Sweetener News

Feb 2016  Safety of Sucralose Downgraded by CSPI

The Center for Science in the Public Interest has downgraded the safety rating for Sucralose from 'Caution' to 'Avoid.'

Recent studies carried out by and independent Italian Lab found leukemia and blood cancers in mice fed a diet of Sucralose.

Details here: CSPI report on Sucralose

December 2015  New Sweetener based on Sugar

Exciting news in the sweetener market!! A really novel new approach to developing a low calorie sweetener is being investigated by an Israeli company called DouxMatok. They have coated tiny organic food grade mineral particles with sucrose - ordinary sugar. The result is a product that reputedly tastes exactly like sugar but with half the calories.  

It exploits a simple trick. The taste receptors on the tongue sense the sweetness of the outside of the food particle. So a sugar particle, or a similar sized mineral particle coated with sugar will taste the same.

There should be no problem gaining approval for such a product. The food grade mineral is reported to be already widely used in the food industry. And of course sugar, despite it's known health issues is approved for use everywhere.

More information here

Expect to see the new sweetener on the market some time in 2016.

November 2015 Cargill Develop New Sweetener

Cargill are launching a new sweetener called EverSweet. It has a molecular structure similar to some of the compounds found in Stevia, however it does not grow from a plant, it is produced in a lab. Cargill have found a way of producing the substance from fermentation of yeast and plan to launch the product early in 2016.

One advantage may be that it will have a better taste than Stevia, which is made up of many compounds, some quite bitter on the tongue. That remains to be seen, however consumers may be resistant to a 'natural sweetener' produced in a lab, rather than grown on a farm.

More Information on the Cargill Website

April 2015 Pepsi to Discontinue the use of Aspartame in Diet Coke

Pepsi has announced that they will replace aspartame with sucralose in their diet coke starting August 2015. Falling sales of 6% have being caused, Pepsi believe, by increasing consumer concerns regarding the safety of aspartame, particularly in the US. The new product tastes the same, but has a slightly different 'mouthfeel'.

In truth it will be difficult to beat the combination of acesulfame and aspartame for taste and mouthfeel. But regardless, people are rightly concerned for their health. It will be interesting to see if the move reverses the downward trend in sales. If it does, other manufacturers will likely follow suit which could spell the beginning of the end for aspartame.

World Health Organization Guidelines Feb 2015

The WHO is reducing the guideline for added sugar from 10% of calorie intake to 5%. In this they include all added sugars as well as those found in honey and fruit juice. They do not include sugar naturally found in vegetables or whole unsqueezed fruit. The guideline is:  'Free sugars are all sugars added to food or drinks by the manufacturer, cook or consumer, as well as sugars naturally present in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit juice concentrates'.

WHO guideline for a healthy diet.

Finland and Norway consume about 7% of calories in added sugar, but the USA and most of Europe would be closer to 20%. Therefore a reduction to 5% will be a challenge indeed!

Artificial Sweeteners in the Spotlight. Sept 17th 2014

A study, carried out by two scientists in Israel has shown a link between the consumption of artificial sweeteners and metabolic problems. The study carried out on humans and mice revealed altered intestinal bacteria and compromised glucose metabolism after relatively short trial periods. In the case of humans changes were seen within one week at consumption levels within FDA recommended guidelines. This is indeed worrying and goes a long way to explain the poor performance observed when artificial sweeteners are used as part of a diet plan.

The tests were carried out using Saccharin, Aspartame and Sucralose.

Read the report here.

FDA Approves Artificial Sweetener Advantame May 19th 2014

The FDA has approved Advantame as a general purpose Sweetener and flavor enhancer in foods except meat and poultry.  It was developed by Aijnomoto, a  Japanese company, and is a chemical composition of Aspartame and Vanillin, both artificial substances. It is 20,000 times a sweet as sugar making it the most potent sweetener ever known.

CFSAN Constituent Update

CSPI Downgrades Splenda From "Safe" to "Caution" June 12th 2013

The Center for Science in the Public interest has downgraded Sucralose from ''Safe'' to ''Caution''. This follows testing in Italy that indicated problems with laboratory mice. Though at this time unpublished, the report suggests the mice developed cancer following long term consumption at high doses.  The CPSI also expresses concern regarding tests carried out in 2008 which seem to show that Sucralose reduced beneficial bacteria in the gut.

Article from CSPI here.

The Fructose Menace. March 23rd 2013

As more results of medical tests and evaluations are released one thing becomes clear: The natural sugar found in fruit, fructose, is severely detrimental to health if taken in large quantities. New research has shown, without any doubt, that consumption has a measurable effect on uric acid, the liver, pancreas and general health. Initially we were advised to avoid pure fructose, then high fructose corn syrup, then fruit juice. Now medical sources are advising against overconsumption of fruit, even organic.

How can this be? Fructose is natural, and has been part of the human diet forever. And fruit is good for you - right? Clearly fructose is not poisonous  and the body can handle a certain amount of it without any harmful affects whatsoever. And yes fruit is very good for you, but in moderation. There is no advantage avoiding fructose altogether, you will be no more healthy if you eat none if it that if you consume a moderate amount. But what is a safe amount?  Fructose is metabolised in a different way than other sugars. And the body has adapted to the quantity been typically ingested over thousands of years. In the past fruit was less readily available  And fruit in the past was less sweet. Modern varieties have been bred to be much larger and sweeter than their ancestors. So although fruit may be natural, even organic, it may contain unnatural quantities if fructose, especially if large amounts are daily consumed. About 100 years ago the average consumption of fructose was about 15grams from all sources. Today it is about 75grams.

Actor Ashton Kutcher recently went on an all fruit diet in order to play the part of Steve Jobs. He ended up in hospital with pancreas problems. And in fact Steve Jobs has, over certain periods of his life, consumed large quantities of fruit, even being, for a period, on a fruit only diet. Dr Mercola believes there is a strong link between high fruit consumption, and pancreatic cancer. Wow! So too much fruit, even organic, can be bad for you? Yes, very bad!

Dr Mercola recomends no more than 25 grams fructose from all sources including fruit and honey. How much fruit is that?

Grams of Fructose

One Apple - 9.5

One Orange - 6.1

One Pear - 11.8

One Banana - 7.1

One Kiwi Fruit - 3.4

Cup Blueberries - 7.4

Cup Fresh Cherries - 4.0

Cup Strawberries - 3.8

Cup Raspberries- 3.0

One Peach - 5.9

One Full Grapefruit - 8.6

Source: mercola.com

So, like everything else, moderation is the key. However in the case of fructose and fruit, that amount turns out to be less than we thought!

Artificial Sweeteners in Waste Water. March 13th 2013

An unforeseen problem with artificial sweeteners has been discovered recently. These substances are contaminating waste water and appear resistant to efforts to treat and remove them.

Studies in Germany found practically all known artificial sweeteners to be present in waste water sampled after treatment. Some even appeared in water supply for human consumption, albeit in small quantities.

Part of the problem appears to be that people are passing the sweeteners through their bodies in urine. Other forms of contamination may occur, but this appears to be the main source. So if you are consuming artificial sweeteners, be aware that your urine is actually sweet, and is causing contamination downstream of your loo!

Sucralose seems to be the biggest offender, chiefly because it takes a long time to break down in nature. Not too surprising, as it is an unnatural product like plastic etc. But all artificial sweeteners have been found, and potentially can contaminate soil, rivers and even water supply.

This is in addition to the contamination caused by the production of these sweeteners. Again, in this case, Sucralose appears to be the biggest offender, the production of this sweetener has a heavy detrimental effect upon the environment. So much so, that much of it is now produced in China, where despite lax environmental controls, Sucrolase production facilities have been closed down by the government because of devastating pollution.

Maybe another good reason to go natural!


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