. Improved sugar composition according to item 1 or 2, wherein the sugar replacement composition further contains a high intensity sweetener,

4. Improved sugar composition according to any one of items 1, 2 and 3 wherein the sugar replacement composition comprises polydextrose, resistant maltodextrin and high intensity sweetener as well as optional further components, wherein the content of maltodextrin. is from more than 60 wt.% to less than 90 wt.%, the content of resistant maltodextrin is from 5 to less than 40 wt.% and preferably 10 wt.% to less than 40 wt.%, and the content of high intensity sweetener is from more than 0% to 1 wt.%, wherein all wt.% indications are based on the total of the sugar replacement composition being 100 wt.%, and wherein the improved, sugar composition is free of sugar alcohols.

5. Improved sugar composition according to any one of items 1 , 2, 3 and 4, wherein in the sugar replacement composition the content of polydextrose is from 62 wt.% to less than 90 wt.% and wherein the content of resistant maltodextrin is from 10 wt.% to less than 38 wt.%, wherein all wt.% indications are based on the total of the sugar replacement composition, being 100 wt.%.

6. Improved sugar composition according to any one of the preceding items, wherein the sugar replacement composition further comprises a fructan as a further component, wherein said fructan comprises one or more components selected from inulin, oligofructose and agavin and wherein the total content of said fructan is from more than 0 wt.% to 30 wt.% and preferably from 10 to 25 wt.%, wherein all wt.% indications are based on the total of the sugar replacement composition being 100 wt.%.

7. Improved sugar composition according to any one of the preceding items, wherein the sugar replacement composition comprises from 5 wt.% to 15 wt.% of inulin, wherein the wt.% indication is based on the total of the sugar replacement composition being 100 wt.%.

8. improved sugar composition according to any one of the preceding items, wherein the sugar replacement composition comprises from 5 to 15 wt.% of oligofructose, wherein the wt.% indication is based on the total of the sugar replacement composition being 100 wt.%.

9. Improved sugar composition according to any one of the preceding items, wherein the sugar replacement composition comprises:

polydextrose in an amount of 62 wt.% to less than 75 wt.%:

• resistant maltodextrin in an amount o 8 wt.% to 20 wt.%;

• oligofructose in an amount of 2.5 wt.% to 15 wt.%; and

inulin in an amount o 2.5 wt.% to 15 wt.%.

10. Improved sugar composition according to any one of the preceding items, wherein the sugar replacement composition comprises:

• polydextrose in an amount o 62 wt.% to less than 70 wt.%;

• resistant maltodextrin. in an amount of 8 wt.% to 20 wt.%;

• oligofructose in an amount of 5 wt.% to 15 wt.%; and

• inulin in an amount o 5 wt.% to 15 wt.%.

1 1. Improved sugar composition according to any one of the preceding items, wherein the sugar replacement composition comprises: polydextrose in an amount of 63 wt.% to less than 68 wt.%;

resistant maltodextrin in. an amount of 12 wt.% to 18 wt.%;

oligofructose in an. amount of 7 wt.% to 12.5 wt.%; and.

inulin in an amount of 7 wt.% to 12.5 wt.%.

11a. Improved sugar composition according to any one of the preceding items, wherein the sugar replacement composition comprises:

• polydextrose in an amount of 63 wt.% to 68 wt.%;

• resistant maltodextrin in an amount of 11 wt.% to 19 wt.%;

• oligofructose in an amount of 6 wt.% to 14 wt.%; and

inulin in an amount of 6 wt.% to 14 wt.%.

1 lb. Improved sugar composition according to any one of the preceding items, wherein the sugar replacement, composition comprises:

polydextrose in an amount of 63 wt.% to 67 wt.%;

• resistant maltodextrin in an amount of 13 wt.% to 17 wt.%;

• oligofructose in an amount of 8 wt.% to 12 wt.%; and

• inulin in an amount of 6 wt.% to 12 wt.%.

1 1 c. According to another separate embodiment of the present invention, the sugar replacement composition to be used in the improved sugar composition of the present invention comprises polydextrose, resistant maltodextrin, a high intensity sweetener as well as inulin and oligofructose. Unlike the other embodiments of the present invention, the sugar replacement compositions to be used according to this embodiment additionally comprise one or more sugar alcohols selected from the group consisting of lactitol, isomalt, and maltitol, and preferably isomalt. The sugar replacement compositions of this embodiment are however free of other sugar alcohols. The sugar replacement composition, according to this embodiment preferably comprises from 3 wt.% to 7 wt.% of inulin, wherein the wt.% indication is based on the total of the sugar replacement composition being 100 wt.%. Moreover, it preferably comprises from 1 to 5 wt.% of oligofructose, wherein the wt.% indication is based on the total of the sugar replacement composition, being 100 wt.%.

Typical compositions of this embodiment are as follows:

* polydextrose in an amount of 61 wt.% to 70 wt.%; resistant maltodextrin in an amount of 3 wt.% to 1 1 wt.%;

oligofructose in an amount of 0.5 wt.% to 6 wt.%;

• inulin in an amount of 1 wt.% to 9 wt.% and.

• lactitol, isomalt, and/or maltitol in an amount of 16 to 24 wt.%. l id. Improved sugar composition according to the preceding item 11c, wherein the sugar replacement composition comprises:

• polydextrose in an amount of 63 wt.% to 68 wt.%;

resistant maltodextrin in an amount of 5 wt.% to 9 wt.%;

oligofructose in an. amount of 1 wt.% to 4 wt.%; and.

• inulin in an amount of 3 wt.% to 7 wt.%; and

• lactitol, isomalt, and/or maltitol in an amount of 18 to 22 wt.%.

If present, the amount of high intensity sweetener contained in. the above compositions can be chosen, according to the type of the high intensity sweetener and the desired sweetness. If sucralose is used and sweetness comparable to that of sugar is desired, the amount of the high intensity sweetener is preferably in the range of from 0.1 to 0.17 wt.% of the sugar replacement composition being 100 wt.%. If other high intensity sweeteners are used, the required amount can be calculated based on. the ratio of the known relative sweetness of the high intensity sweetener of interest to the known, relative sweetness of sucralose.

According to a second embodiment B, the improved sugar compositions of the present invention are characterized, by the following numbered items:

1 '. Improved sugar composition comprising sugar and a sugar replacement composition, wherein said sugar replacement composition contains polydextrose and/or one or more polyols and wherein the weight ratio of sugar to sugar replacement composition is preferably in the range of from 95:5 to 5 :95 and more preferably 90: 10 to 10:90.

2\ Improved sugar composition according to item. P, wherein the sugar replacement composition contains polydextrose and at least one polyol.

3'. Improved sugar composition according to item or 2\ wherein the sugar replacement composition further contains a high intensity sweetener. 4'. improved sugar composition according to any one of items P, 2 5 and 3' wherein the sugar replacement composition comprising

polydextrose, and at least one polyol,

wherein the content of the at least one polyol is from 10 weight% to 70 wei.ght%, wherein, at least one of the polyol components is erythritol,

wherein the content of erythritol is from. 10 weight% to 70 weight%,

and optionally a sweetening component comprising one or more sweeteners selected from high intensity sweeteners, and.

sweetness enhancers wherein all weight % indications are based on. the total of the sugar replacement composition being 100 weight %.

5\. Improved sugar composition according to any one of items , 2\ 3' and. 4 * , wherein said sugar replacement composition further comprises resistant maltodextrin, wherein, said resistant maltodextrin is present in an. amount of up to 6 weight %,

6', Improved sugar composition according to any one of the preceding items Γ to 5\ wherein, said sugar replacement composition further comprises a fructan, wherein said fructan component comprises one or more components selected from inulin, oligofructose and agavin and. wherein said agavin, inulin and/or oligofructose are present in. a combined amount of from more than 0 to 30 weight %.

7'. Improved sugar composition according to any one of the preceding items 1 ' to 6% wherein said sugar replacement composition comprises oligosaccharide components and polysaccharide components such that the total amount of polysaccharide components is from 30 to 75 weight %, preferably 45 to 65 weight %, and the total amount of oligosaccharide components is from. 5 to 45 weight %, preferably 10 to 30 weight %, wherein, the weight % indications are based on the total of the sugar replacement composition being 100 weight %..

8'. Improved sugar composition according to any one of the preceding items F to 7', wherein said sugar replacement composition comprises more than 0 to 1.5 weight % or less, of inulin, wherein the weight % indication is based on. the total of the sugar replacement composition being 1.00 weight %. 9', Improved sugar composition according to any one of the preceding items to 8', wherein said sugar replacement composition comprises more than 0 to 15 weight % or less of oligofructose, wherein the weight % indication is based on the total of the sugar replacement composition being 100 weight %.

10'. Improved sugar composition according to any one of the preceding items Γ to 9', wherein said sugar replacement composition comprises 30 to 60 weight %, preferably 40 to 60 weight %, of polydextrose, wherein the weight % indication is based on the total of the sugar replacement composition being 100 weight %.

1 . Improved sugar composition according to any one of the preceding items Γ to 10\ wherein said sugar replacement composition comprises one or more of the following components:

• more than 0 to 10 weight %, of oligofructose,

• more than 0 to 10 weight % of agavin, and/or

• more than 0 to 15 weight % of inulin,

wherein the weight % indication is based on. the total of the sugar replacement composition being 100 weight %.

12'. Improved sugar composition according to any one of the preceding items F to 1 , wherein said sugar replacement composition comprises oligofructose, which is fructo- oligosaccharide that has a DP between 3 to 5.

13'. Improved sugar composition according to any one of the preceding items to 12', wherein said sugar replacement composition comprises in addition to the polyol component

- 30 to 60 weight %, preferably 40 to 55 weight %, of polydextrose,

- more than 0 to 15 weight %, of inulin,

- more than 0 to 15 weight %, of oligofructose,

- 3 to 5 weight % of resistant maltodextrin,

or wherein said sugar replacement composition in addition to the polyol component comprises

- 30 to 60 weight %, preferably 40 to 55 weight %, of polydextrose,

- more than 0 to 10 weight % inulin,

- more than. 0 to 10 weight % oligofructose,

- 3 to 5 weight % resistant maltodextrin, and - more than 0 to 10 weight % of agavin,

or wherein said sugar replacement composition comprises

50 to 75 weight%, preferably than 60 to 75 weight %, more preferably 61 to 70 weight % of polydextrose,

- 6 to 10 weight %, preferably 7 to 9 weight % of inulin,

- 4 to 8 weight %, preferably 5 to 7 weight % of oligofructose,

0 to 4 weight %, preferably 0 or 1 to 3 weight% of resistance maltodextrin, and

- wherein the polyol component contains 16 to 30 weight %, preferably 21 to 27 weight % erythritol and preferably no isomalt,

or wherein said sugar replacement composition comprises

50 to 75 weigh t%, preferably than 60 to 75 weight %, more preferably 61 to 70 weight % of polydextrose,

8 to 1 2 weight %, preferably 9 to 11 weight % of inulin,

8 to 1 2 weight %, preferably 9 to 1 1 weight % of oligofructose,

0 to 4 weight %, preierably 0 weight% of resistant maltodextrin, and

wherein the polyol component contains 6 to 16 weight %, preferably 7 to 1 1 weight

% erythritol and preferably no isomalt,

or wherein said sugar replacement composition comprises

- 50 to 75 weight%, preferably than 60 to 75 weight %, more preferably 61 to 70 weight % of polydextrose,

3 to 9 weight %, preferably 4 to 8 weight % of inulin,

- 0.5 to 9 weight %, preferably 1 to 8 weight % of oligofructose,

- 2 to 9 weight %, preferably 3 to 8 weight% of resistant maltodextrin, and

wherein the p lyol component contains 16 to 24 weight %, preferably 18 to 22 weight % erythritol and preferably no isomalt or 4 to 12 weight%, preferably 6 to 10 weight% isomalt,

wherein the weight % indications are based on the total of the sugar replacement composition being 100 weight %.

14'. Improved sugar composition according to any one of the preceding items to 13% wherein said sugar replacement composition comprises 0.01 to 10 weight %, preferably 0.05 to 3 weight % of insoluble, non selective, non digestible polysaccharide and/or 0.01 to 10 weight %, preferably 0.05 to 3 weight % of soluble, non selective, non digestible polysaccharide, wherein the weight indications are based on the total of the sugar replacement composition being 100 weight %.

15'. Improved, sugar composition according to any one of the preceding items to 14', wherein, in said sugar ' replacement composition a high intensity sweetener is present, which is selected from the group consisting of acesul fame K s neohesperidine DC, aspartame, neotame, saccharin, sucralose, alitame, thaumatine, cyclamate, glycyrrhizin, stevioside/stevia extract and monk fruit extract, or is a combination of high intensity sweeteners containing two or more of the listed high intensity sweeteners,

16'. Improved, sugar composition, according to any one of the preceding items Γ to 15% wherein said sugar replacement composition, comprises glucono-5-laeton, preferably in an amount between 0.10 and 0.20 weight %, wherein the w r eight indication is based on the weight of the sugar replacement composition representing 100 weight %.

In addition, to the above, the present invention also provides methods for manufacturing the improved sugar compositions of the present invention. Such methods are characterized in the following numbered embodiments.

12. Method for manufacturing an improved sugar composition according to any one of items 1 to l id, which method comprises the step of mixing sugar with polydextrose and/or resistant maltodextrin and optionally one or more further ingredients of the sugar ' replacement composition.

12a, Method for manufaetu.ri.ng an improved sugar composition according to any one of items F to 16', which method, comprises the step of mixing sugar with polydextrose and/or one or more polyols and optionally one or more further ingredients of the sugar replacement composition.

13. Method according to item 12 or 12a, wherein the mixture is obtained in the mixing step in the dry state, followed by the step of forming a solution of the resulting mixture in an aqueous medium, followed by the step of crystallization.

14. Method according to item 12 or 12a, wherein sugar, polydextrose and optionally further ingredients of the sugar replacement composition are mixed in dissolved form to yield a solution in an aqueous medium, followed by the step of crystallization. 15. Method according to item 12 or 12a, wherein the resulting mixture is granulated and/or agglomerated.

1 . Method according to item 15, wherein granulation is accomplished by means of wet granulation with an aqueous granulation medium, preferably by fluid bed granulation and/or spray drying.

In. addition to the above, the present invention also provides specific uses of the improved sugar compositions of the present invention for making liquid or solid food products including bakery products, chocolate, ice cream, sherbet, yoghurt, frozen yoghurt, other milk- based desserts, confectionary products, soft drinks, ketchup, salad dressings, jams, marmalades, ready-made dishes such as instant soups and many more. A particular focus of the improved sugar composition of the present invention is on the manufacture of chocolate and bakery products. Such uses and methods are characterized by the following numbered items.

17. Use of the improved sugar compositions according to any one of the above items 1 to 1 Id or items to 16' for the manufacture of chocolate, bakery products, frozen or non-frozen desserts, yoghurts, jam, marmalade, beverages and whipped cream.

18. Method for manufacturing chocolate, which comprises the steps of providing ingredients comprising cocoa mass, cocoa butter or another source of fat, emulsifier and the improved sugar composition according to anyone of the items 1 to l id or items to 16' above; mixing the above-mentioned ingredients in any order, couching at elevated temperature; and cooling the resulting mass.

19. Method for manufacturing chocolate according to the preceding item 18, wherein conching is performed in a temperature range of from 40 to 90 °C and for a time period of from 60 to 720 min, preferably 180 to 300 min.

20. Method for manufacturing chocolate according to the preceding item 18 or 19, which further comprises the step of grinding the ingredients. 21. Chocolate obtainable according to the method of anyone of the preceding items 18, 19 and 20.

22. Method for making bakery products, which comprises the steps of providing ingredients comprising flour, a source of fat, water, an emulsifier, a leavening agent and the ingredients of an improved sugar composition according to anyone of the above items 1 to 1 Id or items Γ to 16'; mixing the above ingredients in any order; heating the resulting dough; and cooling.

23. Bakery product obtainable according to the method of Item 22. 4. Detailed description of the invention

4.1 Definitions

Unless specified otherwise, all % indications are meant to be indications of weight%. Moreover, unless specified otherwise, all weight% indications characterising components of the sugar replacement composition are meant to be based on the total weight of the sugar replacement composition being 100 weight%.

The term "polysaccharide" refers to all linear or branched molecules containing 10 or more saccharide repeating units. Such repeating units may be the same or differ from each other. If a compound is present in the form of a mixture of different molecules with differing degrees of polymerization, the compound is to be regarded as a polysaccharide if it has an average degree of polymerization of 10 or more.

The term "oligosaccharide" refers to linear or branched molecules containing two or more but less than 10 saccharide repeating units. Such repeating units may be the same or differ from each other. If a compound is present in the form of a mixture of molecules having different degrees of polymerization, the compound is to be regarded as an oligosaccharide if its average degree of polymerization is less than 10.

References to "polysaccharide components" and "oligosaccharide components" are meant to be references to those components of a composition of one or more components, which exhibit a degree of polymerization of 10 or more (polysaccharide components) and less than 10 (oligosaccharide components), respectively. Thus, for example, a particular compound having an average degree of polymerization above 10 will be regarded as a polysaccharide in the context of the present invention; nevertheless, it may contain not only polysaccharide components but also oligosaccharide components.

The term "high intensity sweetener" is meant to refer to substances having a sweetness that is at least 30 times higher than, that of sucrose.

The term "flavour enhancer" is meant to refer to substances that have the effect of increasing the sweetness sensation created, by other sweet substances.

The term, "soluble" is meant to refer to substances having a solubility of 1 g or more in 100 ml. water at 20°C. This is determined by mixing 1 g of the test substance with. 100 ml of water and stirring the resultant at the specified temperature. If the test substance is soluble, it will form a clear solution or, especially in case of polymeric substances, a clear viscous or gel-like substance.

The term "insoluble" is meant to refer to substances that are not soluble according to the above definition. Such compounds form, a turbid dispersion, or suspension when being subjected to the above test conditions.

The term "non-selective non-digestible polysaccharide" is meant to refer to polysaccharides that are not digested in the human, gastrointestinal tract.

The term "food preparation" is meant to include any product that is suitable for human consumption including solid foods, semi-solid, foods, liquid foods (beverages) and related products like chewing gum. Pharmaceuticals and food supplements as such are not to be regarded as food preparations in the context of the present invention. However, it is not excluded that food preparations .may contain as one (further) ingredient substances typically found in food, supplements or pharmaceuticals, such as vitamins, minerals or substances having antioxidant properties. The term "sugar" is used in the context of the present application as a synonym for "table sugar", "sucrose" or "saccharose".

The term "sugar alcohol" is used in the context of the present invention as characterizing a family of compounds including those having the general formula HGCH 2 (CHOH)nC¾GH, wherein n can be any number in the range of from 1 to 1.0 and typically 2 to 4. Typical examples of such sugar alcohols are erythritol and xyiitol. The term, "sugar alcohol" further refers to sugar alcohol compounds of the general type characterized above, which are linked via an. ether bridge to another compound having two or more hydroxyl groups. Typical examples of such sugar alcohols are lactitol, isomalt, and maltitol. A last group of sugar alcohols are cyclic molecules of the general formula c(CHOH) m , wherein m represents a number in. the range of from 5 to 8 and typically 6. An example of this type of sugar alcohols is inositol.

The term "polyol" is used in the context of the present application as having the same meaning as "sugar alcohol".

Amount indications relying on numerical ranges in the tables below are to be understood such that only those combinations of amounts are intended to be described, which add. up to 100 weight% (or less than 1.00 weight% to allow for the presence of unmentioned additional, optional ingredients).

If point values are indicated, these are to be understood as having a margin of error of ± 10%. This also applies to indications such as "equal sweetness of sugar".

4.2 Improved sugar compositions

The improved sugar compositions of the present invention contain sugar as one of the essential ingredients. A further essential ingredient, is a sugar replacement composition as specified in more detail below. The relative ratio of sugar and sugar replacement compositions is not particularly limited. It may include, for instance, any specific value or sub-range within the range of 99:1 to 1 :99, preferably 98:2 to 2:98 and more preferably 95:5 to 5:95 (all indications on a weight basis). In particular, the present invention relates to improved sugar compositions wherein the weight ratio between sugar and sugar replacer composition is in the range of from 90: 10 to 10:90 » more preferably 80:20 to 20:80 and especially 70:30 to 30:70.

The sugar repiacer composition to be used in. embodiment A of the present invention is characterized by the presence of polydextrose and/or resistant maltodextrin as a main component. In preferred embodiments of the present invention, the sugar repiacer composition furthermore comprises one or more fructan components and/or a high intensity sweetener. Preferred sugar replacement compositions which can be used in the context of the present invention are described below.

The sugar repiacer composition to be used in embodiment B of the present invention is characterized by the presence of polydextrose and/or polyol as a main component. In preferred embodiments of the present invention, the sugar repiacer composition furthermore comprises resistant maltodextrin, one or more fructan components and/or a high intensity sweetener. Preferred sugar replacement compositions which can be used in. the context of the present invention are described below.

4.3 The sugar ingredient

Sugar can be used as an ingredient in. any refinement grade. It is possible in accordance with, the present invention to use sugar originating from sugar cane and/or sugar beets as well, as sugar originating from any other source.

As regards the quality grade, it is possible to use mill white sugar, bianco directo sugar, white refined sugar in any particle size including coarse-grain sugar, granulated sugar, caster-sugar and powdered sugar. In addition, it is also possible to use brown sugar, e.g. sugar which is formed in the later stages of sugar refining. Any other type or grade of sugar can also be used.

4.4 Sugar replacement composition of embodiment A

4.4.1 Overview and Compositional Ranges

(a) General considerations applicable to all sugar replacement compositions Having regard to the above objectives, the present inventors have identified that sugar alcohols can be avoided without comprising performance characteristics of the improved sugar made from, such sugar replacement compositions if the sugar replacement composition comprises polydextrose and/or resistant maltodextrin and optionally high intensity sweetener, preferably in quantities as specified in appended claims. Based on this finding, the present invention has been completed.

The following table characterizes the sugar replacement compositions according to this inventive concept.

The amount of high intensity sweetener can be selected in view of the desired sweetness of the resulting improved sugar composition taking also the mixing ratio between sugar and sugar replacement composition into account. If a high intensity sweetener is present, the amount is typically in the range of from more than 0 weight% to 1 weight% » preferably from more than 0 weight% to 0.5 weight%. The amount also depends on the relative sweetness of the high intensity sweetener. Suitable amounts for sucralose are typically in the range of from 0.1 to 0.15 weight%. Relative amounts for other high intensity sweeteners may be adjusted relying on the relative ratio of sweetness in comparison with sucralose.

Specific aspects of the above broadest embodiment relate to the use of sugar replacement compositions, which are characterized by containing the following ingredients in the specified amounts:

and Component Amount (weight%)

Polydextrose 62 - <75

Resistant maltodextrin 8 - 20

High Intensity X ) to 1

sweetener

In one embodiment, the amount of high intensity sweetener may be selected such that the sweetness of the resulting improved sugar composition is equal to the sweetness of sugar either on. a weight basis or on a volume basis. This can be tested, for instance, by dissolving equal amounts (on a weight basis) of the sugar replacement composition and of sugar in. water and by testing sweetness using a taste panel.

These general indications can be applied to all of the specific embodiments described below.

Hence, according to one aspect of the invention, the relative amount of high, intensity sweetener is always within the range of >0 weight % to 1 weight % of the sugar replacement coniposition. It is thus to be understood for this aspect of the invention that high intensity sweetener is present in all of these compositions in the relative amount specified above.

(b) Compositions of the present invention comprising fructan components.

It has furthermore been found that the performance characteristics of the inventive improved sugar compositions can be further improved by additionally using one or more fructan components as part of the sugar replacement composition. Among the fructan components, inulin, oligofractose and agavin are preferred classes of substances. Relative amounts for the entire fnictan component are typically in the range of from more than 0 wei h t% to 30 weight% and preferably 10 weight% to 25 weight%. Preferably, each of the above-mentioned fructans is either absent, completely or present in an amount of from 2,5 weight.% to 15 weight%, more preferably in the range of from 5 weight% to 15 weight%, and most, preferably in the range of from. 7 weight% to 12.5 weight%.

The following tables characterize sugar replacement compositions of this aspect of the present invention:

Composition (al) Composition (a2) Composition (a3)

Component Amount Amount Amount

(weight%) (weight 0 /.) (weight%)

Polydextrose 62 - <75 62 - <70 63 - <68 Resistant 8-20 8-20 12- 18

Maltodextrin

Inulin 2.5- 15 5-15 7-12.5

Total fructan 2.5-30 5-30 - ·,.

content

Composition (a4) Composition (a5) Composition (a6)

Component Amount Amount Amount

( eight%) (weight%) (weight%)

Po!ydextrose 61 -69 63-67 64.865

Resistant 11 - 19 13- 17 15

Maltodextrin

Inulin 6- 14 8- 12 10

Total fructan 6-28 8-24 20

content

Composition (cl) Composition (c2) Composition (c3)

Component Amount Amount Amount

(weight%) (weight%) (weight%)

Polydextrose 62 · <75 70 63 - <68

Resistant 8-20 8-20 12- 18

Maltodextrin

Agavin 2.5 1 5- 15 7- 12.5

Total fructan 2.5-30 5-30 7-30 content It is even more preferable to use two or more of such fiructan components in combination in the improved sugar composition of the present invention. The following tables characterize sugar replacement compositions that can be used in such improved sugar compositions according to the present invention.

Composition (dl) Composition (d2) Composition (d3)

Component Amount Amount Amount

(weight%) (weight%) (weight%)

Polydextrose 62 - <75 62 - <70 63 - <68

Resistant 8-20 8-20 12-18

Maltodextrin

Inulin 2.5-15 5-15 7-12.5

Oligofroctose 2.5-15 5-1.5 7-12.5

Total fructan 5-30 10-30 14-30

content

Composition (d4) Composition (dS) Composition (d6)

Component Amount Amount Amount

(weight%) (weight%) (weight%)

Polydextrose 61-69 63-67 64.865

Resistant 11-19 13-17 15

Maltodextrin

Inulin 6-14 8-12 10

Oligofructose 6-14 8-12 10

Total fructan 12-28 16■ 24 20

content

Composition (el) Composition (t2) Composition (c3)

Component Amount Amount Amount

(weight%) (weight%) (weight%)

Polydextrose 62 - <75 62 - <70 63 - <68

Resistant 8 20 8-20 12 18

Maltodextrin

Inulin 2.5-15 5-15 7-12.5

Agavin 2,5 - 15 5-15 7-12.5

Total fructan 5-30 10-30 14-30

content

Composition (fl) Composition (Π) Composition (f3)

Component Amount Amount Amount

(weight%) (weight%) (weight%)

Polydextrose 62 - <75 62 - <70 63 <68

Resistant 8-20 8-20 12 18

Maltodextrin Agavin 2.5-15 5-15 7-12.5

Oligofmctose 2.5-15 5-15 7-12.5

Total fructan 5-30 10-30 14-30

content

Composition (gl) Composition (g2) Composition (g3)

Component Amount Amount Amount

(weight 0 /*) (weight%) (weight%)

Polydextrose 62 - <75 62 - <70 63 - <68

Resistant 8-20 8-20 12-18

Maltodextrin

Inulin 2.5-15 5-15 7-12.5

Oligofmctose 2,5-15 5 15 7-12.5

Agavin 2,5-15 7-12.5

Total fructan 7.5-30 15-30 21-30

content

According to yet another embodiment of the present invention, inulin may be present together with oligolructose, but no distinction is made between inulin and oligofmctose as far as the amount indications are concerned. This means that only the combined amount of inulin and oligofmctose is limited.

Composition (hi) Composition (h2) Composition (h3)

Component Amount Amount Amount

(weightVo) (weight%) (weightVo)

Polydextrose 62 - <75 62 - <70 63 - <68

Resistant 8-20 8-20 12-18

Maltodextrin

Inulin and 5-30 10-30 14-25

Oligofmctose

Composition (h4) Composition (liS) Composition (h6)

Component Amount Amount Amount

(weight 0 /.) (weightVo) (weightVo)

Polydextrose 61 -69 63-67 64.865

Resistant 11-19 13-17 15

Maltodextrin

Inulin and 12-28 16-24 20

Oligofmctose

Composition (il) Composition (i2) Composition (i3)

Component Amount Amount Amount

(weightVo) (weight%) (weightVo)

Polydextrose 62 - <75 62 - <70 63 - <68 Resistant 8 - 20 8 - 20 12 - 18 Maltodextrin

Inulin and 5 - 30 10 - 30 14 - 25

Oligofruetose

Agavin 2,5 - 15 5 - 15 7 - 12.5

Of course, it is not critical for these embodiments how much of inulin and how much of oligofruetose is present, as long as the combined amounts of the two components are within the specified ranges. It is even possible and within, the scope of these embodiments that only inulin and no oligofruetose is present (or vice versa), provided the amount of the respective component is within the range specified for the combined amount of inulin and oligofruetose.

In yet further embodiments, one or more fructan components is/are present and merely the total fructan content is limited. Typical compositions of this aspect are as follows.

(c) Compositions comprising preferred amounts of high intensity sweetener

In further preferred embodiments, the improved sugar compositions contain sugar replacement compositions, wherein the relative amount of high intensity sweetener is in the range of from more than 0 weight % to 0..5 weight %. Such sugar replacement compositions are exemplified in the tables below. Composition (kl) Composition (k2) Composition (k3)

Component Amount Amount Amount

(weight%) (weight%) (weight%)

Polydextrose 62 75 62 - <70 63 - <68

Resistant 8-20 8-20 12- 18

Maltodextrin

Inulin 2.5-15 5-15 7- 12.5

Oligofructose 2.5-15 7-1.2.5

Total fructan 5-30 10-30 14-30 content

High intensity > 0-0.5 > 0-0.5 > 0-0.5 sweetener

Composition (k4) Composition (k5) Composition (k6)

Component Amount Amount Amount

(weight%) (weiglit%) (weight%)

Polydextrose 61 - 69 63 67 64.865

Resistant 11 -19 13-17 1

Maltodextrin

Inulin 6 14 8-12 10

Oligofructose 6-14 8-12 10

Total fructan 12-28 16- 24 20

content

High intensity > 0-0.5 > 0-0.5 >0- 0.5

sweetener

Composition (ml) Composition (m2) Composition (m3)

Component Amount Amount Amount

(weight%) (weight 0 /©) (weight%)

Polydextrose 62 - <75 62 - <70 63 - <68

Resistant 8 - 20 8 20 12 - 18

Maltodextrin

Agavin 2.5 - 15 5- 15 7-12.5 Oligofructose 2.5 15 5-15 7 125

Total fructan 5-30 10-30 14 -30 content

High intensity > 0 - 0.5 > 0 - 0.5 > 0-0.5 sweetener

Composition (nl) Composition (n2) Composition (n3)

Component Amount Amount Amount

(weight 0 /*) (weight%) (weight%)

Polydextrose 62 ~~ <75 62 - <70 63 - <68

Resistant 8-20 8-20 12-18

Maltodextrin

Inulin 2.5- 15 5-15 7-12.5

Oligofructose 2.5-15 5-15 7-12.5

Agavin 2.5-15 5- 15 7-12.5

Total fructan 7.5-30 15-30 21 -30 content

High intensity > 0-0.5 > 0-0.5 > 0-0.5 sweetener

Composition (ol) Composition (o2) Composition (o3)

Component Amount Amount Amount

(weight%) (weight%) (weight 0 /.)

Polydextrose 62-<?5 62 - <70 63 - <68

Resistant 8-20 8-20 12- 18

Maltodextrin

Inulin and 5-30 10-30 14-25

Oligofructose

High intensity > 0-0.5 > 0-0.5 > 0-0.5 sweetener

Composition (o4) Composition (o5) Composition (06)

Component Amount Amount Amount

(weight%) (weight%) (weight%)

Polydextrose 63 - 67 64.865

Resistant 11 - 19 13- 17 15

Maltodextrin

Inulin and 16 24 20

Oligofructose

High intensity > 0-0.5 > 0-0.5 > 0-0.5

sweetener

Composition (pi) Composition (p2) Composition (p3)

Component Amount Amount Amount

(weight%) (weight%) (weight%) Polydextrose 62 - <75 62 - <70 63 - <68

Resistant 8-20 8-20 12- 18

Maltodextrin

Inulin and 5-30 10 30 14-25

Oligo fructose

Agavin 2.5-15 5-15 7- 12.5

High intensity > 0-0.5 > 0-0.5 > 0-0.5

sweetener

Compositions with the preferred high intensity sweetener sucralose are described in the tables below.

Com position (k'i) Composition (k'2) Composition (k'3)

Component Amount Amount Amount

<weight%) (weight%) (wcight%)

Polydextrose 62 - <75 62 - <70 63 - <68

Resistant 8-20 8-20 12 18

Maltodextrin

Inulin 2.5- 15 5- 15 7- 12.5

Oli ofructose 2.5- 15 5- 15 7-12.5

Total fructan 5-30 10-30 14-30

content

Sucralose high 0.135 0.135 0.135 intensity sweetener

Composition (m'l) Composition (m'2) Composition (m'3)

Component Amount Amount Amount

(weight%) (weight%) (weight%)

Polydextrose 62 - <75 62 - <70 63 - <68

Resistant 8-20 8-20 12-18

Maltodextrin

Agavin 2.5-15 5-15 7-12.5

01 igo fructose 2.5-15 5-15 7-12,5

Total fructan 5-30 10 30 14-30 content

Sucralose high 0.135 0.135 0,135

intensity' sweetener

Composition (n'l) Composition (n'2) Composition (ii'3)

Component Amount Amount Amount

(weight%) (weight%) (weight%)

Polydextrose 62 - <75 62 - <70 63 - <68 Resistant 8-20 8-20 12-18

Makodextrin

Inulin 2,5-15 5- 15 7-12.5

Oligofructose 2,5-15 5- 15 7-12.5

Agavin 2.5-15 5- 15 7-12,5

Total fructan 7.5-30 15-30 21-30 content

Sucralose high 0.135 0.135 0.135

intensity sweetener

Composition (o'l) Composition (o'l) Composition (o'3)

Component Amount Amount Amount

(weight%) (weight 8 /.) (weight%)

Polydextrose 62 - <75 62 - <70 63 - <68

Resistant 8-20 8-20

Maltodextrin

Inulin and 5-30 10-30 14-25

Oligofructose

Sucralose high 0.135 0,135 0.135

intensity sweetener

Composition (p'l) Composition (p'2) Composition (p'3)

Component Amount Amount Amount

(weight 0 /.) (weight 0 /.) (weight 0 /.)

Polydextrose 62 - <75 62 - <70 63 - <68

Resistant 8-20 8-20 12-18

Maltodextrin

Inulin and 5-30 10-30 14-25

Oligofructose

Agavin 2,5- 15 5-15 7-12,5

Sucralose high 0.135 0.135 0.135

intensity sweetener Composition (q'l) Composition (q'l) Composition (q'3)

Component Amount Amount Amount

(weight%) (weight%) (weight%)

Polydextrose 62 - <75 62 - <7() 63 - <68

Resistant 8-20 8-20 12-18

Maltodextrin

Total fructan 2.5-30 5-30 7-30

content

Sucralose high 0.135 0.135 0.135

intensity sweetener

Composition (q'4) Com osition (q'5) Composition, (q'6)

Component Amount Amount Amount

(weight%) ( eight%) (weight%)

Polydextrose 61 69 63^67 64.865

Resistant 11 - 19 Π Γ 15

Maltodextrin

Total fructan 12-28 16-24 20

content

Sucralose high 0.135 0.135 0.135

intensity

sweetener

The further separate embodiment of the present invention pertains to improved sugar compositions based on sugar replacement compositions containing one or more sugar alcohols selected from the group consisting of lactitol, isomalt, and maititol, and preferably isomalt, but no other sugar alcohols as defined hereinabove. The additional use of isomalt may be advantageous in spite of its laxative effect since the resulting compositions may be used very well various applications, they exhibit an excellent taste and are advantageous also in terms of low glycemic index and. manufacturing costs. Typical, sugar replacement compositions to be used in this embodiment are illustrated by the tables below.

Composition (rl) Composition (r2i Com posit

Component Amount Amount Amount

(weight%) (weight%) (weight%)

Polydextrose 62-70 64 - 68 65.865

Resistant 3 - 11 5-9 7

Maltodextrin

Inulin 1- 3-7 5

Total fructan 1 13 3 10 7

content

lactitol, isomalt, 16-24 .18-22 20 and/or maltitol

Composition (ul ) Composition (u2) Composition (u3)

Component Amount Amount Amount

(weight%) (weight%) (weight%)

Polydex.trose 62-70 64-68 65.865

Resistant 3- 11 5-9 7

Maltodextrin

inulin and 1.5-13 4- 10 7

Oligofructose

lactitol, isomalt, 16 - 24 18-22 20

attd/or maltitol

Composition (ul ) Composition (u2) Composi i I :u

Component Amount Amount Amount

(weight%) (weight%) ( eight%)

Polydextrose 62-70 . 64 - 68 65.865

Resistant 5-9 Vlaltodextrin

Total fructan

content 0.5 - 13 4 - 10 7

iaetitol, isomalt, 16 - 24 18 - 22 20

and/or maititol

Each of the compositions rl to u3 disclosed in the above tables preferably contains a high intensity sweetener in an amount of more than 0 weight% to 0.5 weight%. More preferably, the high intensity sweetener is sucralose. In this case, it is particularly preferred that sucralose is present in each of the above compositions rl to u3 in an amount of 0.135 weight%.

The practical applications of the improved sugar compositions of this embodiment are the same as those described herein for the other embodiments of the present invention. Hence, instead of using a sugar replacement composition of the invention, which is completely free of sugar alcohols, it is possible to use a sugar replacement composition according to this embodiment, which contains lactitol, isomalt, and/or maititol. No special adaptations need to be made.

(d) Sugar replacement compositions comprising further optional components

Further optional components may also be present. Such optional components include flavor enhancers, soluble non-selective non digestible fibers, insoluble non-selective non-digestible fibers, vitamins, minerals, health-promoting bacteria and/or anti-caking agents. Typically,, the flavour enhancer will be used in relatively small amounts such as 1 weight% or less, preferably 0.5 weight% or less. Flavour enhancers are in particular used in an amount of 0.05 to 0.5 weight% and more preferably 0.1 to 0.3 weight% of the sugar replacement composition.

If soluble and/or insoluble non-selective non-digestible fibers are employed in the sugar replacement compositions forming a component of the improved sugar compositions of the present invention, it is preferred to use them in amounts of from 0.05 weigh t% to 10 weight%, more preferably from 0.1 weight% to 5 weight% and most preferably in an amount of from 0.15 weight% to 2.5 weight 0 /* of the sugar replacement composition. If an. anti-caking agent is used, it is preferable to add the anti-caking agent in an amount of 0.1 to 0.5 weight% and more preferably in an amount of from 0.2 to 0.3 weight% of the sugar replacement composition.

If a vitamin or a mineral is used, it is preferable to add these components in such small amounts that recommended daily allowances for the respective vitamins and/or minerals are not exceeded when using amounts of the sugar replacement composition in the composition of the present invention, which correspond to typical daily consumptions of sugar.

The amount indications provided herein for the optional ingredients (soluble and/or insoluble non-selective non-digestible fibers, vitamins, minerals, health promoting bacteria and/or anti- caking agents) are valid in connection with all of the compositions shown in the above tables.

(e) Balance between polysaccharide components and oligosaccharide components

It may be advantageous for various reasons to select the components and relative amounts of the sugar replacement composition employed in the present invention such that said sugar replacement composition comprises polysaccharide components in a total amount of from 62 to 95 weight %, preferably 65 to 90 weight %, more preferably 70 to 85 weight % and that the total amount of oligosaccharide components is from 38 to 5 weight %, preferably 35 to 10 weight %, and more preferably 30 to 15 weight %.

By maintaining such a balance of oligosaccharide components and polysaccharide components, it is possible to further improve the health benefits of the improved sugar composition of the present invention, to properly adjust its browning characteristics as well as its structural characteristics.

4.4.2 Components of sugar replacement composition - Polydextrose

Polydextrose is a polysaccharide consisting of glucose repeating units that are linked via different types of linkages, wherein i → 6 bonds are mainly present. Smaller amounts of other repeating units such as sorbitol and citric acid may also be present. Polydextrose is a soluble fiber that has a caloric value of only about Ikcal/g since it is indigestible for the human body. It is also advantageous insofar as it has prebiotic properties and can mask the cooling, effect of erythritol. Polydextrose is commercially available under the trade names Litesse, Sta-Lite and Winway,

4.4.3 Components of sugar replacement composition - Resistant Maltodextrin

Similar to polydextrose, resistant maltodextrins are polysaccharides based on glucose repeating units. Resistant maltodextrins primarily have a-( 1 -→4) and a-( l→6) glycosidic linkages as well as further glycosidic linkages. Resistant maltodextrins are characterized by a high degree of branching. Due to this highly branched structure and the unusual linkages found in its structure, resistant maltodextrin is not digested by the human body and therefore identified as resistant maltodextrin. Maltodextrin may be present in a variety of different degrees of polymerization. Typically, resistant maltodextrin contains approximately equal amounts of oligosaccharide components and polysaccharide components. Preferably, the relative amount of polysaccharide components is higher than that of oligosaccharide components, such that about 50% of the resistant maltodextrin has a degree of polymerization above 11. Resistant maltodextrin does not lead to flatulence and also has no laxative effects. Moreover, its use is advantageous because it has prebiotie properties. Commercially available resistant maltodextrin can. be obtained. under the trade name NUTRIOSE from Roquette. Suitable grades are for instance FB06 and FB 10.

4.4.4 Components of sugar replacement composition - Inulin . and_01igofructose

Inulin is an oligo- and/or polysaccharide consisting of D-fructose residues. These residues are linked by β-(2— »l)-linkages. These chains of fructose repeating units are terminated by a β- (2— l)-linked glucose residue. Inulin is commercially available under the trade name Raftilin®. Inulin has prebiotie properties and is thus advantageous for the gastrointestinal health. Excessive ingestion of inulin can however lead to flatulence. The relative amount of inulin employed in the sugar replacement compositions for use in the present invention is therefore limited as specified above. In the context of the present invention, inulin is also advantageous as a component that is suitable for masking the cooling effect of erythritol.

Oligofructose is an oligosaccharide, wherein fructose units are linked by p-(2→l)-linkages. In fact, oligofructose can be obtained by hydro lytic or enzymatic degradation of inulin. Consequently, the degree of polymerization of oligofructose is lower than that of inulin. Unfortunately, there is no generally accepted degree of polymerization distinguishing between inulin and oligofructose products. That is. products having a degree of polymerization in the range of from 7 to 10 are sometimes identified as inulin and sometimes as oligofructose. In the context of the present invention, the term, "inulin" is used to define oligo- and polysaccharides having an average degree of polymerization of 7 or more, whereas "oligofructose" is used to define oligosaccharides having an average degree of polymerization of less than 7.

If a mixture of inulin and oligofructose is used, the relative amounts of the two components can be derived from the quantities of "inulin" and "oligofructose" starting materials that are incorporated into the sugar replacement composition employed in the present invention. If this information is not available, the relative amounts of "inulin" and "oligofructose" according to the above definition of the present invention can be determined by experimentally quantiiying the relative amounts of the individual p-(2→ 1 )-linked fructan components having a degree of polymerization of 1 , 2, 3, 4, etc., to thereby obtain an experimentally determined distribution of degrees of polymerization; and by curve-fitting two mono-disperse distribution curves to the experimentally determined distributions of β-(2→ 1 )-linked fructan components.

An alternative type of oligofructose is made by transfructosylation on sucrose using a β- fructosidase of Aspergillus niger. This type of oligofructose is also referred to as fructooligosaccharide (FOS). Contrary to the inulin degradation products, the fructooligosaccharides always have a terminal glucose residue. The degree of polymerization of fructooligosaccharides is typically from 3 to 5. In the context of the present invention both types of oligofructose can be used. Depending on the desired properties of the sugar replacement composition employed in. the present invention, a suitable type of oligofructose may be chosen, for instance, fructooligosaccharide is less reactive in browning reactions. Hence, if it is desired to provide a sugar replacement composition that gives rise to enhanced browning effects, e.g. in some bakery products, it may be preferred to use oligofructose that is a degradation product of inulin. On the other hand, if it is preferred to avoid (excessive) browning, the use of fructooligosacchari.de may be more advantageous.

Oligofructose is commercially available under the trade name Raftilose®. Oligofractose exhibits some sweetness, which is approximately 30 to 50% of the sweetness of sugar. Oligofractose has a low caloric value and contributes to gastrointestinal tract health. However, it may lead to flatulence. It is therefore preferred to use only relative small amounts of oligofructose in the sugar replacement composition employed in the present invention, as specified above,

4.4.5 Components of sugar replacement composition - Agavin

Agavin is a term, characterizing fructan-type oligosaccharides and polysaccharides derived from agave plants and/or dasylirion. plants. The structure of agavin-type fructans is rather complex. Agavins are mainly based on fructose repeating units. The molecules are typically branched and contain blocks that are based on fructose repeating units that are linked by inul in-type p-(2→l)-linkages and other blocks based on fructose repeating units linked by levan-type p-(2→6)-linkages. Additionally, glucose repeating units are also incorporated. The origin, isolation and characterization of agavins is descri bed, for instance, in "Agave Fructans as Prebiotics" by M.G. Lopez and J..E. Urias-Silvas in Recent Advances in Fructooligosaccharides research, 2007, 1 -14 and "Water-soluble carbohydrates and fructan structure patterns from agave and dasylirion species" by N.A. ancilla- argalli and M.G. Lopez in Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2006, 7832-7839.

Different types of agavins are known and degrees of polymerization may vary broadly at least in a range of from 3 to 32. Such agavins are prebiotic and thus contribute to gastrointestinal tract health. They may advantageously be used as a substitute for inul in and/ or oligofructose, or in addition to these other fructan-type components.

4.4.6 Components , of sugar replacement composition - Total Fructans

According to yet another embodiment of the present invention, one or more fructan component selected from inul in and/or oligofractose and/or agavin may be present, optionally with further fructan components (like levan-type and graminan-type compounds) as long as these further fructan components are suitable for human consumption. According to this embodiment, no distinction is made between the individual fructan components including inulin, oligofructose and/or agavin as far as the amount indications are concerned. This means that only the combined amount of fructan components like agavin, inulin and/or oligofructose is limited. 4.4.7 Components of sugar replacement composition - High Intensity Sweeteners

In principle, any high intensity sweetener, which is permitted for human consumption, may be used as a component of the sugar replacement composition employed in the present invention. Suitable high intensity sweeteners and their relative sweetness compared to the sweetness of sugar are the following: cyclamate (30-50), glycyrrhizin (50), aspartame (120-200), acesulfame K (200), saccharine (250-300), stevioside (300), sucralose (600), monelline (1500-2000), neohesperidine DC (1800), alitame (2000), thaumatin (2000-3000) and neotame (8000). In addition to the high intensity sweeteners listed above, it is also possible to use stevia extract or monk-fruit extract. Sucralose is a preferred high intensity sweetener.

Of course, any combination of two or more high intensity sweeteners, including especially the above-mentioned high intensity sweeteners, may also be used in accordance with the present invention. Among such compositions, it is particularly advantageous to use a combination of acesulfame K and neohesperidene DC in a ratio of acesulfame K to neohesperidine DC in the range of from. 9.5 to 1 1.5 and preferably 10.0 to 1 1.0. Also preferred are combinations of sucralose with thaumatin, combinations of sucralose with (stevioside and/or stevia extract) and combinations of sucralose with thaumatin and (stevioside and/or stevia extract).

4.4.8 Components of sugar replacement composition . - Flavour Enhancers

The above-mentioned acesulfame K has an unpleasant bitter and metallic aftertaste. This unpleasant aftertaste can be masked by combining it with neohesperidene DC. There is furthermore a synergistic enhancement of the sweetness effect. ' Hence, neohesperidene DC acts not only as a sweetener in its own right but additionally as a flavor enhancer for acesulfame K. It thus has a dual function. Another flavor enhancer is glucono-5-lactone. Glucono-6-lactone has the effect of enhancing the sweetness sensation caused by other sweeteners. To avoid confusion, if a substance like neohesperidine DC has a dual function, acting as a flavor enhancer and as a high intensity sweetener, its amount is to be considered only in relation to the above amount indications for the high intensity sweetener component, and not in relation to the amount indications for the flavor enhancer component.

4.4.9 Components of sugar replacement composition - Insoluble Fibers In some aspects of the present invention, the sugar replacement composition further comprises insoluble non-selective non-digestible polysaccharides. Examples of insoluble non-selective non-digestible polysaccharides are cellulose and hemicellulose. These polysaccharides are found inter alia in cereal fibers such as wheat fibers. The use of wheat fiber is thus contemplated in the context of the present invention. Such fibers may typically have an average length between 20 and 80 μηι. The average length preferably is in the range of from 25 to 45 μ η . The use of wheat fibers is preferred in particular in combination with the use of oligo fructose. This combination may be particularly advantageous for bakery applications because advantageous crust color and brilliance may be accomplished when using this combination of components. Using wheat fibers in addition to oligo fructose in the sugar replacement composition employed in the present invention allows to avoid the generation of a too dark crust and crumb.

The use of such insoluble non-selective non-digestible fibers also contributes to the beneficial health effects of the sugar replacement composition employed in the present invention. In particular, such fibers aid in preventing constipation and reducing blood sugar levels in people suffer from, diabetes.

4.4.10 Components of sugar replacement composition - Soluble Fibers

In addition or alternatively to the insoluble non-selective non-digestible polysaccharides, it is furthermore possible to use one or more soluble non-selective non-digestible polysaccharides in the context of the present invention. As possible soluble non-selective non-digestible polysaccharides for use in the present invention, the following may be mentioned: xanthan, tara, carrageenan, tragacanth, locust bean gum, agar, guar gum, arable gum, carboxymethyl cellulose, and pectin. The use of such polysaccharides is advantageous insofar as they contribute to an increased shelf life and softness of the sugar replacement composition employed in the present invention. If carrageenan is used as the soluble non-selective non- digestible polysaccharide, it is particularly preferred to use kappa carrageenan. This polysaccharide is preferably used in an amount of from 0.05 to 2 weight% and more preferably in an amount of from 0.05 to 1 weight% and most preferably in an. amount of from 0.3 to 0.7 we.ight%.

According to another preferred embodiment of this aspect of the present invention, carboxymethyl cellulose or a combination of carboxymethyl cellulose and microcrystalHne cellulose is used as the soluble non-selective non-digestible polysaccharide component. This type of polysaccharide is advantageous because it contributes to the accomplishment of a desired viscosity in viscous food preparations, which matches that of food preparations containing sugar.

The use of such soluble non-selective non-digestible polysaccharides is advantageous insofar as it contributes to the beneficial health effect on the gastrointestinal tract of the consumer. This is because these polysaccharides are non-selectively fermented in the colon to yield short chain fatty acids, which are helpful in preventing colon cancer and give rise to further beneficial health effects. Additionally, the use of soluble non-selective non-digestible polysaccharides may also be advantageous in suppressing flatulence effects that may be caused by other components that may be employed in the compositions of the present invention (e.g. oligofructose).

4.4.1 1 Components of sugar replacement composition. -.Further optional Components

According to the present invention, it is furthermore possible to add yet further components, which may contribute to the advantageous properties of the improved sugar composition of the present invention (or which, may reduce undesired effects of the sugar replacement composition). For instance, it is possible in. the context of the present invention to incorporate one or more anti-flatulence agents into the sugar replacement composition. As possible anti- flatulence agents, the following, may be mentioned; dimethieone, activated charcoal, simethicone (i.e. dimethicone activated by Si0 2 ), chili, capsaicin, garlic, ginger, krachai, lemon grass and tumeric.

According to another embodiment, it is possible to incorporate an anti-caking agent into the sugar replacement compositions employed in the present invention. A. typical anti-caking agent suitable for use in the present invention is Si(¾.

Further optional ingredients are vitamins, ' minerals and health promoting bacteria. Among the vitamins, vitamins A, B, C, E and K may for instance be used, as optional components. As minerals, the following elements may for instance be used: Ca, Mg, K, P, Se, Fe and Zn. As health promoting bacteria, the following may for instance be used: probiotic species of the genera bifidobacterium and lactobacillus. The relative amounts of these components are not particularly limited as long as these optional components do not interfere with the sugar replacement-characteristics of the composition of the present invention,

4.5 Sugar replacement composition of embodiment B

4.5.1 Overview and Compositional Ranges

Having regard to the above objectives, the present inventors have identified polyols and especially erythritol as a particularly advantageous component. It is known that erythritol has a sweetness of about 60 to 70% of the sweetness of sugar but only a very low caloric value of approximately 0.2 kcal/g. However, it is also known that erythritol exhibits a pronounced cooling effect when being dissolved in water. This cooling effect is undesirable for many practical applications and it therefore makes it difficult to use erythritol in sugar replacement compositions. The present inventors have surprisingly found that the cooling effect of erythritol can be masked by combining it with polysaccharides and especially polydextrose. Such combinations of polydextrose and erythritol are thus low in calories, sweet and exhibit a degree of cooling effect, which is acceptable.

Depending on the contemplated practical use of the sugar replacement composition and the expected properties, the compositional ratio as well as the presence of optional further ingredients may be suitably chosen, for instance among the following compositions.

(a) General considerations applicable to all sugar replacement compositions

The total content of polyols in general is preferably in the range of ! O to 70 weight%. Within the polyol components, it is possible to use erythritol only but it is also possible to use combinations of erythritol with further polyols such as isomalt, maltitol and the like. The content of erythritol in the sugar replacement composition employed in the present invention is advantageously from 0 to 70 weight% and more preferably from 20 weight% to 60 weight%% or, in other embodiments, from 6 to 16 weight %, preferably from 7 to 1 1 weight %, or from 1 to 30 weight %, preferably from 21 to 27 weight %, or preferably from 19 to less than 21 or from more than 21 to 23 weight %, most preferably 20 or 22 weight %. Polysaccharides are suitable for masking the cooling effect of erythritol. Polydextrose is an advantageous component in this respect. Additionally, further polysaccharides may optionally be used. Such additional optional polysaccharides include, for instance, resistant maltodextrin and/or inulin. Polydextrose is typically used in an amount of from 30 weight% to 70 weight% and preferably from 40 weight% to 60 weight%. According to another embodiment, the content of polydextrose may be from 50 to 75 weight%, preferably more than 60 weight% to 75 weight%, more preferably 61 to 70 weight%. Polydextrose contents of 61.5 to 62.5 weight% and 64 to 66 weight% are particularly preferred.

According to a first embodiment (embodiment (a 1 ) h the sugar replacement composition employed in the present invention has the following ingredients:

According to a preferred embodiment (a2), the sugar replacement composition employed in the present invention has the following ingredients:

(b) Sugar replacement compositions containing resistant maltodextrin

If maltodextrin is used as an additional component, its relative amount is preferably in the range of from more than 0 weight% to 6 weight% and more preferably in the range of from. 3 weight% to 5 weight%. The following tables characterize a corresponding composition with resistant maltodextrin according to the present invention as well as a preferred composition including maltodextrin. Composition (bl) Composition. (b2)

Component Amount (weight%) Amount (weight%)

Polydextrose 30-70 40-60

Total polyol 10- 70 20-60

Erythritol 10-70 20-50

Resistant Maltodextrin >0-6 3-5

(c) Compositions of the present invention comprising fructan components.

Among the fructan components, inulin, oligofractose and agavin are preferred classes of substances. Relative amounts for each of these substances are typically in the range of from more than 0 weight% to 15 weight% wherein the total amount of fructans should be no more than 30 weight%. Preferably, each, of the above-mentioned fructans is either absent completely or present in an amount of from 2 weight% to 12 weight%. It is also preferred that inulin and. oligofractose are simultaneously present, wherein the amount of inulin is preferably from 6 to 10 weight%, more preferably from 7 to 9 eight% or from 8 to 12 weight% and more preferably from 9 to 11 and wherein the amount of oligofractose is preferably from.4 to 8 weight%, more preferably from.5 to 7 weight% or from.8 to 12 weight%, more preferably from 9 to 11 weight%. According to another embodiment inulin and oligofractose are simultaneously present, wherein the amount of inulin is preferably from 3 to 6 weight%, more preferably from 4 to 5.5 weight%, and wherein the amount of oligofructose is preferably from 0.5 to 4 weight 0 /*, preferably from 1 to 3 weight%. The total amount of fructans is preferably 22 weight% or less. The corresponding sample compositions according to these embodiments are summarized in the tables below.

Composition (c 1 ) Composition (c2)

Component Amount (weight%) Amount (weiglit%)

Polydextrose 30-70 40-60

Total polyol 10-70 20-60

Erythritol 10-70 20-50

Inulin >0- 15 2-12

Total fructan content >0 - 30

Composition (c3) Com position (c4)

Component Amount (weight%) Amount (weight%)

Polydextrose 30-70 40-60

Total polyol 10-70 20-60

Erythritol 10-70 20-50

Oligofractose >0- 15 2 12

Total fructan content X) - 3 2 -22 Composition (c5) Composition (c6)

Component Amount ( eight%) Amount (weight%)

Polydextrose 30-70 40 - 60

Total polyol 10 -70 20 - 60

Erythritol 10-70 20-50

Agavin >0- 15 2-12

Total fructan content >0-30 2 22

Composition (c7) Composition (c8)

Component Amount ( eight%) Amount (weight%)

Polydextrose 30-70 40 - 60

Total polyol 10-70 20-60

Erythritol 10-70 20-50

Intiiin. >0- 15 2-12

Oligofructose >0- 15 2- 12

Total fructan content X) - 30 4 24

Composition ( ) Composition (clO)

Component Amount (weight%) Amount (weight%)

Polydextrose 30-70 40-60

Total polyol 10-70 20 - 60

Erythritol 10-70 20-50

Inulin 0 · 15 2 - 12

Agavin X) - 15 2 12

Total fructan content >0-30 4 - 24

Composition (cl 1) Composition (cl2)

Component Amount (weight%) Amount (weight%)

Polydextrose 30-70 40 - 60

Total polyol 10-70 20 - 60

Erythritol 10-70 -50

Agavin >0 - 15

Oligofructose >0- 15 2-12

Total fructan content X) - 30 4-24

Composition (cl3) Composition (cl4)

Component Amount (weight%) Amount (weight%)

Polydextrose 30-70 40 - 60

Total polyol 10-70 20 - 60

Erythritol 10-70 20 - 50

Inulin >0 - 10 1-8

Oligofructose >0- 10 1-8

Agavin >0- 10 1 -8

Total fructan content >0-30 3 - 24 (d) Sugar replacement compositions comprising resistant maltodextrin and fractans

Of course, it is also possible to combine the optional ingredients mentioned above to form sugar replacement compositions according to the present invention, which comprise both resistant maltodextrin and. one or more fractan-type compounds. Suitable compositional ranges are shown in the following tables.

Composition (dl) Composition (d2)

Component Amount (weight %) Amount (weight%)

Poiydextrose 30-70 40-60

Total polyol 10-70 20-60

Erythritol 10-70 20-50

Inul in >0-15 2-12

Total fructan content >0-30 2 22

Resistant Maltodextrin >0-6 3-5

Composition (d3) Composition (d4)

Component Amount (weight%) Amount (weight%)

Poiydextrose 30 - 70 40 - 60

Total polyol 10-70 20-60

Erythritol 1 70 20 - 50

Oligo fructose >0- 15 2- 12

Total fructan content >0 - 30 2 22

Resistant Maltodextrin X) - 6 3 -5

Composition (d5) Composition (d6)

Component Amount (weight%) Amount (weight%)

Poiydextrose 30 - 70 40-60

Total polyol 10-70 20 - 60

Erythritol 10-70 20 - 50

Agavin >0- 15 2-12

Total fructan content >0 - 30 2-22

Resistant Maltodextrin >0-6 3-5

Composition (d7) Composition (d8)

Component Amount (weightVo) Amount (weight%)

Poiydextrose 30-70 40-60

Total polyol 10-70 20-60

Erythritol 10-70 20-50

inulin >0 - 15 2 - 12

Oligofructosc >0- 15 2- 12 Total fructan content >0-30 4-24

Resistant Maltodextrin >0-6 3-5

Composition (d9) Composition (dlO)

Component Amount (weight%) Amount (weight%)

Polydextrose 30 - 70 40-60

Total polyol 10-70 20-60

Erythritol 10-70 20-50

Inulin >0 15 2-12

Agavin >0 - 15 2-12

Total fructan content >0 · 30 4-24

Resistant Maltodextrin >0-6 3-5

Composition (d 11 ) Composition (dl2)

Component Amount (weigfat.%) Amount (weight%)

Polydextrose 30-70 40-60

Total polyol 10-70 20 - 60

Erythritol 10-70 20-50

Agavin >0-L5 2 12

Oligofructose >0 - - 15 2-12

Total fructan content >0-3() 4-24

Resistant Maltodextrin >0-6 3-5

Composition (d 13) imposition (dl4)

Component Amount (weight%) Amount (weight%)

Polydextrose 30-70 40-60

Total polyo! 10-70 20-60

Erythritol 10-70 20 - 50

Inulin >0- 10 1-8

Oligofructose >0- 10 1 -8

Agavin >0- 10 1 _ g

Total fructan content X) - 30 3 24

Resistant Maltodextrin 0 b 3-5

(e) Sugar replacement compositions comprising high intensity sweeteners and/or flavour enhancers

Depending on the selected ingredients and relative amounts thereof, the sugar replacement compositions mentioned above will mostly be not as sweet as sugar. In some instances, however, it is desired to use a sugar replacement composition, which provides not only the functional characteristics of sugar, hut which also provides sweetness comparable to that of sugar. According to another embodiment, the present invention therefore provides sugar replacement compositions, which further contain high intensity sweeteners and/or flavour enhancers. The relative amount of the high intensity sweetener and/or flavour enhancer is adjusted such that the overall sweetness of the sugar replacement composition employed in the present invention reaches the desired level. According to one embodiment, the sweetness is exactly the same or approximately the same as that of sugar (sucrose). This means that the same sweetness effect is accomplished when using the same amount (on. a weight basis) as sugar. This can be tested, for instance, by dissolving equal amounts (on a weight basis) of the sugar replacement composition and of sugar in water and by testing sweetness using a taste panel.

Alternatively, it may also be contemplated to employ an amount of high intensity sweetener and/or flavour enhancer to accomplish a level of sweetness that is the same or approximately the same as that of sugar on a volume basis. Considering that the densities of sugar and of the sugar replacement composition employed in the present invention may differ from each other (depending on degree of crystallinity, granulation, etc.), a different amount of high intensity sweetener and/or flavour enhancer may be needed to accomplish this objective.

Typically, the high intensity sweetener and/or flavour enhancer will be used in relatively small amounts such as 1 weight% or less, preferably 0.5 weight% or less. Suitable amounts for sucralose are typically in the range of from 0.1 to 0.15 weight%, Relative amounts for other high intensity sweeteners may be adjusted relying on the relative ratio of sweetness in comparison with, sucralose. Flavour enhancers are typically used in an amount of 0.05 to 0.5 weight% and preferably 0.1 to 0.3 weight%.

Compositions with high intensity sweeteners are described in the tables below.

Composition (el) Composition (e2)

Component Amount (weight %) Amount (weight%)

Polydextrose 30 - 70 40 - 60

Total po!yol 10 - 70 20 - 60

Erythritol 10 - 70 20 - 50

High intensity >0 - 1 >0 - 0.5

sweetener

Composition (e3) Composition (e4)

Component Amount (weight%) Amount (weight%) Polydextrose 30-70 40-60

Total polyol 1.0-70 20-60

Erythritol 10-70 20 - 50

Flavour enhancer 0.05-0.5 0.1-0.3

Composition (e5) Composition (e6)

Component Amount (weight%) Amount (weight%)

Polydextrose 30-70 40-60

Total polyol 10-70 20-60

Erythritol 10-70 20 - 50

High intensity >0 0.8 >0-0.4

sweetener

Flavour enhancer 0.05-0.5 0.1-0.3

Composition (e7) Composition (e8)

Component Amount (weight%) Amount (weight%)

Polydextrose 30-70 40-60

Total polyol 10-70 20-60

Erythritol 10-70 20-50

Resistant Maltodextrin >0-6 3-5

High intensity >0- 1 >0 - 0.5

sweetener

Composition (e9) Composition (elO)

Component Amount (weight%) Amount (weight%)

Polydextrose 30-70 40-60

Total polyol 10-70 20 - 60

Erythritol 10-70 20 - 50

Resistant Maltodextrin >0-6 3-5

Flavour enhancer 0,05 - 0.5 0.1-0.3

Composition (ell) Composition (el2)

Component Amount (weight%) Amount (weight%)

Polydextrose 30-70 40-60

Total polyol 10-70 20 - 60

Erythritol 10-70 20 - 50

Resistant Maltodextrin >0-6 3-5

High intensity >0-0.8 >0 - 0.4 sweetener

Flavour enhancer 0.05 - 0.5 0.1-0.3 Composition (£L¾ (el4) (el5) («16) <el7) (cl8)

Component Amt (wt%)

Polydextrose 30-70 40-60 30-70 40 - 60 30-70 40-60

Total polyol 10-70 20-60 10-70 20 - 60 10-70 20 - 60

Erythritol 10-70 20 - 50 10-70 20-50 10-70 20-50

Inulin X) - 15 2 12 >0 - 15 2 12 >0- 15

Total fructan >0 - 30 2-22 >0 - 30 2-22 >0 - 30 2-22 content

High >()- 1 >0 0.5 >0-0.8 X) - 0.4 intensity

sweetener

Flavour 0.05 - 0.1 - 0.05 - 0.1-0.3 enhancer 0.5 0.3 0.5

Composition (e20) (?21) .... (e22) (c23) (*24) _

Component Amt (wt%)

Polydextrose 30 - 70 40-60 30-70 40-60 30 - 70 40-60

Total polyol 10-70 20-60 10-70 20 - 60 10-70 20-60

Erythritol 0 20 - 50 10-70 20-50 10-70 20-50

Oligofructose >0- 15 2-12 >0 - 15 2-12 >0- 15 2-12

Total fructan >0 - 30 2-22 >0 - 30 2-22 >0 - 30 2-22 content

High intensity >0-l X ) 0.5 >0 - 0.8 >0-0.4 sweetener

Flavour 0.05 - 0.1 - 0.05 - 0.1 -0.3 enhancer 0.5 0.3 0.5

Composition (e25) .. (e26) ( 1 (e28) . (e29) 1 (e30)

Component Amt (wt%)

Polydextrose 30-70 40-60 30-70 40-60 30-70 40-60

Total polyol 10-70 20-60 10-70 20 - 60 10-70 20 - 60

Erythritol 10-70 20 - 50 10-70 20-50 10-70 20 - 50

Agavin >0- 15 2-12 >0- 15 2-12 >0-15 2-12

Total fructan >0 - 30 2-22 >0 - 30 2-22 >0 - 30

content

High >0- 1 X) - 0.5 >0-0.8 X) - 0.4 intensity

sweetener

Flavour 0.05 - 0.1 - 0.05 - 0.1-0.3 enhancer 0.5 0.3 0.5 Composition (e31) (e32) (e33) (e34) ~ e35) [ (e36)

Component Amt (wt%)

Polydextrose 30-70 40 - 60 30 - 70 40-60 I 30-70 40-60

Total polyol 10-70 20-60 10-70 20-60 10-70 20-60

Erythritol 10-70 20-50 10-70 20-50 10-70 20 - 50

Imilin X) - 15 2-12 -*0 15 2-12 >0 - 15 2-12

Oligo fructose >0- 15 2-12 >0- 15 2-12 >0- 15 2- 12

Total fructsn >0-30 4-24 X) - 30 4-24 >0-30 4-24 content

High intensity >0 - 1 >0-0.5 >0-0.8 >0 - 0.4 sweetener

Flavour 0.05 - 0.1 - 0.05 - 0.1 -0.3 enhancer 0.5 0.3 0.5

Composition (e37) (e38) («39) (e40) l ) {e42)

Component Amt (wt%)

Polydextrose 30-70 40-60 30-70 40-60 30-70 40-60

Total polyol 10-70 20-60 10-70 20 - 60 10-70 20-60

Erythritol 10-70 20-50 10-70 20-50 10-70 20-50

Inulin >()- 15 2- 12 X) - 15 2-12 >0- 15 2- 12

Agavin >0- 15 2-12 >0 15 2-12 >0- 15 2-12

Total fruetan X) - 30 4 -24 >0 - 4-24 >0 - 30 4-24 content

High intensity >0 - 1 >0 - 0.5 X ) - 0.8 >0 - 0.4 sweetener

Flavour 0.05 - 0,1 _ 0.05 - 0.1 -0.3 enhancer 0.5 0.3 0.5

Composition (e43) (e44) (e45) J (c46) U-4- i <e48)

Co mponent Amt (wt%)

Polydextrose 30 - 70 40-60 30-70 40-60 30-70 40 - 60

Total polyol 10-70 20-60 10-70 20-60 10-70 20-60

Erythritol 10-70 20-50 10-70 20-50 10-70 20-50

Agavin -0 « 2-12 >0- 15 2- 12 >0- 15 2-12

Oligofructose >0-15 2-12 >0- 15 2-12 X) - 15 2- 12

Total fruetan >0-30 4 - 24 >0 - 30 4-24 >0 - 30 4-24 content

High intensity >0- 1 >0 - 0.5 X) - 0.8 >0-0,4 sweetener

Flavour 0.05 - 0.1 - 0.05 - 0.1 -0.3 enhancer 0.5 0.3 0.5 Composition (e49) 1 <e50) _(e51) (e52) ( C 53) (e54)

Component Amt (wt%)

Polydextrose 30 - 70 40-60 30-70 40 - 60 30-70 40-60

Total polyol 10-70 20-60 10-70 20-60 10-70 20-60

Erythritol 10-70 20-50 10-70 20 - 50 10-70 20 - 50

I mil in >0- 10 1 -8 >0- 10 1-8 >0- 10 1-8

Oligofructose X)- 10 1 -8 XI 10 1 _8 >0- 10 1-8

Agavin >0- 10 1-8 >0- 10 1-8 >0- 10 1-8

Total fructan >0-30 3-24 >0 - 3 3-24 >0 - 30 3-24 content

High intensity >0- 1 >0 - 0.5 X) - 0.8 >0 - 0.4 sweetener

Flavour 0.05 - 0..1 - 0.05 - 0,1-0.3 enhancer 0.5 0.3 0.5

Composition (e55) (e56) (e57) (e58) (e59) (e60)

Component Amt (wt%)

Polydextrose 30-70 40-60 30 - 70 40-60 30 - 70 40-60

Total polyol 10-70 20-60 10-70 20-60 10-70 20-60

Erythritol 10-70 20-50 10-70 20-50 10 - 70 20-50

Inulin >0- 15 2-12 >0- 15 2-12 X ) - 15 2-12

Total fructan >0 - 30 2-22 >0-30 2-22 >0 - 30 2-22 content

Resistant X. ) 6 3-5 >0-6 3-5 >0-6 3 5 maltodextrin

High intensity >0- 1 >0 - 0.5 Xl-0.8 >0-0.4 sweetener

Flavour 0.05 - 0.1 0.05 - 0.1-0,3 enhancer 0.5 0.3 0.5

Composition (e61) « 2) 0*3) _ <<* »> (c65) (e66)

Component Amt (wt%)

Polydextrose 30-70 40-60 30-70 40-60 30-70 40-60

Total polyol 10-70 20-60 10-70 20-60 10-70 20-60

Erythritol 10-70 1 20-50 10-70 20 - 50 10-70 20 - 50

Oligofructose >0 - 15 2-12 >0- 15 2-12 >0- 15 2-12

Total fructan >0 - 30 2-22 X) - 30 2-22 X) - 30 2-22 content

Resistant >0-6 3 - 5 -0 6 3-5 Ό ft 3 - 5 maltodextrin

High intensity >0- 1 >0 -0.5 >0 - 0.8 >0-0.4 sweetener

Flavour 0,05 - 0.1 - 0.05 - O.t -0.3 enhancer 0.5 0.3 0.5 Composition (e6 ) (e68) (e69) I (c70) (e71) <e72)

Component Amt (wt%)

Polydextrose 30 - 70 40 - 60 30 - 70 40-60 30-70 40-60

Total polyo! 10-70 20-60 10-70 20-60 10-70 20-60

Erythritol 10-70 20-50 10-70 20-50 10-70 20 - 50

Agavin >0 - 15 2 12 >0- 15 2-12 -0 1 2-12

Total fructan >0 - 30 2-22 >0-30 2-22 >0-30 2-22 content

Resistant >0 - 6 3-5 X ) - 6 3-5 >0-6 3- 5 maltodextrin

High intensity >0- 1 >0-0.5 >0-0.8 >0 - 0.4 sweetener

Flavour 0.05 - 0.1 - 0.05 - 0.1 -0.3 enhancer 0.5 0.3 0.5

Composition (e73) 1 (e74) (e75) (e76) (e77) <e78)

Component Amt ( t%)

Polydextrose 30-70 40-60 30 - 70 40-60 30-70 40-60

Total polyol 10-70 20-60 10-70 20-60 10-70 20 - 60

Eiythrito! 10-70 20-50 10-70 20-50 10-70 20-50

Inulin >0- 15 2-12 >0- 15 2-12 >0- 15 2-12

01 igo fructose >0 - 15 2-12 >0 - 1 2-12 >0- 15 2 - 12

Total fructan >0-30 4-24 >0 - 30 4-24 >0-30 4-24 content

Resistant >0 - 6 3-5 X) - 6 3-5 >0 - 6 3-5 maltodextrin

High intensity >0- 1 >0-0.5 >0-0.8 >0 - 0.4 sweetener

Flavour 0.05 - 0,1 0.05 - 0.1-0.3 enhancer 0.5 0.3 0.5

Composition (e 9) .. (e80) (e81) (e§2) (e83) (e84)

Component Amt (wt%)

Polydextrose 30-70 40-60 30-70 40-60 30 - 70 40-60

Total polyol 10-70 20-60 10-70 20-60 10 70 20-60

Erythritol 10 70 20-50 10-70 20-50 1 70 20-50

Inulin >0 - 15 2- 12 >0 - 1 2-12 >0 - 15 2-12

Agavin >0- 15 2-12 >0- 15 2-12 >0 - 15 2- 12

Total fructan >0 - 30 4-24 >0 - 30 4-24 >0 - 30 4-24 content

Resistant >0 - 6 3-5 >0 - 6 3-5 >0 b 3-5 maltodextrin

High intensity >0-l X) - 0.5 >0 - 0.8 >0 - 0.4 sweetener

Flavour 0.05 - 0.1 0.05 - 0.1 -0.3 enhancer 0.5 0.3 0.5 Composition (c85) (e86) (e87) (e88) <e89) (e90)

Component Amt (wt%)

Polydextrose 30-70 3 30-70 40 - 60 30-70 40-60

Total polyol 10-70 20-60 10-70 20-60 10-70 20-60

Erythritol 10-70 20-50 10-70 20-50 10-70 20-50

Agavin X) - 15 2 12 >0- 15 2- 12 X) 15 2- 12

Oligofructose >0 - 15 2-12 >0- 15 2-12 >0- 15 2-12

Total fructan >0-30 4-24 >0 - 30 4-24 >0 - 30 4 _ 24 content

Resistant >0-6 3-5 >0-6 3-5 >0-6 3-5 maltodextrin

High intensity >0- 1 >0-0.5 >0 0.8 >0 - 0.4 sweetener

Flavour 0.05 - 0.1 - 0.05 - 0.1 -0.3 enhancer 0.5 0.3 0.5

Composition (e91) _ < (e93) (e94) (e95) (e96)

Component Amt (wt%)

Polydextrose 30-70 40-60 10 70 40-60 30-70 40-60

Total polyol 10-70 20-60 10—o 20-60 10-70 20-60

Erythritol 10-70 20-50 10-70 20 - 50 10-70 20-50

In lin >0- 10 1 -8 >0- 10 1-8 >0- 10 1 -8

Oligofructose >0 - 10 1-8 >0- 10 1-8 >0 - 10 j _g

Agavin -0 10 1-8 >0- 10 1-8 >0 - 10 1-8

Total fructan X ) - 30 3-24 >0-30 3-24 >0 - 30 3-24 content

Resistant >0-6 3 - 5 >0-6 3-5 >0-6 3-5 maltodextrin

High intensity >0 - 1 >0-0.5 >0 - 0.8 >0 - 0.4 sweetener

Flavour 0.05 - 0.1 - 0.05 - 0.1-0.3 enhancer 0.5 0.3 0.5

Further beneficial sugar replacement compositions for use in the present invention are characterized in the following tables.

Composition (e97) 1 <e98) (e99) (el 00) (Him (el 02)

Component Amt (wt%)

Polydextrose 50-75 61 70 50-75 61-70 50-75 j 61-70

Erythritol 10-70 20-50 16-30 21-27 16-30 21-27 inulin >0- 10 1-9 >0- 10 1-8 6-10 7-9

Oligofructose >0- 10 1-8 X) 10 1-8 4-8 5-7

Resistant 0-6 0-5 0-6 0-5 0-4 0-3 maltodextrin

High intensity >0~ 1 >0 - 0.5 >0- 1 >0 - 0.5 >0 - 0.8 >0 - 0.4 sweetener

Composition (el 03) (el 04) (el 5) (el06) (el 07) I (el08)

Component Amt (wt%)

Polydextrose 50-75 61 70 50 - 7> 61 -70 50-75 61 -70

Erythritol 6-70 6-50 6 16 7-11 6-16 7 11

Inulin >0- 12 1 -11 >0- 12 1 -11 8- 12 9-11

Oligo fructose >0- 12 1 11 >()- 12 ) 11 8-12 9-11

Resistant 0-6 0-5 0-6 0-5 0-4 0-3 maltodextrin

High intensity >0 - 1 X) - 0.5 >0 - 1 >0 - 0.5 >0 - 0,8 >0 - 0.4 sweetener

Fn compositions (e97) to (el 08), there is preferably no additional polyol component and especially no isomalt present.

Com position (el 09) (el 10) (eWl) f ll 2) (el 13) (el 14)

Component Amt (wt%)

Polydextrose 51 -57 53 - 55 63-69 65-67 59 - 65 61-63

Erythritol 14 -26 16-24 14-26 16-24 14 - 26 16-24

Inulin 3- 11 5-9 1 _9 3-7 3-11 5-9

Oligofructose 3- 11 5-9 >0-5 1-3 3 -· 11 5-9

Resistant 2 6 3-5 3- 11 5-9 1 -7 3-5 maltodextrin

Isomalt 4- 12 6- 10 0 0 0 0

High intensity >0- 1 0-0.5 >0- 1 >0 - 0.5 >0 - 1 >0 - 0.5 sweetener

Preferred specific compositions of the present invention are characterized by the use of one of the following compositions:

Composition i« ) (») (flO)

Component Amt (wt%) Polydextrose 53.82 65.865 61 .865

Resistant 4.000 5.000 4.000

maltodextrin

Oligo fructose 7.000 2.000 7.000

Inulin 7.000 5.000 7.000

Isomalt 8.000

Erythritol 20.000 20.000 20.000

Sucralose 0.135 0 135 0.135

(f) Sugar replacement compositions comprising further components

Additional components that may be used in the sugar replacement compositions employed in. the present invention are soluble non-selective non-digestible fibers, insoluble non-selective non-digestible fibers, vitamins, minerals, health promoting bacteria and/or anti-caking agents.

If soluble and/or insoluble non-selective non-digestible fibers are employed in the sugar replacement compositions for use in the present invention, it is preferred to use them in amounts of from 0.05 weight% to 10 weigh t%, more preferably from 0.1 weigh t% to 5 weight% and most preferably in an amount of from 0.15 weight% to 2.5 weight%.

If an anti-caking agent is used, it is preferable to add the anti-caking agent in an amount of 0.1 to 0.5 weight% and more preferably in an amount of from 0.2 to 0.3 weight%.

If a vitamin or a mineral is used, it is preferable to add these components in such small amounts that recommended daily allowances for the respective vitamins and/or minerals are not exceeded when using amounts of the sugar replacement composition employed in the present invention, which correspond to typical daily consumptions of sugar.

The amount indications provided herein for the optional ingredients (soluble and/or insoluble non-selective non-digestible fibers, vitamins, minerals, health promoting bacteria and/or anti- caking agents) are valid in connection, with all of the compositions shown in the above tables.

(g) Balance between polysaccharide components and oligosaccharide components

It may be advantageous for various reasons to select the components and relative amounts of the sugar replacement composition employed in the present invention such that said sugar replacement composition comprises polysaccharide components in a total amount of from 30 to 75 weight %, preferably 45 to 65 weight %, and that the total amount of oligosaccharide components is from 5 to 45 weight %, preferably 10 to 30 weight %.

By maintaining such a balance of oligosaccharide components and polysaccharide components, it is possible to further improve the health benefits of the sugar replacement composition employed in the present invention, to properly adjust its browning characteristics as well as its structural characteristics,

4.5.2 Sugar replacement composition components: Polydextrose

Polydextrose is a polysaccharide consisting of glucose repeating units that are linked via different types of linkages, wherein 1 → 6 bonds are mainly present. Smaller amounts of other repeating units such as sorbitol and citric acid may also be present. Polydextrose is a soluble fiber that has a caloric value of only about 1 kcal/g since it is indigestible for the human body. It is also advantageous insofar as it has prebiotic properties and can mask the cooling effect of erythritoL Polydextrose is commercially available under the trade names Litesse, Sta-Lite and Winway.

4.5.3 Sugar replacement composition components: Erythritot

Erythritol is a sugar alcohol (poiyol) having the lUPAC name (2R,3S)-butane-l ,2.3,4-tetraol.

As noted above, erythritol has a low caloric value of about 0.2 kcal/g and a sweetness that is about 60 to 70% of the sweetness of sugar. Erythritol shows less of the undesired side effects (flatulence and laxative effects) of other polyols such as maltitol. It is commercially available under a variety of different trade names.

4.5.4 Sugar replacement composition components: Other polyols

According to the present invention, further polyols may optionally be used in addition to erythritol. A preferred further poiyol is isomalt. Isomalt is a sugar alcohol consisting of an equimolar mixture of two disaccharides, which are composed of glucose and mannitol and glucose and sorbitol, respectively. It has a caloric value of about 2 kcal/g and it is tooth friendly. Its sweetness is approximately 50% of that of sugar. However, it may lead to flatulence and it may have laxative effects on the human body. According to some embodiments of the present application, no isomalt is present. Further polyols that can optionally be used in the present invention are maltitol, xyliiol, glycerin, sorbitol and others.

When using such other polyols in addition to erythritol, it is preferred to use such other polyols in an amount of from more than 0 weight% to 40 weight%, preferably more than 0 weight% to 25 weight% and even more preferably more than 0 weight% to 10 weight%. According to another embodiment, it is preferred to use isomalt in an amount of from 4 to 12 weight%, preferably in an amount of from 6 to 10 weight% and most preferably in an amount of from 7 to 9 weight%.

4.5.5 Sugar replacement composition components: resistant maltodextrin

Similar to polydextrose, resistant maltodextrins are polysaccharides based on glucose repeating units. Resistant maltodextrins primarily have a-(l→4) and a-(l→6) glycosidie linkages as well as further glycosidie linkages. Resistant maltodextrins are characterized by a high degree of branching. Due to this highly branched structure and the unusual linkages found in its structure, resistant maltodextrin is not digested by the human body and therefore identified as resistant maltodextrin. Maltodextrin may be present in a variety of different degrees of polymerization. Typically, resistant maltodextrin contains approximately equal amounts of oligosaccharide components and polysaccharide components. Preferably, the relative amount of polysaccharide components is higher than that of oligosaccharide components, such that about 50% of the resistant maltodextrin has a degree of polymerization above 1 1. Resistant maltodextrin does not lead to flatulence and also has no laxative effects. Moreover, its use is advantageous because it has prebiotic properties.

4.5.6 Sugar replacement composition components: Inulin and Oligofnictose

Inulin is an oligo- and/or polysaccharide consisting of D- fructose residues. These residues are linked by β-(2→1)- linkages. These chains of fructose repeating units are terminated by a β- (2→l)-iinked glucose residue. Inulin is commercially available under the trade name Raftilin®. Inulin has prebiotic properties and is thus advantageous for the gastrointestinal health. Excessive ingestion of inulin can however lead to flatulence. The relative amount of inulin employed in the sugar replacement compositions employed in the present invention is therefore limited as specified above. In the context of the present invention, inulin is also advantageous as a component that is suitable for masking the cooling effect of erythritol.

Oligofructose is an oligosaccharide, wherein fructose units are linked by β-(2→1)- linkages. In fact, oligofructose can be obtained by hydrolytic or enzymatic degradation of inulin. Consequently, the degree of polymerization of oligofructose is lo wer than that of inulin.

Unfortunately, there is no generally accepted degree of polymerization distinguishing between inulin and oligofructose products. That is, products having a degree of polymerization in the range of from. 7 to 10 are sometimes identified as inulin and sometimes as oligofructose. In the context of the present invention., the term, "inulin" is used to define oligo- and polysaccharides having an average degree of polymerization of 7 or more, whereas "oligofructose ' ' is used to define oligosaccharides having an average degree of polymerization of less than 7.

If a mixture of inulin and oligofructose is used, the relative amounts of the two components can be derived, from the quantities of "inulin" and "oligofructose" starting materials that are incorporated into the sugar replacement composition employed in the present invention. If this information is not available, the relative amounts of "inulin" and "oligofructose" according to the above definition of the present invention can be determined by experimentally quantifying the relative amounts of the individual β-(2→ 1 )-linked fructan components having a degree of polymerization of 1 , 2, 3, 4, etc., to thereby obtain an experimentally determined distribution of degrees of polymerization; and by curve-fitting two mono-disperse distribution, curves to the experimentally determined distributions of P-(2→1.)-Iinked fructan components.

An alternative type of oligofructose is made by transfructosylation on sucrose using a β- fructosidase of Aspergillus niger. This type of oligofructose is also referred to as fructooligosaccharide (FOS). Contrary to the inulin degradation products, the fructooligosaccharides always have a terminal glucose residue. The degree of polymerization of fructooHgosacchaiides is typically from 3 to 5. In the context of the present invention, both types of oligofructose can be used. Depending on the desired properties of the sugar replacement composition employed in the present invention, a suitable type of oligofructose may be chosen.. For instance, fructooligosaccharide is less reactive in browning reactions. Hence, if it is desired to provide a sugar replacement composition that gives rise to enhanced browning effects, e.g. in some bakery products, it may be preferred to use oligofructose that is a degradation product of inulin. On the other hand, if it is preferred to avoid (excessive) browning, the use of fructooligosaccharide may be more advantageous.

Oligofructose is commercially available under the trade name RaftiloseS.

Oligofructose exhibits some sweetness, which is approximately 30 to 50% of the sweetness of sugar. Oligofructose has a low caloric value and contributes to gastrointestinal tract health. However, it may lead to flatulence. It is therefore preferred to use only relative small amounts of oligofructose in the sugar replacement composition employed in the present invention, as specified above.

According to yet another embodiment of the present invention, inulin. may be present together with oligofructose, but no distinction is made between inulin and oligofructose as far as the amount indications are concerned. This means that only the combined amount of inulin and oligofructose is limited. For instance, compositions according to this further embodiment may be derived from the above compositions (c7), (c8), (cl 3), (cl 4), (d7), (d8), <d l 3). (dl4), (e31 ) to (e36), (e49) to (e54). (e73) to (e78) and (e91 ) to (e96) by replacing the individual amount indications for inulin and oligofructose by a single amount indication for the combination of inulin and oligofructose, wherein the lower limit is obtained by adding the two individual lower limits for inulin and oligofructose, and wherein the upper limit is obtained by adding the two individual upper limits for inulin and oligofructose. The resulting compositions are referred to as compositions (c'7), (c'8), (c' 13), (c' 14), (d'7), (d'8), (d' 13), (d " 14), (e'31) to (e'36), (e'49) to (e'54), (e'73) to (e'78) and (e'91) to (e'96). For instance, compositions (e ' 31 ) to (e'36) and (e'91) to (e'96) have the following compositions:

Composition ie-31 (e » 32) (e'33) ( D * J4> (e'36)

Component Amt (wt%)

Polydextrose 30 - 70 40 - 60 30 - 70 40 - 60 30 - 70

Total polyol 10 - 70 20 - 60 10 - 70 20 - 60 10 - 70 20 - 60

Erythritol 10 - 70 20 - 50 10 - 70 20 - 50 10 - 70 20 - 50

Combined >0 - 30 4 - 2 >0 - 30 4 - 24 >0 - 30 4 - 24

Inulin and

Oligofructose

Total fractan >0 - 30 4 - 24 X) - 30 4 - 24 >0 - 30 4 - 24 content

High intensity >0 - 1 >0 - 0.5 >0 - 0.8 >0 - 0.4 sweetener

Flavour 0.05 - 0.1 - 0.05 - 0.1 -0.3 enhancer 0.5 0.3 0.5

Composition '91) (e'92) (e'93) (e'94) (e*95) Ce'96)

Component Ami (wt%)

Polvdextrose 30-70 40-60 30 - 70 40 60 30-70 40-60

Total polyol 10-70 20-60 10 70 20-60 10-70 20 - 60

Erythritol 10-70 20-50 10-7<P 20-50 10-70 20-50

Combined >0 - 20 2-16 >0 - 20 2-16 >0 - 20 2-16

Inulin and

Oligofructose

Agavin ^0 10 1-8 >0- 10 1-8 >0- 10 1-8

Total fruetan >0 - 30 3-24 >0 - 30 3-24 >0-30 3-24 content

Resistant >0 - 6 3-5 >()-6 3 -5 >0-6 3-5 nialtodextrin

High intensity >0- 1 >0 - 0.5 >0 - 0.8 >0 - 0.4 sweetener

Flavour 0.05 - 0.1 - 0.05 - 0.1-0.3 enhancer 0.5 0.3 0.5

Of course, it is not critical for these embodiments how much of inulin and how much of oligofructose is present, as long as the combined amounts of the two components are within the specified ranges. It is even possible and within the scope of these embodiments that only inulin and no oligofructose is present (or vice versa), provided the amount of the respective component is within the range specified for the combined amount of inulin and oligofructose.

4.5.7 Sugar replacement composition components; Agavin

Agavin is a term characterizing fructan-type oligosaccharides and polysaccharides derived from agave plants and/or dasylirion plants. The structure of agavin- type fructans is rather complex. Agavins are mainly based on fructose repeating units. The molecules are typically branched and contain blocks that are based on fructose repeating units that are linked by inulin-type β-(2— >l)-linkages and other blocks based on fructose repeating units linked by levan-type P-(2→6)-linkages. Additionally, glucose repeating units are also incorporated. The origin, isolation and characterization of agavins is described, for instance, in "Agave Fructans as Prebiotics" by M.G. Lopez and J..E. Urias-Silvas in Recent Advances in Fructooligosaccharides research, 2007, 1.-14 and "Water-soluble carbohydrates and fructan structure patterns from agave and dasylirion species" by Ν.Λ. Mancilla-Margalli and M.G. Lopez in Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2006, 7832-7839.

Different types of agavins are known and degrees of polymerization may vary broadly at least in a range of from 3 to 32. Such agavins are prebiotic and thus contribute to gastrointestinal tract health. They may advantageously be used as a substitute for inulin and/ or oligofnictose, or in addition to these other fructan-type components.

4.5.8 Sugar replacement composition components: total fructans

According to yet another embodiment of the present invention, one or more fructaii component selected from inulin and/or oligofnictose and/or agavin may be present, optionally with further fructaii components (like levan-type and graminan-type compounds) as long as these further fructaii components are suitable for human consumption. According to this embodiment, no distinction, is made between the individual fructaii components including inulin. oligofnictose and/or agavin as far as the amount indications are concerned. This means that only the combined amount of agavin, inulin. and/or oligofnictose is limited. The following compositions may be derived from the above tables by canceling the amount indications for the individual fructan components:

Total polyol 10-70 20-60 10-70 20 - 60 10-70 20-60

Erythritol 10-70 20 - 50 10-70 20 - 50 10-70 20-50

Total fructan >0 - 30 2-22 >0 - 30 2-22 >0 - 30 2-22 content

High intensity >0 - 1 >0 - 0.5 >0-0.8 >0 - 0.4 sweetener

Flavour 0.05 - 0.1 - 0.05 - 0.1-0.3 enhancer 0.5 0.3 0.5

Composition (e"19) (e"20) (e"21) (e"22) (e"23 (e"24)

Component Amt (wt%)

Polydextrose 40-60 40 - 60 40-60 40-60 40-60 40-60

Total polyol 20-60 20-60 20-60 20-60 20-60 20-60

Erythritol 20-50 20 - 50 20-50 20 - 50 1 20 - 50 20 - 50

Total fructan 4- 24 4-24 4-24 » 1 3 - 24 3 24 content

Resistant 3-5 3-5 3-5 3-5 3-5 3-5 maltodextrin

High intensity >0-0.5 >0-0.4 >0 - 0.5 >0 - 0.4 sweetener

Flavour 0,1 - 0.1 - 0.3 0.1 - 0.3 0.1 - 0.3 enhancer 0.3

4.5.9 Sugar replacement composition components: high intensity sweeteners

In principle, any high intensity sweetener, which is permitted for human consumption, may be used as a component of the sugar replacement composition employed in the present invention. Suitable high intensity sweeteners and their relative sweetness compared to the sweetness of sugar are the following: eye lam ate (30-50), glycyrrhizin (50), aspartame (120-200), accsul ame K (200), saccharine (250-300), stevioside (300), sucralose (600), monclline (1500-2000), neohesperidine DC (1800), alitame (2000), thaumatin (2000-3000) and neotame (8000). Sucralose is preferred. In addition to the high intensity sweeteners listed above, it is also possible to use stevia extract or monk-fruit extract. Sucralose is a preferred high intensity sweetener.

Of course, any combination of two or more high intensity sweeteners, including especially the above-mentioned high intensity sweeteners, may also be used in accordance with the present invention. Among such compositions, it is particularly advantageous to use a combination of acesulfame K and neohesperidene DC in a ratio of acesulfame K to neohesperidine DC in the range of from 9.5 to 1 1.5 and preferably 10.0 to 1 1 .0. In further preferred embodiments, sucralose is used in. combination with stevia extract and/or stevioside. Another preferred embodiment concerns the combination, of sucralose with thaumatin. Yet another preferred combination is sucralose with thaumatin and with (stevia extract and/or stevioside).

4.5.10 Sugar replacement composition components: flavour enhancers

The above-mentioned acesulfame K has an unpleasant bitter and metallic aftertaste. This unpleasant aftertaste can be masked by combining it with neohesperidene DC. There is furthermore a synergistic enhancement of the sweetness effect. Hence, neohesperidene DC acts not only as a sweetener in. its own right but additionally as a flavor enhancer for acesulfame K. It thus has a dual function. Another flavor enhancer is glucono-5-lactone. G 1 ucono-6-lactone has the effect of enhancing the sweetness sensation caused by other sweeteners. To avoid confusion, if a substance like neohesperidine DC has a dual function, acting as a flavor enhancer and as a high intensity sweetener, its amount is to be considered only in relation to the above amount indications for the high intensity sweetener component, and not in relation to the amount indications for the flavor enhancer component.

4.5.1 1 Sugar replacement composition components: insoluble fibers

In some aspects of the present invention, the sugar replacement composition further comprises insoluble non-selective non-digestible polysaccharides. Examples of insoluble non-selective non-digestible polysaccharides are cellulose and hemicellulose. These polysaccharides are found inter alia in cereal fibers such as wheat fibers. The use of wheat fiber is thus contemplated in the context of the present invention. Such fibers may typically have an average length between 20 and 80 μιη. The average length preferably is in the range of from 25 to 45 μ η ι. The use of wheat fibers is preferred in particular in combination with the use of oligofructose. This combination may be particularly advantageous for bakery applications because advantageous crust color and brilliance may be accomplished when using this combination of components. Using wheat fibers in addition to oligofructose in the sugar replacement composition employed in the present invention allows to avoid the generation of a too dark crust and crumb.

The use of such insoluble non-selective non-digestible fibers also contributes to the beneficial health effects of the sugar replacement composition employed in the present invention. In particular, such fibers aid in preventing constipation and reducing blood sugar levels in people suffer from, diabetes.

4.5.12 Sugar replacement composition components: soluble fibers

In addition or alternatively to the insoluble non-selective non-digestible polysaccharides, it is furthermore possible to use one or more soluble non-selective non-digestible polysaccharides in the context of the present invention. As possible soluble non-selective non-digestible polysaccharides for use in the present invention, the following may be mentioned: xanthan, tara. carrageenan, tragacanth, locust bean gum, agar, guar gum, arabic gum, carboxymethyl cellulose, and pectin. The use of such polysaccharides is advantageous insofar as they contribute to an increased shelf life and softness of the sugar replacement composition employed in the present invention. If carrageenan is used as the soluble non-selective non- digestible polysaccharide, it is particularly preferred to use kappa carrageenan. This polysaccharide is preferably used in an amount of from 0,05 to 2 weight% and more preferably in an amount of from 0.05 to 1 weight% and most preferably in an amount of from 0.3 to 0.7 weight%.

According to another preferred embodiment of this aspect of the present invention, catboxymethyl cellulose or a combination of carboxymethy] cellulose and microcrystalline cellulose is used as the soluble non-selective non-digestible polysaccharide component. This type of polysaccharide is advantageous because it contributes to the accomplishment of a desired viscosity in viscous food preparations, which matches that of food preparations containing sugar.

The use of such soluble non-selective non-digestible polysaccharides is advantageous insofar as it contributes to the beneficial health effect on the gastrointestinal tract of the consumer. This is because these polysaccharides are non-selectively fermented in the colon to yield short chain fatty acids, which are helpful in preventing colon cancer and give rise to further beneficial health effects. Additionally, the use of soluble non-selective non-digestible polysaccharides may also be advantageous in suppressing flatulence and laxative effects that may be caused by other components that may be employed in the compositions of the present invention (e.g. oligofructose or some polyols).

4.5.13 Sugar replacement composition components: further optional components

According to the present invention, it is furthermore possible to add yet further components, which may contribute to the advantageous properties of the improved sugar composition of the present invention (or which may reduce undesired effects of the sugar replacement composition). For instance, it is possible in. the context of the present invention to incorporate one or more anti-flatulence agents into the sugar replacement composition. As possible anti- flatulence agents, the following may be mentioned: dimethicone, activated charcoal, simethicone (i.e. dimethicone activated by Si0 2 ), chili, capsaicin, garlic, ginger, krachai, lemon grass and tumeric.

According to another embodiment, it is possible to incorporate an anti-caking agent into the sugar replacement compositions employed in the present invention. A typical anti-caking agent suitable for use in the present invention is Si0 2 . According to yet another embodiment, it is possible to incorporate allulose (also known as D- psicose) as a further sweetening ingredient. This component is available under the brand name Dolcia Prima from Tate & Lyle. It has a sweetness of 70% of sugar. If it is incorporated, the amount of high intensity sweetener or sweetness enhancer may be reduced accordingly to attain the desired target sweetness.

Further optional ingredients are vitamins, minerals and health promoting bacteria. Among the vitamins, vitamins A, B, C, E and K may for instance be used as optional components. As minerals, the following elements may for instance be used: Ca, Mg s K, P, Se, Fe and Zn. As health promoting bacteria, the following may for instance be used: probiotic species of the genera bifidobacterium and lactobacilliis.

The relative amounts of these components are not particularly limited as long as these optional components do not interfere with the sugar replacement-characteristics of the composition of the present invention.

4,6 Manufacture of improved sugar compositions

4.6.1. Mixing

The improved sugar compositions of the present invention can be manufactured by any suitable method involving at least the step of mixing sugar with polydextrose and/or resistant maltodextrin. If further ingredients are present in the sugar replacement composition, these are also mixed with sugar. There is no limitation concerning the relative order of the mixing steps. It is, for instance, possible to first prepare a sugar replacement composition by mixing the ingredients of the sugar replacement composition, followed by mixing the sugar replacement composition with sugar. Alternatively, sugar and all ingredients of the sugar replacement composition may be simultaneously mixed. Yet another option is to sequentially mix individual ingredients of the sugar replacement composition with sugar and with each other, wherein the relative order of the individual mixing steps is not limited.

The above-mentioned mixing can be performed in the solid state or in the liquid state. If solids are mixed, this can. be done in any conventionally used mixer, including ribbon blender, V Blender, continuous processor, cone screw blender, screw blender, double cone blender, planetary mixer, double planetary mixer, high viscosity mixer, high shear rotor stator, dispersion mixers, paddle mixer, jet mixer, drum, blenders, banbury mixer, intermix mixer, etc.

Mixing in the liquid state can be done relying on any suitable liquid medium. It is preferred to use an aqueous medium and it is particularly preferred to use water as the medium.

The resulting mixture may be used as such as an improved sugar composition of the present invention, e.g. in the form of a powdery or particulate mixture or in the form of an aqueous solution containing said mixture. Such uses may be advantageous in particular for industrial applications. Alternatively, the resulting mixture may be further processed to obtain improved sugar products of the present invention. Such further processing steps are described below.

4.6.2 Agglomeration / Granulation / Spray drying

In another embodiment of the present invention, the above-mentioned solid mixture resulting from the mixing step may be subjected to an agglomeration, granulation and/or spray drying process.

There are no specific limitations as to the types of agglomeration process and/or types of granulation process and/or types of spray drying process that can be used.

A preferred agglomeration method is press agglomeration. Other agglomeration methods are also suitable for use in the present invention.

The sugar replacement composition of the present invention may be granulated to improve its handling and to reduce the formation of dust during usage. Granulation is typically effected by stirring the components of the present invention with small quantities of a suitable solvent. A preferred granulation method is wet granulation. The granulation liquid is not particularly restricted. The use of an aqueous liquid is preferred and the use of water is even more preferred but alternative solvents may also be used. Another preferred granulation method employs an aqueous solution of dispersion of a suitable binder substance, as commonly used for instance in the pharmaceutical industry, e.g. corn starch, a cellulose derivative such as methyl cellulose or gelatin. A particularly preferred wet granulation method is fluid bed granulation. Other granulation methods, such as dry granulation, etc., can also be used. According to another preferred embodiment, granulation is performed by liquid spraying. In this embodiment, it is preferable to use a spraying liquid that contains water and 0.05 to 0.2 weight% of a binder, wherein the binder is selected from cellulose and cellulose derivatives. According to a particularly preferred embodiment, the spraying liquid contains water and 0.05 to 0.2 weight%, most preferably 0.1 weight% of methyl cellulose. These preferred and more preferred embodiments are advantageous due to their reduced hygroscopieity. Weight% indications for the spraying liquid characterize the amount incorporated into the sugar replacement composition and are based on. the total weight of the sugar replacement composition being 100 weight%.

According to another advantageous embodiment in connection, with any of the above or below embodiments, it is possible to incorporate the high intensity sweetener into the spraying liquid. This option has the advantage of permitting more accurate control of the weight of high intensity sweetener that is incorporated into the sugar replacement composition of the present invention.

The particle sizes after granulation are typically in the range of from 0.1 to 2.5 mm and more preferably 0.2 to 1.5 mm.

A preferred spray drying method includes the formation of a solution or a dispersion of the improved sugar composition in a. suitable solvent, which is subsequently sprayed into a drying chamber where droplets are formed and the solvent contained in the individual, droplets is evaporated. The solvent is preferably an aqueous solvent and most preferably water.

4.5.3 Crystallization

As an alternative to agglomeration/granulation, it is possible to crystallize the mixture obtained in the above-mentioned mixing step. If the mixture is obtained in liquid form, crystallization can be effected using the liquid mixture as such. If the mixture is obtained in solid form, it is dissolved in a first sub-step in a suitable crystallization solvent. The crystallization solvent is not particularly limited. In a preferred embodiment, aqueous liquids are used. The use of water is particularly preferred. Dissolution is preferably effected under stirring conditions. It is also preferred to heat the crystallization solvent/resulting solution, for instance to a temperature in the range of from 20° Celsius to 95 °C, preferably 30°C to 70°C and more preferably 35°C to 55°C, wherein the heating temperature should be equal (reflux conditions) or less than the boiling point of the solvent. The relative amount of crystallization solvent is not particularly limited as long as it is sufficient to permit the formation of a clear solution at the chosen, temperature conditions. It is preferred to use as little crystallization solvent as possible, for instance not more than 20% of the crystallization solvent more ' than the amount, which is required to obtain a clear solution, more preferably not more than 10% more than the required minimum amount for obtaining a clear solution. Most preferably, the amount of crystallization solvent exceeds the minimum required amount for obtaining a clear solution by 0-5%.

After formation of the solution, crystals are formed in a next sub-step. The formation of crystals can be accomplished by cooling, evaporation and/or active nucleation by scratching the container and/or addition of seed crystals.

In a further sub-step, the crystals are separated from the mother liquor. Any method for solid- liquid separation known in the art can be employed, for instance filtration, centrifugation, etc. The resulting product can optionally be washed and/or dried.

The crystallization process can be carried out continuously or as a batch- wise process. 4.7 Properties

The improved sugar composition of the present invention is characterized by the following advantageous properties.

(a) Sweetness

The improved sugar composition of the present invention may exhibit a sweetness that is comparable to the sweetness of sugar (either on a weight basis or on a volume basis). According to other embodiments of the present invention, the improved sugar composition has a sweetness that is lower than the sweetness of sugar and typically in the range of from 50 % to 95% of the sweetness of sugar preferably in the range of from 70 to 90% of the sweetness of sugar and more preferably in the range of from 75% to 85% of the sweetness of sugar (on a weight basis).

(b) Structural characteristics of sugar

The improved sugar composition of the present invention has, at least in some aspects, the same structural characteristics as sugar. This means that it allows to accomplish the same sponge-like structure in bakery products and to accomplish the same viscous structure in jams, ice creams and sorbets.

(c) Browning Effect

At least in some embodiments, the improved sugar compositions of the present invention give rise to a. browning effect upon heating, which is comparable to that of sugar when being used in caramelization and/or in bakery products. As explained above, the degree of browning can be fine-tuned by adjusting the relative amount of oligosaccharide components such as oligoiructose in relation to the polysaccharide components. Moreover, addition of wheat fibers may also be contemplated in this fine-tuning process.

(d) Low caloric value

The improved sugar compositions of the present invention are generally characterized by reduced caloric values. Preferred embodiments of the present invention employ sugar replacement compositions having caloric values of 100 kcal/100 g or less and preferably 80 kcal/100 g. Of course, the caloric value of the improved sugar composition depends on the weight ratio between sugar and sugar replacement composition.

(e) Low glyeemic index

The improved sugar compositions of the present invention are furthermore better suitable for use by diabetic patients as normal table sugar because they are characterized by a lower glyeemic index. The glycemic index of the sugar replacement compositions employed in the improved sugar compositions of the present invention is typically in the range of from 0 to 40 and preferably in the range of 10 to 30. The glycemic index of the improved sugar compositions of the present invention also depends on the weight ratio between sugar and sugar replacement composition.

(f) Additional health benefits

The use of one or more prebiotic fibers in the present invention contributes to a healthy gastrointestinal tract of the consumer. That is, the growth of beneficial probiotic bacteria is advantageously supported by the consumption of the improved sugar composition of the present invention. Additionally, consumption of the sugar replacement components in. the improved sugar composition of the present invention contributes to the formation of short chain fatty acids in the gastrointestinal tract of the consumer. These acids are advantageous in reducing pH of the gastrointestinal tract and especially the colon in an advantageous mariner. This leads to improved uptake of Ca and Mg and to a reduction of the risk of colon cancer. Further benefits are increased faecal bulk, reduced transit time and softer stools.

Yet another beneficial health effect is the reduced cariogenicity of the improved sugar composition of the present invention as compared to conventional sugar. Said reduced cariogenicity is accomplished in particular in those embodiments of the present invention, wherein neither inulin nor oligofructose are contained and wherein, a high amount of sugar is replaced by the sugar replacement composition.

4,8 Uses

4.8.1 Consumer product

The improved sugar compositions of the present invention may be used by the end consumer as a substitute for sugar. For such applications, it is advantageous to provide an improved sugar composition in accordance with the present invention, which has about the same sweetness as that of sugar. Local consumer habits should be considered in. this respect. For instance, in. many European countries, bakery recipes are provided wherein the amount of sugar is indicated on a weight basis. For such countries, it is preferred to provide an improved sugar composition of the present invention, which exhibits the same sweetness as that of sugar on a weight basis. Conversely, in the United States, many bakery recipes are provided with volume-based indications for the amounts of ingredients. In view of such local preferences,, it is also preferred to provide the improved sugar compositions of the present invention having a sweetness about the same as the sweetness of sugar on a volume basis. Such products may be marketed in the United States and similar countries.

Of course, it is also possible to offer a reduced sweetness product to end consumers. In. this case, the degree of sweetness should be clearly indicated on the product label.

For end consumer use, it is particularly advantageous to provide an improved, sugar composition of the present invention, which is capable of achieving as many functional properties of sugar as possible. Advantageous improved sugar compositions of the present invention contain, for instance, the compositions (el) to (el 14) of embodiment B.

4.8.2 Bakery products

The improved sugar composition of the present invention may be used, not only by end consumer when making bakery products, but also by commercial producers of bakery producers. In both instances, it is vital to provide an improved sugar composition exhibiting excellent structural effects and browning effects. Advantageous improved sugar compositions of the present invention for this use are, for instance, the compositions (e73) to (e78) and (e97) to (el 14) of embodiment B.

4.8.3 Ice Cream and Sorbet

When using the improved sugar composition of the present invention for the manufacture of ice creams and sorbets, it is advantageous to use an improved sugar composition that provides excellent structural effects to accomplish satisfactory viscosity of the ice cream and sorbet to be produced. Advantageous improved sugar compositions of the present invention for this use are, for instance, the compositions (e61 ) to (e66) and (e97) to (e l 14) of embodiment B.

4.8.4 Chocolate

The following ingredients are typically used, as essential ingredients in the manufacture of chocolate products according to the present invention: • Cocoa mass

• Cocoa butter

• Emulsifying agent

• Sugar replacement composition of the present invention

Cocoa mass (sometimes referred to as cocoa liquor) can be of any commercially used type. Cocoa butter can also be of any commercially used type.

According to one embodiment of the present application, it is possible to replace the cocoa butter by another source of fat such as partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.

The emulsifying agent can also be selected among all commercially used types. A typical example is lecithin and especially soy lecithin.

In addition to the above essential ingredients, it is iiirthermore possible to use additional optional ingredients, for instance to modify taste or organoleptic properties There is no limitation on such optional further ingredients (except that no sugar alcohol is to be used). Frequently used optional ingredients are milk or milk powder, vanilla flavor, salt, nuts,, etc.

The following table characterizes typical amounts of the essential ingredients (in weight%):

Chocolate is made according to the following process of the present invention: In a first step, essential ingredients and optionally present further ingredients are provided. Ingredients may be provided separately or in the form of pre-mixes. According to one embodiment, emulsifying agent and/or part of the cocoa butter are not added in the first step but only at a later stage. It is preferred to add the emulsifying agent at a later step, namely after conching. Even more preferably, the entire amount of lecithin as well as a part of the cocoa butter are added later, after the conching step.

In a next step, the ingredients are mixed. Mixing can take place simultaneously or sequentially, wherein the relative order of mixing the individual ingredients is not particularly limited. It is advantageous to mix the ingredients simultaneously. Mixing is typically done at elevated temperatures, A preferred temperature range is from 30 to 60 °C and more preferably

The mixture or the initially employed ingredients is/are optionally refined, i.e. milled or grinded to reduce particle size to thereby improve organoleptic properties. Of course, no grinding is necessary if the ingredients are provided already in the form of l ne particles, typically having a particle size of less than 50 μηι. Any conventionally used refinement device can be employed, such as the Exakt 80S 3-rol. The temperature of the refiner rolls is advantageously set to a temperature of about 32-38°C, more preferably 34-36°C. Refinement can be performed, one or more times. Number of refinement steps (e.g., one step), distance between the refiner rolls (e.g. 2-1 ) and the speed of the refiner rolls (e.g. 400 rpm) are preferably chosen such that the volume weighted average diameter is preferably in the range of from 7 to 20 μιη and more preferably 10 to 15 μοι. The 50th percentile, i.e. where 50% of the particles is smaller than this value, is preferably in the range of from 4 to 12 μιη and more preferably 6 to 10 μιη. The total refining time is preferably 5 to 45 min, more preferably 10 to 30 min and most preferably 20 min.

Subsequently, the mixture is conched, i.e. refined under the influence of heating and grinding forces. The duration of the conching operation can have a strong influence on the quality of the resulting chocolate. Typical conching durations are from 60 to 720 min, preferably 180 to 300 min. The conching temperature is typically in the range of from 40 °C to 90 ° , more preferably 40 °C to 80°C. In a particularly preferred embodiment, conching is performed in different stages at step-wise increased temperatures. For instance, the conching procedure may comprise 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 or more steps. Advantageously, the first step is carried out at a low temperature, for instance a temperature in the range of from 40 °C to 50 °C, whereas the temperature in the subsequent steps is gradually increased, for instance by 3-15 °C per step, preferabl 5-10°C per step. When manufacturing chocolate with the improved sugar compositions of the present invention, it is preferred to increase the temperature in the conching process as slowly as possible. Preferably, temperature at each conching step is maintained at a fixed temperature and temperature increases are effected at transition points between steps. The duration of individual steps may typically range from 15 min to 120 min; it is preferably in the range of from 20 min to 100 min. It is furthermore preferred to reduce the amount of lecithin in the beginning of the conching process as much as possible.

After conching, emulsifying agent such as lecithin and/or part of the cocoa butter may be added to and mixed with the warm mixture (unless all these ingredients have already been added at an earlier stage). The mixing conditions are not particularly restricted. Typical conditions are a temperature in the range from. 40 to 50 °C, preferably 43 to 47 °C, mixing speed in the range from 1200 to 3600 rpm, more preferably 2000 to 2800 rpm. Duration of mixing is preferably in. the range of from 15 to 45 min. It is furthermore preferred to carry out a first part of the mixing procedure under shear conditions and the second part: under mixing conditions.

Subsequently, the warm mixture is preferably tempered. This process includes application of a controlled program of heating/cooling/agitation steps to thereby ensure formation of small crystals of the desired fat crystal form. There is no particular limitation on the tempering treatment. It is preferred that tempering is carried out such that the tempc index (ΤΓ). as measured on an Aasted Mikroverk Ch.ocom.eter, is in the range of from 3.3 to 5.2, preferably in the range of from 3.5 to 5.0. This parameter is derived from the slope of the plateau in the temper curve. The value of the slope should be around 0 (slope »0: undertempered chocolate, slope « 0; overtempered chocolate). It is furthermore preferred to carry out tempering such that the chocolate tempering unit (CTU) is greater than 20 °C, preferably greater than 23 °C, especially in case of dark chocolate. The CTU parameter gives the temperature at which the plateau occurs in the temper curve. Higher values are associated with the presence of more stable crystals (β ν crystals).

After tempering, the chocolate is typically cooled and brought into the desired shape. When manufacturing a chocolate with the improved sugar compositions of the present invention, it is preferable to use an improved sugar composition of the present invention having a low moisture content. Preferably,, the moisture content is 3.5 weigh t% or less, more preferably 3 weigtit% or less, most preferably 2.5 weight% or less.

It is furthermore preferred to manufacture the chocolate of the invention such that it exhibits a favourable melting profile. The melting profile of the inventive chocolate can be evaluated 24 hours after tempering by using a TA Instruments Q1000 Differential Scanning Calorimeter

(DSC). The sample should be subjected to the following time-temperature profile:

Equilibration at 22°C

Isothermal for 5 min

- Heating to 7f)°C at 5°C/min

Onset temperature (i.e. start of melting), a maximum temperature and an offset temperature (i.e. end of melting) are preferably in the following ranges:

Onset temperature 2-8 °C lower than maximum temperature, preferably 4-7 °C lower than maximum temperature;

- Maximum temperature 30-36 °C, preferably 31 -35 °C;

- Offset temperature 1 to 4 °C higher than maximum temperature, preferably 1 to 3 °C higher than, maximum temperature.

The texture of the inventive chocolate can. be measured at 20°C, 24 hours after tempering, A penetration test can be performed by using an Instron 5942 texture analyzer equipped with a 500N load cell. In this test, the chocolate bars are penetrated, with a needle-shaped probe at a constant speed of 2 mm s and to a penetration depth of 5 mm. The maximum force that the probe experiences during the measurement is a measure for the hardness of the inventive chocolate. The maximum force of the inventive chocolate is preferably in the range of from 5 to 25 N, more preferably in the range of from 7 to 20 N and most preferably in the range of

The above-mentioned compositions (e55) to (c60) and (e97) to (el 14) of embodiment B are advantageously used for chocolate applications.

4.8.5 Other desserts Mousses, creams and related desserts can also be manufactured using the improved sugar composition, of the present invention. In this case, it is advantageous to select an improved sugar composition of the present invention with excellent structural characteristics to optimize the viscosity of the product. Advantageous improved sugar compositions of the present invention for this use are, for instance, the compositions (el ) to (e24) and (e97) to (el 14) of embodiment B.

4.7.6 Non-sweet foods

The improved sugar compositions of the present invention may also find application in non- sweet foods. This may be advantageous, for instance, in view of the structural properties of the improved sugar compositions of the present invention. Possible applications are, for instance, ketchup, salad dressings and sauces for readymade foods. For such uses in non- sweet foods, it may be particularly advantageous to employ improved sugar compositions of the present invention, which exhibit only a reduced sweetness in comparison with the sweetness of sugar, e.g. a sweetness of from 10% to 70% of the sweetness of sugar. Advantageous improved sugar compositions of the present invention for this use are, for instance, the compositions (dl) to (d 14) of embodiment B.

4.8.7 Beverages

When using the improved sugar compositions of the present invention in beverages, the structural characteristics and browning effects of the improved sugar composition of the present invention are of less relevance. Instead, the main focus of the improved sugar composition will be on its sweetening properties and its health benefits. Advantageous improved sugar compositions of the present invention for this use are, for instance, the compositions (el) to (el 14) of embodiment B.

4.8.8 Chewing gum and, related sweets

Depending on the type of chewing gum/ sweet to be manufactured, structural characteristics of the improved sugar composition of the present, invention may or may not be of relevance. The above-mentioned health benefits are certainly advantageous. Sweetness will in most applications be of importance, too. Advantageous improved sugar compositions of the present invention for this use are, for instance, the compositions (el) to (el 14) of embodiment B. 4.9 Example

4.9.1 Example for embodiment A

An improved sugar composition of the present invention is manufactured by mixing sugar with a sugar replacement composition comprising the following ingredients in the amounts specified below:

The sweetness of the resulting sugar replacement composition is approximately the same as that of sugar on a weight basis. It is mixed, with sugar in a sugar: sugar replacement composition weight ratio of 90:10.

4.9.2 Example for embodiment B

An improved sugar composition of the present invention is manufactured by mixing sugar with a sugar replacement composition comprising the following ingredients in the amounts specified below:

The sweetness of the resulting sugar replacement composition is approximately the same as that of sugar on a weight basis. It is mixed with sugar in a sugar: ugar replacement composition weight ratio of 90:10.