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A 10-15 POINT REDUCTION ON THE GI MAY NOT SEEM HUGE BUT IT COULD MAKE A DIFFERENCE TO SOMEONE TRYING TO LOSE WEIGHT OR CONTROL THEIR DIABETES.


Therefore, it would seem the next logical step is to develop and sell the idea of a ‘healthy’ sugar. Many would say this is an oxymoron but others would argue that some sugars are healthier than others. This is down as to where they are ranked on the Glycaemic Index (GI). The GI is a relative ranking of carbohydrates in foods according to how they affect blood sugar (glucose) levels. Carbohydrates with a low GI value (55 or less) are more slowly digested and absorbed so slows the rise in blood sugars and insulin levels. Therefore, foods with low GI are thought to be beneficial to the control of diabetes, weight control, the reduction of cholesterol and blood pressure. The GI of sugars range from a very low 19 for fructose (found in fruit) to Maltose (found in malt) at 105. In the middle at 65 is sucrose (found in cane and beet) which is used in processed foods and fizzy drinks.


Over the past few years there has been a lot of work done into producing sucrose with a lower GI but remaining commercially viable. Several sugar companies now produce either under licence or through their own development sucrose with a GI of between 50 and 55. Carbohydrates are considered to have a low GI if below 55.


A 10-15 point reduction on the GI may not seem huge but it could make a difference to someone trying to lose weight or control their diabetes. Of course the possible benefits of using low GI sugar will be mitigated if the overall diet remains poor.


Whether the use of low GI sugar will be adopted wholesale by global food processors and drink manufactures remains to be seen. There will be an additional licencing cost but there should be little need to re-formulate the ingredients.


Getting the adoption of low GI sugar is hardly game- changing but it is a step in the right direction for an industry which desperately needs some good press. At least it suggests that the industry is trying to be pro-active as opposed to hoping the health issues associated with sugar will just, eventually, fade away.


Howard Jenkins E: howard.jenkins@admisi.com T: +44(0) 20 7716 8598


11 | ADMISI - The Ghost In The Machine | November/December 2019


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