With so much technical jargon out there it can get pretty confusing reading the ingredients list or nutritional table of any product! Complex words and scientific terminology we have never heard of makes it difficult to determine what each ingredient actually is, what are its features and benefits and more importantly, why are they included in our products.
Today we want to break down the ingredient thaumatin and give you the inside scoop on what it is, where it comes from and what it’s used for. Plus we will explain its benefits and why we have chosen to add it to some of your Happy Way faves.
SO WHAT IS THAUMATIN AND WHERE DOES IT COME FROM?
Thaumatin is a natural sweetener that is used to sweeten up a variety of foods and drinks. It is sourced from the katemfe fruit, Thaumatococcus daniellii, which is found in the West African rainforests. The fruit is a red/orange colour, and contains 1-3 black seeds which are surrounded by a gel like substance. The aril, which is the membranous sac, is what contains the thaumatin.
Thaumatin is considered a protein and not a carbohydrate, unlike a lot of other natural sweeteners, and contains 4 calories per gram. Its level of sweetness is rather potent in comparison to sugar and therefore only a tiny amount needs to be added when used to sweeten foods. It’s considered 2000-3000 times sweeter than sugar, but does not contribute calories to a diet.
WHAT IS THAUMATIN USED FOR?
Being that it is a natural source of sweetness, you will find thaumatin in many products including several of our Happy Way protein powders. It is also used in cooking, flavouring palm wine and as a healthy alternative to sugary treats. Thaumatin has become very popular in Europe and Japan and it’s used throughout many diet drinks and snack foods.
Thaumatin is often used to mask bitterness and enhance flavours, and although its sweetness level is quite strong, it does build slowly. You may struggle finding thaumatin in the baking aisle of your local supermarket, but you may get lucky in some of the natural/organic grocery stores.
IS THAUMATIN GOOD FOR ME?
Thaumatin has been used for centuries, is considered a safe ingredient and has been tested for safety previously on both humans and animals. Being that it is a protein, it’s metabolised in the body the same way as any other protein, which is different from a lot of other sweeteners. Studies have shown that it does not impact blood sugar levels like other sweeteners can, nor does it affect body weight. It is for this reason that it is good for those that are diabetic or monitoring their glucose levels. Table sugar on the other hand can add a lot more calories to a diet and offer very little in the way of nutrition, except for boosting energy.
WHY ARE WE USING THAUMATIN IN OUR PRODUCTS?
Because we pride ourselves on being 100% natural at Happy Way, we only want to use ingredients in our products that are wholesome, nutritious and provide benefits to our customers. We don’t use any artificial sweeteners (artificial sugar), flavours or additives in our products and this is why we have chosen to use thaumatin in some of our protein powders. We want to deliver on that sweet taste you know and love, whilst still ensuring we provide you with the goodness and nutrition that your body deserves.