Sugar is the simplest form of carbohydrate-containing carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen molecules. By breaking the sugar into glucose, it becomes the primary energy source for the body, although excessive consumption of sugar can lead to overweight, obesity, tooth decay, and diabetes.
With health awareness, people have started preferring food with low added sugar. Many packaged food products have a high level of added sugar for various purposes. However, it degrades the food’s health quality and even the side-lines group of consumers who are health conscious.
By decreasing the added sugar amount, the food product’s taste and feel should also be maintained.
To give an essential solution for this ambiguous situation, Best Beverage & Food Ingredients Supplier and Distributor provides you with a guide on reducing sugar in food products without compromising the feel of the food. Gujarat Enterprise is India’s Leading Food Ingredients Distributor; you can contact us for any inquiry related to food products and ingredients.
Before understanding how to reduce sugar in food products, let’s know some basics of sugar and added sugar.
Firstly, sugar is a form of carbohydrates containing mono-saccharides; these include fructose (from fruits) and galactose (found in milk). Another form is disaccharides which have carbohydrates with two sugars. These types of sugar have nutrients and fibers present.
Then, Processed and Refined sugar from mono-saccharides and disaccharides plays its role in making food products. They are generally known as added sugar, artificially added to various food products. Refined sugar doesn’t have vitamins, minerals, or fibers and is called “empty calories,” leading to weight gain.
The role played by added sugar in Food Products.
Added sugar can negatively impact health; still, it is used in various food products because of its added benefits. Primarily it increases the sweetness or balances the bitterness of other ingredients.
Sugar also contributes to the food’s increasing effects of color and flavor. It also provides body, volume, and bulk and improves the product’s texture.
To preserve the food in a better way, sugar can help in preventing the growth of microorganisms. It also regulates the freezing point in ice creams.
How is excessive sugar consumption unhealthy?
Excessive sugar consumption leads to adverse health effects of heavyweight, diabetes, and dental problems. The problem of sugar intake starts with a lesser urge to eat nutritious food. Consuming freely available sugar increases overall energy intake and reduces the intake of foods containing healthy calories. In addition, it leads to an unhealthy diet, more weight gain, and decreased body immunity.
Another side is dental problems of tooth decay. Most children are affected due to consuming chocolates, candies, and ice-creams.
Health consciousness with time has increased, and people avoid products with high sugar content. May big market players are using sugar alternatives and substitutes, which can give a good feel similar to sugar and decrease the negative impacts on the health.
Alternative to Refined Sugar in Food Products
Reducing refined sugar is the most considerable awareness in the food industry. People want food products with complete taste and texture but reduced empty calories. Through the ingredients mentioned below, you can replace the added sugar with better forms of sweeteners.
It is a famous sugar substitute obtained from the leaves of Stevia Rebaudiana, a plant in South America. It has 50 to 300 times more sweetness compared to table sugar. Additionally, stevia doesn’t have any carbohydrates, calories, or artificial ingredients.
Although stevia has a different taste than sugar, it has a bitter taste, but some people consider it a mint flavor.
Stevia is a non-nutritive sweetener with no calories; hence, it is better in terms of health benefits than the table or refined sugar.
Polyols, also known as sugar alcohols, they are naturally found in fruits, mushrooms, and vegetables, including erythritol, xylitol, and maltitol.
Sugar alcohols are an excellent alternative to refined sugar as they have lesser calories per gram and do not promote elevated blood glucose. Adding to it, the components of the polyol can’t ferment in the mouth, decreasing the chances of tooth decay.
During the formation of polyol, the aldoses and ketoses are reduced. As refined sugar does, the polyol is stable to acidity, alkalinity, heat, and enzymatic degradation.
The sweetness level of the polyol is 30% to 100% of the sugar. The only precaution to take while using polyol is its quantity, as a high level of consumption can lead to indigestion.
3. Monk Fruit
Monk fruit is a sweetener extracted from dried fruit and can give 150 to 250 times more sweetness than added sugar. Adding to it, the monk fruit has zero calories and does not increase blood sugar levels.
Adding monk fruit and positioning the product as health benefits is an excellent choice. Monk fruit promotes weight loss as the consumers save on calories. Also, it has anti-inflammatory properties that can prevent cancer and even control blood sugar levels.
One thing to keep in mind is that monk fruit is sometimes allergic. It is from the pumpkin, squash, cucumbers, and melons category. Therefore, one should check the ingredients and provide a clear instruction statement for usage.
A rarely available sugar alternative naturally occurs in fruits, including figs and raisins. Allulose is a monosaccharide having 90% fewer calories compared to sucrose. However, with intense research, specific methods are coming up to produce allulose on a large scale.
Its sweetness is around 30% less than refined sugar, but its low-calorie nature is an excellent alternative to sugar. Allulose is even safer than other options, although there is a specific limit to which it is safe to use. Otherwise, the ingredient can lead to bloating, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
It is best for people who want to reduce calories and sugar intake. For example, food products with allulose instead of sugar can even help people drop the blood sugar levels of people with or without diabetes.
Applesauce is an example of purees obtained from fruits and is an excellent alternative to refined sugar in baked and sweet dishes. Adding to it, the ingredient brings nutritions of fruits it is based on to the food products.
Some of the most famous syrups used are yacon syrup and maple syrup.
Yacon Syrup is available in the yacon plant and, when extracted, gives a sweet taste, dark color, and thick consistency. However, the syrup is less sweet than refined sugar. Therefore the quantity should be decided precisely by respecting the taste of the food.
Maple syrup is a thick and sweet liquid obtained by cooking the maple tree’s sap. It has nutritional benefits and contains a small number of minerals such as calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, and manganese.
7. Dates and Honey
These sugar alternatives are one of the most natural types with the highest nutritional values.
Dates are sweet and chewy fruits that are dried up from the fruits on palm trees. Because of its health benefits, it is an excellent alternative to refined sugar. They are a good source of nutrients. It has a high-calorie level but not empty calories. Also, it doesn’t affect the blood sugar level.
Honey is another type of natural sugar available as a thick, golden liquid. It is collected by honeybees and therefore has an abundance of plant compounds with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits.
These are the most common and popularly used sugar alternatives in food products. However, using other options depends on the product type and market. So please get in touch with us to better understand using a sugar substitute in food products.
Health consciousness is increasing, and people are becoming more aware of the food they consume. The time had gone when consumers solely bought food products because of their taste and feel. Generally, people now demand food with more health benefits.
This asks for inviting new methods of increasing nutritional value in food products. And Refined sugar is now of the biggest hurdles in that. Therefore, it is essential to understand how sugar can be substituted in food products.
Gujarat Enterprise is India’s Best Food Ingredients Supplier with creative, excellent, accountable food ingredient solutions. We maintain our relations with clients and their trust by keeping the process transparent and with regular communication. We have one of the best rounds of experiences in providing food ingredient solutions. To make robust food products with high quality, we maintain a level of integrity and authenticity in delivering the ingredients.
If you want to have suitable quality sugar substitutes, contact us now.
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