Food firms and their ingredients suppliers should be doing more to make the distinction between good and bad sugars, because replacing sucrose with another high-glycaemic ingredient was nothing more than a “cosmetic” change, suggested Dominique Speleers, member of the executive board at Beneo.
Speaking to Food Manufacture at last November’s Food Ingredients Europe, held in Frankfurt, Speleers said he was referring mainly to maltodextrin products, of which “there are plenty” on the market.
‘It is borderline misleading’
“The consumer might think that replacing these sugars is a good move, but I would say it is borderline misleading,” he said.
“We are observing a lot of this at the moment, and we are doing our very best to tell our customers that, if they really want to make a fundamental change – and not just a chemical change – they should consider oligofructose, isomalt or Beneo’s Palatinose for a low glycaemic-index [GI] product.”
He claimed to be “very sceptical” about the impending Soft Drinks Industry Levy in the UK, for the “same reason – that these taxes put all the sugars in the same basket”.
70% want to cut sugar intake
According to Beneo’s own research, more than 70% of European consumers wanted to cut their sugar intake, and 58% of them were trying to do this to control their weight.
However, the current discussion about sugar reduction often ignored the fact that blood sugar management played a key role in weight management, the company said.
While high GI ingredients such as maltodextrin helped to reduce the sugar because they are oligo- or polysaccharides, they nevertheless had a significant impact on a person’s metabolism, Beneo added.
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