WESTCHESTER, ILL. — Ingredion, Inc. and Matsutani Chemical Industry Co. Ltd. have entered into a relationship in which Ingredion will manufacture Astraea allulose in Mexico and market it across the Americas, beginning in 2019.

Astraea allulose has been shown to reduce calories from sucrose and other caloric sweeteners in a range of products, including beverages, dairy items, baked foods and confectionery items. Allulose is a rare sugar, one of the types of monosaccharides that exist in nature in small quantities. It is absorbed by the body but not metabolized. Allulose has a texture and performance behavior similar to sucrose as it provides comparable bulk, sweetness and functionality (examples being browning and freeze point depression).

Astraea brand allulose from Japan-based Matsutani was developed through the enzymatic isomerization of fructose via proprietary enzyme technology. It is 70% as sweet as sugar.

“Matsutani spent more than 15 years developing, researching and refining the world’s first rare sugars, including Astraea allulose,” said Yoshinobu Matsutani, executive vice-president at Matsutani.

Ingredion’s decision to manufacture and market Astraea allulose supports the company’s goal to grow its specialties business to $2 billion in annual sales by 2022.

“Reducing sucrose is an emerging global trend and can be a challenge for manufacturers, who are looking to match the sweet taste of sugar while achieving the same functional benefits in their products,” said Tony DeLio, senior vice-president of corporate strategy and chief innovation officer at Westchester-based Ingredion. “By combining our manufacturing network and global footprint alongside Matsutani’s pioneering work in rare sugars, we will bring exciting opportunities grounded in innovation to meet the needs of the evolving food industry ahead of sugar labeling changes.”