PepsiCo, Cargill file new sweetener patents

Cargill and PepsiCo are exploring new sweeteners derived from a South African plant and oats, respectively.

PepsiCo’s patent, filed by its Quaker Oats unit, describes a sweetener extracted by treating oats with an enzyme, then drying the resulting oat flower. The resulting natural sweetener, the application said, will be “sufficiently sweet to allow it to be used as a supplement or replacement for sweeteners such as sucrose or sucrose substitutes.”

While the sweetener seems to be aimed at foods like oatmeal and pudding – which is appropriate to the corner of the business the patent emerged from – the patent application noted that it could also be used in beverages.

Cargill, meanwhile, has explored a new low-calorie sweetener derived from a plant native to South Africa. In a claim reminiscent of stevia-based sweeteners, Cargill’s application noted that certain isolations of the plant’s chemicals could have potential as an individual sweetener or as part of a blend.

The ingredients giant claims that monatin would have no bitter, metallic or astringent aftertaste, be more stable than aspartame, have a cleaner taste than saccharin and more sweetness than sucralose.

The patent applications arrive at a time when consumers have increasingly sought lower calorie offerings and natural sweeteners, fueling a resurgence in table-sugar-sweetened formulations and the rise of stevia-based sweeteners.