This All-Natural Solution Could Curb Our Sugar Addiction
With the use of a simple fungi, a Colorado-based startup has found a way to substitute sugar by creating a bitterness-blocker
Many food companies use sugar as a way of improving flavor or increasing the appeal of their product. However, there’s a new all-natural way to make food taste sweet without actually adding sugar or a sugar substitute. Myco Technology has been developing a way to get it out to the world.
The Colorado-based startup has found a way to use fungi molecules to block bitter tastes on a person’s tongue as they eat, meaning they’ll only taste the other flavor profiles of the food. The fungi in question is mycelium, the vegetative part of the fungus root found in the soil. It is totally flavorless so it doesn’t leave behind an aftertaste like saccharin and aspartame.
The mycelium is dried and then turned into a powder they have labelled ClearTaste, which is added to food while it is being prepared. The molecules stay on the tongue for ten seconds which is how long anything can stay on the tongue before saliva removes it. Those ten seconds appear to be enough to keep the consumer from tasting the bitterness in their food. Mycelium is FDA-approved and falls under the category of “natural flavors” often noted on products’ ingredients list. Australia has recently approved the fungus, while Japan and the European Union are still putting it through their health and safety processes.
Alan Hahn, co-founder and CEO of Myco Technology, tells Quartz that the company is working with yogurt and fruit cup companies to help replace the unpopular and unhealthy high-fructose corn syrup that these products typically use. While Hahn did not name all of the companies they are currently working with, he revealed they are working with Ardent Mills, one of the biggest flour companies in the United States.
The start-up has a contract with GLG Life Tech, one of the biggest producers of stevia, a sweetener that comes from the stevia plant, meaning that soon more products might be available to the general public.
Learn more about ClearTaste by watching the video below: