UPDATE: Kells Introduces Reduced Sugar Blends

Kells has assessed their existing range of cake blends and announces that the majority of the Kells Crème Cake range can be used to make bases that comply with the new PHE sugar reduction targets. Kells is an Irish family business that provides mixes for a range of bakery goods from flour blends to bread, scones, and cakes.

UPDATE: “Our Crème Cake blends are about reducing sugar intake in line with the Public Health England (PHE) targets and, if a baker wishes, to allow them to make sugar reduction claims for a product that still tastes great and answers some of the concerns about the impact of sugar on the health of the public,” Robert Mosse, MD of Kells told WorldBakers

When it comes to challenges of creating sweets with a low sugar content, the producer has to replace the creaming action of sugar in the mixing stage and the bulking action in the baking stage; then, they have to make sure the starch gelation occurs at the best stage of baking. “We also need to ensure that the cake structure is strong enough to give the texture that is expected and from a taste point of view, that no bitter tastes can be detected that the sugar would normally mask,” Mosse added.   

To give the best quality eating experience, Kells uses a corn fiber, wheat starch and oat flour-based solution to achieve the creaming and bulking action. From their expertise in cake recipe balance, the structure of the cake can be strengthened this way; natural flavors and chemical raising agents give a cleaner flavor, covering the bitter notes that emerge as sugar is reduced. 

Kells does not use artificial sweeteners, so the sweetness of the blend is boosted by natural flavoring, with sugar still forming part of the recipe. 

In the long run, the company says that it is possible that we will see an extension of sugar taxes beyond sweetened drinks to include other categories of sugary foods if health authorities and the public feel not enough progress is being made. If progress is deemed to be too slow, other courses of action might include restrictions on marketing sugary foods to some groups, like children, for example. “For both ethical and commercial reasons, just as in other sweet treat categories such as chocolate and sugar confectionery, it makes sense for cake makers to explore how they can build some form of sugar reduction into their plans for product development or product improvement. It is our role to not only assist customers with this, but to do it with as clean a label as possible,” Mosse told WorldBakers.

The New Range 

The mixes with reduced sugar content are Kells Crème Cake Blend, Kells Coffee Crème Cake Blend, Kells Lemon Flavour Crème Cake Blend, Kells Elderflower Flavour Crème Cake Blend and Kells Raspberry and Cream Flavour Crème Cake Blend.

When made to the recommended recipe, all the above blends produce cakes that have less than 27.9% sugar in the final bake, meeting the PHE target of 20%, the company explains. The mixes also have no artificial sweeteners, and the bakes have excellent structure and flavor.

In addition, Kells has recently launched their new lower sugar blend, which is available in their Plain Crème Cake blend. With more flavors due to be added, this mix has 13.8% sugar, making it 43% less than the standard Crème Cake Blend. This allows bakers to decorate the cakes as they would do usually, without compromise and still have 30% reduction in sugar, in comparison to a standard equivalent cake.

Kells also offers bespoke blends, which can be based on a customer recipe, but using Kells’ technologies to achieve the required sugar reduction.

Robert Mosse,  MD of Kells, says: “Across the industry, there is a growing trend to reduce sugar following PHE targets that were set in 2016. From this, we are seeing numerous food manufacturers making changes to their food and drink products. This is why it’s so important for us to make blends that meet PHE standards, but that still look and taste great. With our expertise in innovation, we are always happy to help our customers on their bespoke needs, which also includes our reduced sugar range.”

With the ever-growing obesity crisis being linked directly to the food we consume, Public Health England (PHE) have set specific targets for manufacturers, which they will need to comply with by 2020. One of them is to see a 20% reduction in sugar across items sold. Food Standard’s Agency has also released results from their Public Attitudes Survey, which showed that 50% of respondents were most worried about the sugar in their diet after it was ranked the number one food concern. This highlights that public attitudes are changing, and they are showing increased interest in what is in their food.

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