FAQs

Our Frequently Asked Questions section is your opportunity to answer the questions on your mind.
Explore some common FAQs below. If you do not see an answer to your question, contact us.

  • Q.

    What is TREHA®︎ ?

    A.

    TREHA®︎ is the brand name of trehalose, a plant-based food ingredient with the amazing natural ability to extend many different aspects of freshness in foods. Trehalose, which was first discovered by H.A.L. Wiggers in 1832 in an ergot of rye, exists in nature in many foods we eat (among them mushrooms, soybeans and baker’s yeast). But it wasn’t until more than 160 years later that the Japanese food ingredient company Hayashibara Co., Ltd. found a way to produce trehalose from starch in quantities that enable it to be marketed commercially.
    TREHA®︎ is a high purity trehalose. All TREHA®︎ distributed in the U.S. is derived from starch and is GRAS-designated, non-GMO*, Kosher- and Halal-certified.
    TREHA®︎ is the Japanese trade secret used in hundreds of Asian foods for decades. Though it’s a sugar (it looks almost exactly like regular table sugar), it’s not very sweet, which means it can be used to preserve freshness, enhance flavor and improve texture in both sweet and savory dishes—from rice bowls to breads and pastries to crudités to fried chicken strips and grab-and-go sandwiches. It’s an ingredient you won’t want to cook without once you see—and taste—for yourself what it can do for your food.
    *TREHA®︎ distributed in the U.S. and Canada is a Non-GMO Project verified product.
  • Q.

    What does TREHA®︎ do, exactly?

    A.

    TREHA®︎ keeps your foods looking and tasting fresh and appealing by maintaining their natural flavors, colors and aromas.
    Sugars are often used to preserve foods, but barely sweet TREHA®︎ (just 38% the sweetness of sucrose in a 5% solution) has exceptional water retention properties* that help keep your food moist and delicious.
    Because of its affinity for water, TREHA®︎ has a remarkable ability to naturally slow starch retrogradation (think fluffy rice that stays fluffy and bread that seems just-baked) and it maintains the natural structure of proteins and inhibits coagulation (imagine cooked eggs that keep their just-made freshness for hours). TREHA®︎ also helps inhibit discoloration or drying of fruits and vegetables, which means if you add TREHA®︎ to the water bath you put your cut carrots, celery and cucumbers in, they will stay fresh for hours. TREHA®︎ even protects food during freezing by increasing the freezing stability of food structures and reducing freeze/thaw damage.
    *among disaccharides (or “double sugars”)
  • Q.

    What form does it come in and how do I cook with it?

    A.

    TREHA®︎ comes in a crystalline form and looks almost exactly like table sugar (sucrose), which is also a naturally occurring disaccharide (or “double sugar”). Like table sugar, TREHA®︎ simply requires ambient storage—store at between 33.8°F/1°C and 86°F/30°C in a dry place out of direct sunlight, do not store with food or any materials with strong odors and do not compress (to prevent conglomeration). TREHA®︎ distributed in the U.S. has a shelf-life of three years, unopened.
    You can work with TREHA®︎ like you would with table sugar, but, because it is only 38% as sweet as sucrose, it’s suitable for both sweet and savory recipes.
    TREHA®︎ is a non-reducing sugar, so it doesn’t have the Maillard reaction (or “browning reaction”) that occurs between amino acids and reducing sugars in the presence of heat and results the in browning of food, giving browned food its distinctive flavor.
    TREHA®︎ is also exceptionally stable to heat and acid as compared to other sugars. It hardly caramelize (another form of “browning reaction”) like many sugars.
    Solubility of TREHA®︎ is similar to maltose, which is lower than sucrose.
    Though sucrose, and other disaccharides (or “double sugars”), have the ability to retain moisture, TREHA®︎ is the best at retaining moisture among disaccharides. It is because TREHA®︎’s natural geometry of molecules gives it an affinity for water molecules.
    TREHA®︎ has the ability to stabilize proteins, protect aromas, flavors and colors, as well as inhibiting starch retrogradation and reducing freeze-thaw damage. By replacing some of the sucrose in sweet recipes with TREHA®︎ you can increase the volume of cake, made with whipped eggs, while baking, give cookies a light crispness and increase the volume and flakiness of baked snacks.
    Because it’s not very sweet, TREHA®︎ can be used equally effectively in savory recipes to improve the softness and juiciness of cooked proteins, including chicken, shrimp, pork and beef, and to maintain color and texture in vegetables. These are just a few of the applications for multi-functional TREHA®︎. Please refer to the Usage Chart, Cost Savings Chart, Recipes and Case Studies areas of this site for more information and inspiration.
  • Q.

    Do you use the same amount in everything?

    A.

    In a word: no.
    Though you don’t need to use much of this ingredient to achieve excellent results, the optimal amount of TREHA®︎ differs based on the type of food and the desired result. Typically, you will want to use more TREHA®︎ in sweet recipes than in savory ones, and you can use TREHA®︎ to partially replace the table sugar you would normally use in your sweet recipes for benefits that include remarkable moistness.
    Please refer to the Usage Chart.
  • Q.

    What is it similar to?

    A.

    Table sugar (sucrose) is a disaccharide (or “double sugar”), and so is TREHA®︎. Though TREHA®︎ looks very similar to table sugar, functionally, it’s quite different.
    Because sucrose, and other disaccharides, have the ability to retain moisture, they can be used to preserve food, but TREHA®︎ is the best at retaining moisture among disaccharides. The natural geometry of TREHA®︎’s molecules gives it an affinity for water molecules.
    TREHA®︎ is a non-reducing sugar, so it doesn’t have the Maillard reaction (or “browning reaction”) that occurs between amino acids and reducing sugars in the presence of heat and results the in browning of food, giving browned food its distinctive flavor.
    TREHA®︎ is also exceptionally stable to heat and acid as compared to other sugars. It hardly caramelize (another form of “browning reaction”) like many sugars.
    TREHA®︎ has one of the highest glass transition temperatures (Tg) of all disaccharides. Foods that contain saccharides in the glass state are more effective in maintaining their shape and quality, which means they can have extended shelf-life. This, in combination with TREHA®︎’s ability to bind water, gives it the ability to stabilize and preserve proteins, lipids and carbohydrates so that TREHA®︎ can help maintain the natural integrity of foods throughout cooking, freezing and storage.
    No other ingredient has the same ability to extend food’s freshness qualities, protecting them from the stresses caused by freezing and dehydration. Only TREHA®︎ enhances and stabilizes flavor, texture, aroma, appearance, reduces freezer burn and dramatically extends shelf-life.
  • Q.

    Why is Trehalose sometimes called “the Mushroom Sugar”?

    A.

    Trehalose is a naturally occurring sugar that can be found in significant amounts in many common foods, including baker’s yeast, soybeans and mushrooms. In fact, trehalose is particularly abundant in mushrooms, accounting for more than 10% of their dry weight.
    Chefs know that, even after being kept dried for months, shiitake mushrooms can be rehydrated to their original state when soaked in water. The high concentration of trehalose in the mushroom is what makes this phenomenon possible.
    Wherever this remarkable sugar is found, it exists to protect animals and plants from physical stress during times of freezing, dehydration and heat—and that same, unique multi-functional natural ability is what makes TREHA®︎ so useful in food and beverage applications.
    Today, TREHA®︎ is used in over 25,000 food products globally to enhance and protect their fresh qualities.
  • Q.

    Where does it come from?

    A.

    The food ingredient TREHA®︎ is the brand name of the first commercially produced trehalose, a low-sweetness sugar that naturally exists in many foods, including mushrooms, baker’s yeast and soybeans. Prior to 1994, trehalose could only be extracted from yeasts through a prohibitively expensive process. Then, Hayashibara Co., Ltd. in Japan found two enzymes that enable direct production of trehalose from starch. This allowed development of a low-cost, mass-production method and low-priced products. The manufacturing process is similar to that used for glucose syrup and the produced trehalose is purified and concentrated to produce a crystallized product named "TREHA®︎."
    All TREHA®︎ distributed in the U.S. is:
    • ・Manufactured by Hayashibara Co., Ltd.
    • ・Produced from starch
    • ・GRAS-designated
    • ・Non-GMO*
    • ・Kosher-certified
    • ・Halal-certified
    Hayashibara Co., Ltd., the innovator of TREHA®︎, is owned by The NAGASE Group.
    *TREHA®︎ distributed in the U.S. and Canada is a Non-GMO Project verified product.
  • Q.

    What are the nutritional components?

    A.

    • ・TREHA®︎ is high-purity trehalose. There is just ONE nutritional component to trehalose: sugar.
    • ・TREHA®︎ is a non-reducing disaccharide. Each molecule of trehalose (two glucose molecules) in the crystal has two associated water molecules (dihydrate). TREHA®︎ contains about 4kcal/g*—the same caloric load as table sugar—but is only about 38% as sweet as table sugar (at 5% solution).
    • ・All TREHA®︎ distributed in the U.S. is derived from starch and is GRAS-designated, non-GMO** and Kosher- and Halal-certified.
    Note on digestion and absorption of trehalose:
    Sugars taken with foods and drinks are broken down with enzymes and absorbed in the intestinal tract. There are a wide variety of enzymes existing in intestinal tracts. Sucrase, for example, breaks down sucrose into glucose and fructose before it is absorbed in the intestinal tract. Another enzyme, maltase, breaks down maltose into glucose so that it can be absorbed. The enzyme to break down trehalose into glucose for absorption is trehalase found in the intestinal tract. Theoretically, less than 1% of the population may have a deficiency of trehalase, which can create gastrointestinal distress (temporarily loose stools if too much trehalose is ingested at one time) similar to lactose***, however, no examples of intolerance have been reported since the introduction Trehalose over 20 years.
    *4kcal/g for trehalose anhydrous; about 4kcal/g for TREHA (as a product).
    **Verified by NON-GMO Project
    ***Richards, A. B., & Higashiyama, T. (2012). Trehalose. In K. O’Donnell, & M. Kearsley, Sweeteners and Sugar Alternatives in Food Technology, 2nd Edition (pp. 412-428).
  • Q.

    What can you tell me about the safety and quality of the product?

    A.

    Hayashibara Co., Ltd., which originally developed and patented the manufacturing process of trehalose (from starch by enzymatic reactions) continues to manufacture TREHA®︎ under strict quality control and hygienic conditions in accordance with the requirements of FSSC22000 and ISO9001.
    Trehalose (TREHA®︎) has been evaluated to be safe for use in foods by essentially all the major regulatory agencies in the world.
    In addition to being a trusted ingredient used by Japanese chefs, high-purity TREHA®︎ has been used successfully in commercial products to retain moisture, enhance flavors and increase stability for more than 20 years and can be found in more than 25,000 retail food products, from dry mix beverages to sushi rice.
    JQA-QMA14923
    Head Quarters, Okayama Plant I, Okayama Plant I Amase Works, Okayama Plant Ⅱ, Okayama Functional Saccharide Plant, Fine & Wellness Product Division Fujita Factory, Research and Development Division.
    The design/development and manufacture of food ingredients (Maltose, Oligosaccharides, Starch Syrup, Isomaltodextrin), food additives (Trehalose, Pullulan, Transglucosylation products, Enzyme), cosmetic ingredients and functional dyes. The manufacture of health supplements materials (Propolis, Royal Jelly, Indigo Plant).
    JQA-FC0029
    Okayama Functional Saccharide Plant Food additive(Trehalose)
  • Q.

    Do other companies make it?

    A.

    Though a few companies manufacture other trehalose products, they don’t make TREHA®︎, which is produced only by the Japanese company, Hayashibara Co., Ltd., which was the company that patented the manufacturing process from starch by enzymatic reactions.
    All TREHA®︎ distributed in the U.S. is produced from starch and is GRAS-designated, non-GMO* and Kosher- and Halal-certified.
    *Verified by NON-GMO Project
  • Q.

    If TREHA®︎ is so great, why haven’t I heard of it before?

    A.

    Japan is recognized the world over as a leader in fresh and healthy foods.
    So, it’s no surprise that it was a Japanese food ingredient company that discovered, in 1994, a cost-efficient way to mass-produce high-quality trehalose. As a result, Japanese culinarians, food manufacturers and home cooks have known about TREHA®︎ for decades and appreciate how this simple-to-use food ingredient helps fresh food remain fresher and more appealing, enhancing quality, extending shelf-life and reducing waste.
    Though TREHA®︎ enjoys wide-spread use in Japan, this multi-functional marvel is just now making its way to American professional kitchens. Discover for yourself what TREHA®︎ can do for your operation.
  • Q.

    How much does it cost?

    A.

    Please contact us for details.
  • Q.

    Where do I get it?

    A.

    Please contact us for details.