Exciting Updates to Our Recipes
Here at ChipMonk, we believe in doing what’s best for our health and for you, our Customers, while staying true to our mission of empowering people through mindful nutrition. To do this, we’re making some changes to our recipe that we’re very excited to share with you. Unfortunately, these changes will temporarily slow our ability to make and sell our products to you. We’ll be back in action ASAP bringing you the low-carb, tasty treats you crave!
So, What’s Happening?
A key component of our desserts is the sweetener. We are never going to add sugar to any of our products. Instead, we use clean, safe alternatives that provide the sweet flavor you expect in desserts, without any of the side effects associated with sugar.
When we started, we chose to use a blend of monk fruit and erythritol. The blend is delicious, has zero blood sugar impact, and bakes very well, but over the months we heard some concerning feedback from our Customers:
- The erythritol caused a cooling effect or an aftertaste. While some Customers did not find this to be a problem (some enjoyed the novelty of the effect), others complained about how overpowering the effect was. In some ways, the cooling mouthfeel of the erythritol drowned out other flavors that we wanted present in our desserts.
- Erythritol, eaten in large quantities (30g or more), is known to cause bloating and stomach issues. It’s classified as a FODMAP, a short-chain carb that is resistant to digestion. It reacts with your gut bacteria producing hydrogen gas and causing digestive symptoms in sensitive individuals.
After hearing about these issues, we immediately decided to identify an alternative sweetener without the side effects. Luckily, we stumbled upon allulose and plan on using it to replace all erythritol in our products.
What Is Allulose?
Allulose is classified as a "rare sugar" because it is naturally present in a handful of foods. Wheat, figs, maple syrup, and raisins all contain it.
It has the same chemical formula as fructose (sugar) but is arranged differently. Your body is unable to process it in the same way it processes sugar. Because of this, allulose only has 0.4 calories per gram (1/10 the calories of sugar!) and it does not raise blood sugar or insulin levels.
Allulose has no known side effects and is one the of foods generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the US Food and Drug Administration. The FDA recently ruled that allulose does not need to be listed as sugar on nutrition labels, and instead marked as a carbohydrate.
Unlike erythritol, allulose has been shown to resist fermentation by your gut bacteria, minimizing the likelihood of bloating, gas, or other digestive problems, and it does not have the same cooling effect / aftertaste.
The taste and texture have been described as identical to table sugar. It is about 70% as sweet as sugar, similar to the sweetness of erythritol. Due to its lower sweetness, we blend the allulose with pure monk fruit extract to achieve a healthier, safe, and delicious sweetener for our desserts.
For a quick overview of the characteristics of allulose, erythritol, and monk fruit, check out the chart below. We’ve also done a lot more research on allulose and summarized it on our blog post here: What Is Allulose?
What’s Next For ChipMonk Then?
We’re confident that allulose is the best sweetener for our Customers, and we plan on implementing it across all our recipes as soon as possible. We’ve even hired a local UH professor with a Ph.D. in Food Science to help us through the reformulation process.
In baking, allulose behaves differently than erythritol, so you can expect our product to change in texture and taste. So far, our testing has shown that cookies made with allulose come out more “cake-like” and fluffy. In general, allulose mixes in better and leaves less of a “crunchy” mouthfeel. Allulose also attracts moisture, so, to compensate, many of our recipes will use less butter or coconut oil leading to better overall nutrition, and calories.
Check out the pictures below to see some of the progress we’ve made so far in the test kitchen. You can see in the first picture how our original cookie compares to some of the potential newly formulated ones.
Overall, we’re very excited about the changes and are confident that we’ll be able to deliver an even better product! We’re hard at work to bring about changes that both you and we will benefit from in both our health and in our sweet tooth. We look forward to sharing the final results with you.
As we go through this process, we are extremely thankful for the support of our friends, family, and you, our Customers, and would love to hear your feedback along the way to make sure we hit the mark!