Israeli Food Tech Startup to Make Sugar Taste Twice as Sweet
Israeli greentech startup DouxMatok believes that they will revolutionize how manufacturers and consumers worldwide use sugar.
“DouxMatok’s technology will allow for a reduction of 30-60 percent of sugar in a product, depending on the application, and with no effect on taste,” CEO Eran Baniel told Tazpit News Agency.
Baniel added, “When we tested it in the UK, our product had the exact same taste profile as un-adapted sugar, with none of the aftertaste caused by artificial sweeteners.”
For health-conscious individuals with a sweet tooth, these are enticing promises.
In recognition of their breakthrough, Baniel’s company won “Best Company” at the “Agravest 2015” event, last week. Agravest, a yearly conference organized by Israel’s Ministry of Economy, Trendlines Agtech, and GreenSoil Investments, took place at the Weizmann Institute of Science.
Baniel, a serial entrepreneur, is hoping the exposure will now help the company raise $4 million in their second round of fundraising.
The product he speaks so enthusiastically about is a lab-based transformation of sugar, one which requires no artificial chemicals. The enhanced sugar, he claims, works by modifying how the molecules interact with the receptors on the tongue.
The gustatory system, through which the body perceives taste, is not a fully efficient process. When consuming food or drink with a sweet flavor, usually containing sugar syrup or powder, many of the sugar molecules move through the mouth and miss the sweet taste receptors.
Consumers ingest these sugar particles without registering their sweetness, and therefore the sweetness of the product as a whole. If people could taste every sugar molecule in a cup of regular soda, they would most likely find it inedible.
DouxMatok’s technology coats the sugar molecules on to organic carriers using a natural mineral, which transports multiple sugar molecules together to the taste receptors on the tongue.
The four-person company, based in Petach Tikvah, will soon be looking to find partners to go to market with. Instead of attempting to replace current sugar manufacturers, Baniel said, DouxMatok will aim to partner with them.
If the product works as well in application as it does in theory, it would not only boost the health profile of many food manufacturers’ products, but also save them significant expenditures on raw materials.
Baniel went on to claim that the product could work wonders for the health product market, with the carrier showing similar adaptability to work with Xylitol, a key component in toothpaste and mouthwash.
Baniel gave a large portion of credit for the innovative work to his father, Avraham, who is still going strong at 97 years old. “He was called up by Ben Gurion and Chaim Weizmann to start Israel’s industrial chemical industry, and he’s been going ever since,” Eran said of his father’s ever-sweet career.