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Posts Tagged sweeteners

Overweight people ‘less likely than average to consume soft drinks’

soft drinks

Despite a difficult year for the soft drinks industry, the overall retail value of the industry rose by 3.3 per cent in 2012, to nearly £15 billion.

According to the 2013 Soft Drinks Report, soft drinks are consumed in more than 99 per cent of households. Soft drinks containing added sugar made up 39 per cent of the market, while no added sugar drinks represent 61 per cent.

The report also revealed that overweight and obese consumers were less likely than average to consume soft drinks, exploding the myth that soft drinks consumption is the cause of obesity.

“When they do choose a soft drink, overweight and obese consumers are more likely than average to choose a no added sugar drink rather than a drink containing added sugar,” says Gavin Partington, Director General of the British Soft Drinks Association.

He adds: “It’s been a tough year for the economy, but the soft drinks industry has come through it well.”

Aspartame ‘poses no toxicity concern’

aspar

The European Food Safety Authority’s draft scientific opinion following re-evalution of artificial sweetener aspartame reveals that ‘it poses no toxicity concern for consumers at current levels’.

To carry out the full risk assessment, EFSA undertook an in-depth review of peer-reviewed scientific and other literature on aspartame – which is used in some soft drinks and certain food products – and its breakdown products, including new human studies.

Regulatory bodies around the world have evaluated the safety of aspartame since the 1980s – however, this is the first full evaluation of aspartame that has been requested of EFSA, and carried out by the Authority’s Scientific Panel on Food Additive and Nutrient Sources Added to Food (ANS Panel).

In this re-evaluation of the safety of aspartame, EFSA’s scientific experts drew upon all available information on aspartame and its breakdown products and, following a detailed and methodical analysis, concluded in its draft opinion that they pose no toxicity concern for consumers at current levels of exposure.

The current Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) is considered to be safe for the general population and consumer exposure to aspartame is below this ADI.

 

Nutrition claims & conditions governing their use

LOW ENERGY

ENERGY-REDUCED

ENERGY-FREE

LOW FAT

FAT-FREE

LOW SATURATED FAT

SATURATED FAT-FREE

LOW SUGAR

SUGAR-FREE

WITH NO ADDED SUGARS

LOW SODIUM/SALT

VERY LOW SODIUM/SALT

SODIUM-FREE or SALT-FREE

SOURCE OF FIBRE

HIGH FIBRE

SOURCE OF PROTEIN

HIGH PROTEIN

SOURCE OF (NAME OF VITAMIN/S) and/or (NAME OF MINERAL/S)

HIGH (NAME OF VITAMIN/S) and/or (NAME OF MINERAL/S)

CONTAINS (NAME OF THE NUTRIENT OR OTHER SUBSTANCE)

INCREASED (NAME OF THE NUTRIENT)

REDUCED (NAME OF THE NUTRIENT)

LIGHT/LITE

NATURALLY/NATURAL

SOURCE OF OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS

HIGH OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS

HIGH MONOUNSATURATED FAT

HIGH POLYUNSATURATED FAT

HIGH UNSATURATED FAT

Sweeteners

If it weren’t for artificial intense sweeteners, the only way to satisfy a sweet tooth would be with natural sugars such as sucrose, fructose and maltose, which are full of calories and contribute to tooth decay.

The modern desire to eat sweet foods that don’t make you fat has led to the development of a variety of low calorie intense sweeteners that are much sweeter than sucrose, and only need to be used in tiny amounts to satisfy the taste buds. They aren’t a modern invention – the first, saccharin, was first produced back in 1878.

If it weren’t for artificial intense sweeteners, the only way to satisfy a sweet tooth would be with natural sugars such as sucrose, fructose and maltose, which are full of calories and contribute to tooth decay.

Most food products use blends of sweeteners. Regulations limit the maximum use levels for If it weren’t for artificial intense sweeteners, the only way to satisfy a sweet tooth would be with natural sugars such as sucrose, fructose and maltose, which are full of calories and contribute to tooth decay.individual high-intensity sweeteners, and each has its own unique taste profile, such as metallic, bitter, lingering or delayed onset. Synergistic effects also mean that the mixture can often give an even more intense sweetness than the individual components alone.

However, these ingredients can only replace the sweetness of sugar, and not its bulk, so in products like cakes and jams, something else is needed if sugar is going to be replaced. This is where bulk sweeteners come in. These are derivatives of sugars, and while they are not as sweet as sucrose, they have fewer calories as the body metabolises them differently. They do not raise glucose levels in the blood, and so can be consumed by diabetics. However, many can have a laxative effect when consumed in large quantities.

Low-calorie and diabetic foods frequently contain a combination of both intense and bulk sweeteners, with the former producing the sweetness and the latter the texture that consumers expect.

Bulk sweeteners

Erythritol (E968) is a naturally occurring sugar alcohol, which is made commercially by the fermentation of glucose, and was only approved for food use in Europe in 2006. It is about two-thirds as sweet as sucrose, but has almost no calories. As it is absorbed before it reaches the colon, it does not have the laxative effects of some other bulk sweeteners – instead, it is excreted unchanged in the urine. It is also tooth-friendly as it does not contribute to tooth decay

Isomalt (E954) is a sugar alcohol with similar physical properties to sucrose, but it is tooth-friendly and has half the calories. It is becoming increasingly popular in confectionery products such as hard candies, but like many bulk sweeteners it can have a laxative effect.

Lactitol (E966) is a bulk sweetener that is about 40% as sweet as sucrose. It is common in bakery products because of its heat stability, and it is also found in confectionery, chocolate and ice cream.

Maltitol (E965) has about three-quarters of the sweetness of sugar, but about half of its calories, and it does not promote tooth decay. However, it can have a laxative effect. It is particularly common in confectionery products like hard candies, chewing gum and ice cream.

Sorbitol (E420) is the oldest of the bulk sweeteners. It is commonly found in diet food and drink products, as well as confectionery such as mints and sugar-free gum. It is found in rowan berries, but as a food ingredient it is made by chemically modifying glucose.

Xylitol (E967) is a naturally occurring sugar alcohol was first commercially extracted from birch trees. It has about two-thirds of the calories of sugar, and does not cause tooth decay. It is found in a wide range of confectionery products, but sometimes has a laxative effect.

Intense sweeteners

Acesulfame K (E950) is about 200 times more sweet than sucrose. Invented in Germany in 1967, it leaves a slightly bitter aftertaste in the mouth, which means it is rarely used alone as a sweetener. Unlike some other intense sweeteners, it is heat-stable during cooking. Common uses include bakery products, and soft drinks, where it is usually blended with other sweeteners, and as a sweetener for hot beverages.

Aspartame (E951) is a sweetener that was invented in the US in 1965, and contains two amino acids joined together by a chemical bond. It is about 200 times sweeter than sucrose, but as it breaks down on heating it is not suitable for baking applications, although it can be added to hot foods before serving, such as hot drinks, stewed fruit or porridge. It is commonly found in soft drinks and confectionery products. People with the rare condition phenylketonuria cannot metabolise one of its constituent amino acids, phenylalanine, and so must try to avoid it. This is why product labels have to state ‘contains a source of phenylalanine’ if aspartame is an ingredient.

Cyclamate (E952) is about 30 times more sweet than sugar, and it is usually used in combination with other sweeteners.

Saccharin (E954) has been used as an intense sweetener for more than a century, and is 300-400 times sweeter than sugar. It is commonly used in carbonated drinks in combination with aspartame. There have been concerns that it might cause cancer over the years, but these health scares have been dismissed.

Sucralose (E955) is the newest of the intense sweeteners and is about 600 times sweeter than sugar. It is made by replacing three of the alcohol groups in sucrose with chlorine atoms, which dramatically increases its sweetness. It is heat-stable so can be used in bakery products. It is becoming increasingly popular in products from soft drinks to confectionery to hot beverages.

Global additives market on the up

news-ontheup

Global sales of food and drink additives reached £17.3 billion last year, according to a new report.

The best performing sectors include enzymes, acidulants and hydrocolloids, says Leatherhead Food Research’s report The Global Food Additives Market, with a growing demand for low fat, salt and sugar products – as well as functional health benefit products – driving demand for a host of additives including emulsifiers, hydrocolloids, sweeteners, vitamins and minerals, soya ingredients, omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics, prebiotics and plant stanol esters.

The report also says that while the global additives market has not been immune to the effects of the global economic downturn, a period of modest growth is forecast for the world food additives market over the next few years.

Some of the better performing sectors are likely to include natural flavours and colours, food hydrocolloids, enzymes and functional food ingredients.

E-numbers feast!

ENUM

The day I ate as many E-numbers as possible!

Food labels such as ‘natural’ and ‘pure’ are confusing shoppers, according to a survey. But even more misunderstood are the E numbers that populate ingredient lists, says food writer Stefan Gates, who set out to see if additives are as bad as is often assumed Why would anyone do something as irresponsible as try to overload on sweeteners, flavourings, emulsifiers and preservatives, when food additives are a byword for culinary evil?

In Europe, these are given E numbers; in the United States and elsewhere, the full name is increasingly listed on food labels. Yet how many consumers would believe that such additives may actually be good for us? The boom in organic and natural foods in recent years betrays our trust in nature over science. Yet a survey by Which? magazine has found terms such as ‘natural’, ‘fresh’, ‘pure’ and ‘real’, which readily appear on the front of food packaging, are confusing consumers because they are largely unregulated.

Conversely, it is the additives tucked way in the small print of a product’s ingredients list that are heavily regulated. And when you look at clinical rather than anecdotal evidence, and speak to clinical dieticians, it appears these are actually good for us – and many seem to be very good for us indeed.

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