DouxMatok is the first company to have developed a real sugar-based sugar-reduction solution, which achieves enhanced perception of sweetness while using less sugar. Its first product is Incredo® Sugar. We chat with CEO, Ari Melamud, to find out more.
The company was formed in 2014 and the story behind it involves a man named Professor Avraham Baniel, who’s now aged over 100. He’s a famous chemist and professor who’s won many awards in Israel. He was 95 years old when he invented the technology behind our products – he’s incredible!
His son, Eran Baniel, then founded the company based on his father’s idea. He ran the company up until a few months ago before I took over as CEO.
When we talk about sugar, we must remember that sugar in itself isn’t so bad. However, the overconsumption of sugar has become a global health concern, killing millions of people with heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and more.
Sugar has been the core issue for many food industries for several decades. Sugar reduction is extremely complex, which is why so many companies weren’t successful. One of the reasons it’s so complex is because while people understand the negative effects of too much sugar, they’re not prepared to sacrifice “taste.”
There have been many substitutes for sugar, such as xylitol, stevia, monk fruit, and others, but they’re not sugar, and therefore the taste is different. As a result, the sweetness profile of the product is altered.
Our unique solution to reducing sugar is to use real sugar. Our sugar is sweeter – so we’re able to reduce the quantities of sugar used while maintaining the same flavor. Depending on the application, we can reduce the sugar content by between 30-50%.
This was our first product. We produce our sugar in exactly the same way as other sugars are manufactured.
The only difference is that at the end of the production process, where the liquids are dried to form sugar crystals, we make a physical change in the structure of the crystals. This change allows the crystals to break more quickly and therefore dissolve more quickly.
We have more than forty patents today, and they’re all based on how we form our crystals during this final process of production. It’s important to remember that it’s simply a physical change in the structure of the crystal and that there are no additives or additional chemical processes used.
Our technology currently works best with dry applications such as baked goods, cereals, and fat-based applications like chocolate and chocolate spreads.
As our technology revolves around how fast the sugar dissolves compared to normal sugar, it’s not yet suitable for liquid-based or, more specifically, water-based applications.
In addition to the challenge of maintaining the same taste as sugar, it’s also important to mention that sugar adds bulk and texture to recipes. If you’re baking a cake and you reduce the sugar content by half, you’re going to end up with something more like pita bread, and not a cake. This was another big challenge in the creation of our product.
Often with sugar replacements, something else needs to be added to the recipe to maintain that bulk. After years of R&D with the best team of food scientists available, we came up with solutions (other than sugar) to add back into the formula.
These are healthy ingredients such as fibers and proteins, and once added to the sugar, ensure that the final product is the same texture and taste as before the sugar was reduced.
If we take the hundred billion dollar sugar industry globally, you can imagine that swapping to our sugar would have a significantly lower impact on the environment. We can cut the impact by 40-50%, including growing the sugarcane, the size of refineries, the transportation of millions of tons of sugar, and warehousing.
The potential to replace sugar as a whole is huge. Even if we could take 10-20% of the market, we’re talking about a huge chunk of sugar globally.
We’re on a mission to reduce sugar consumption worldwide and make the world healthier while keeping it as “tasty” as it is today. This is a huge challenge, but we have great technology and we’re fully commercialized.
Our products made with Incredo®Sugar, are already on the shelves in Israel. We have a team in the US and we’re currently launching over there, as we speak. We’re in negotiations with many food companies worldwide, so our next focus is to launch in the US, then we’ll penetrate the European, and Asian/Pacific markets from there.
Within the next two years, Incredo® Sugar will be available to food markets across the world. We’re going global!