Sugar Reduction Should be Innovation Rather Than Policy Driven

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Beneo says that replacing sugar with healthier alternatives has become a requirement from the consumer and heavy trends for better nutrition and reduced sugar intake should be driving the market, rather than government pushing for taxes and legislation to curb sugar consumption.

Christoph Boettger, who has recently been appointed as a board member, spoke with FoodIngredientsFirst during Hi Europe where he demonstrated Beneo’s sugar-reduced solutions and explained how the company continues to address sugar reduction to meet the demands of consumers.

“We are focusing very much on the replacement of sugar as we feel it’s a huge trend in the market, a requirement of the consumer. A large share of populations intend to cut sugar intake in their daily nutrition. And that’s why with our ingredients, we have been working on smart solutions to replace sucrose in many products of daily life,” he says.

Boettger presented samples of sugar-reduced products that benefit from a lower blood glucose effect using less or no sucrose and, as a result, contribute sustainably to weight management.

The range of samples on show at Hi Europe included a sugar reduced strawberry yogurt with Beneo’s chicory root fiber, oligofructose, which reduces the total sugar content of this fruit yogurt by at least 20 percent.

And a no added sugar milk chocolate containing BENEO’s sugar replacer ISOMALT and chicory root fiber inulin, the sugar content could be reduced by more than two thirds. At the same time, it conveys the same taste as the full-sugar equivalent. In addition, a low glycaemic non-carbonated isotonic drink including Beneo’s next generation sugar, Palatinose. This orange-flavored sports beverage contains 30 percent less high glycaemic sugars and can carry a “low glycemic” claim.

“When we are replacing sugar it is important for us that we are also reducing the load of high glycemic carbohydrates in the product which is done often in consumer products where for example starch is replacing the sugar which is taken out.” Boettger adds.

“But with starch being a high glycemic you still have a high impact on the blood sugar level meaning a fast increase to a higher level, which then also leads to a respective injury limit response.”

“For a healthier lifestyle this should be reduced because this type of strong fluctuation of the blood sugar level enhances obesity and cardiovascular diseases.”

As sugar taxes resonate around the world, Beneo is pushing for more consumer choice rather than enforced legislation from governments.

“We are glad that we can provide solutions to everybody that wants to reduce sugar consumption, who wants to replace sugars. I think the choice should always be given to the consumer to go for the solution he intends to have. With the examples we have, we can give this choice to the customer so that he can decide himself without regulation from the outside which is forcing him in a certain direction.

“For us what is much more important is that the sugar is not only replaced but that it’s replaced with a healthy alternative which our ingredients can provide.”

Beneo is committed to sustainable farming, enabling the company to develop high quality ingredients derived from chicory root and beet sugar and its dedication to the conscious sourcing of rice and wheat also supports biodiversity, reducing water pollution and soil erosion. The company’s continuous investment in state-of-the-art factories ensures high-level energy efficiency and it has a strong focus on corporate social responsibility.

Beneo also cites how it invests heavily in research and development, with a budget six times higher than the European food industry average.

Watch the full interview here.