Amino acids based sweetener Neotame is 8,000 to 13,000 times sweeter than sugar and is a patented product of the NutraSweet Co USA. Ensigns is one of the leading manufacturer of Sweetos, low calorie sweeteners for the food industry. Together the two companies have launched this sweetener to be added to cattle feed.
Presently, molasses is used as a feed sweetener to mask the low palatable taste of certain non-conventional feed ingredients. But, the prices of molasses have sky rocketed due to its use as a raw material in alcohol production and other chemical manufacturing industries. Besides, there are stringent regulatory measures for purchase and use of molasses.
"Sweetos is an economical substitute for molasses. Sweetos guarantees the masking of unpleasant tastes and odour and improves the palatability of feed. This product will be economical for farmers and manufacturers of cattle feed. It can also be used in mineral mixture," said Craig Petray, CEO, The NutraSweet Company.
Sweetos is 20 per cent cheaper than molasses, which costs Rs 14 per kg. While Sweetos is priced at Rs 11 per kg, which is available in both powder and liquid form. Ensigns' has a manufacturing facility at Wagholi, where the company manufactures low calorie sweeteners for the food and beverage (F&B) industry containing sucralose. "We are in talks with the animal husbandry department to reach out to farmers and are trying to tie up with extension services with co-operative societies as well. Cattle consume more fodder when mixed with Sweetos. This product has great export potential as well," said Mohan Nair, chairman, Ensigns Helath Care.
The NutraSweet Company is looking at launching the same product in Brazil soon. It will also launch table-top sweeteners and products in India. India also has approved the usage of neotame in the F&B industry in July 2010. Ensigns, therefore, also plans to replace its sucralose based sweetening products with neotame soon.