We know a lot of people that don’t seem to mind the taste of “diet” soda’s. Maybe it’s an acquired taste or just a compromise people are willing to take. We are not one of those people. To us, we can’t stand the taste of sugar free drinks. From the artificial choices like aspartame and sucralose to the hugely popluar stevia, the lingering aftertaste is just awful.

Then with some health issues in our family, we thought we would have to give up on soda forever. Thankfully, there have been a ton of fun and interesting flavored sparkling waters to choose from and some lower sugar content beverages as well. But we still craved a soda once in a while.

Our family went down a deep rabbit hole of research on sugar and alternatives. Reasearching numerous studies, FDA GRAS notices and watching documentaries. The sugar industry, battle against fat (linkage to heart disease) and it’s role in our health and wellness is fascinating. If you are curious about how “sweetness” is perceived, there is a great episode of Explained (Season 3, Episode 1) that is definitely worth watching. You’ll get an idea on why different sweeteners “taste” different as you learn about the temporal profile of various sweeteners.

The more we researched, the more we settled on just a handful of worthwhile sweeteners to evaluate:

  • Allulose
  • Erythritol
  • Monk Fruit
  • Stevia Reb A & Reb M

There are pro’s and cons to each ingredient and tons of experimentation to develop our perfect mix. We ended up ruling out Stevia Reb A. Even when using Reb A in small amounts, we still got that darn lingering aftertaste. Although it was very subtle.

We also heavily explored erythritol vs allulose. They have similar properties but we found more beneficial studies for allulose with properties for managing glucose levels and even probiotic benefits. Plus, we were not crazy about using a sugar alcohol. 

Hundreds of drink mixes as well as batches of brownies, cookies and muffins and we feel we found our “perfect” sweetener. Tons of failures, broken sodastream (by the way, carbonating anything other than water can lead to messy explosions), and gross concoctions. Measuring Stevia and especially pure V50 Monk Fruit requires a microgram since it is 300x as sweet as sugar.

With this important step complete, we are now ready to move to professional formulation. We interviewed several beverage formulators and signed a contract with a market leader that really understood our goals and importance of allulose (relatively new ingredient that some were not familiar with).

A professional formulation company is needed as they develop a true scalable formulation that includes proper flavorings, fda approved ingredients, proper pasteurization, precise carbonation levels, shelf life testing and certifications. It’s also helpful to have a professional formulation complete when we move to the next steps of finding a contract manufacturer to actually make AlluSoda.

It’s been a long journey so far but we feel we have truly developed the absolute best tasting sugar-free soda in existence. Sounds almost crazy that we wanted to drink a good tasting soda so bad, we are inventing one!

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