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Search for sugar alternatives

It seems like only yesterday I wrote my blog about the fight against sugar, but it was in fact last month, and the issue is still not going away, particularly in the UK.

UK retailers and manufacturers are joining forces to call on suppliers from across the country’s food and drink industry to help identify sugar alternatives in a bid to improve public health by reducing the amount of sugars in food and drink products.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) and the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) are inviting ingredient manufacturers, product specialists and researchers to submit details of sugar alternative ingredients and products that may help companies reformulate. The organisations are looking for ingredients that will help sugar reduction, while enabling companies to “maintain product quality, taste, product safety and shelf life.”

The BRC and the FDF say they will use the information to create a list for manufacturers and retailers to further support sugar reduction efforts across the UK food and drink industry.

The initiative follows the publication of Public Health England’s guidelines on sugar reduction and supports the UK government’s ambition laid out in the Childhood Obesity Plan to reduce sugar by 20%.

Andrea Martinez-Inchausti, deputy director for food policy at the BRC, says, “Improving the composition of products is a top priority for retailers. A lot of work is currently underway to reduce sugar. We are putting a call out for any information on technical solutions and alternatives to sugar, to help retailers deliver tasty but more wholesome products.”

Kate Halliwell, nutrition and health manager at the FDF, adds, “We are confident this initiative will go a long way in supporting retailers and manufacturers in their sugar reduction efforts, leading to significant improvements in public health.”

Suppliers who produce suitable sugar alternative ingredients are encouraged to complete this application form.

Separately, a new report published by Rabobank states that consumers’ shift away from sugar consumption will have long-term ramifications, including a likely slowdown in the global sugar market. The latest report entitled ‘Sweetness and Lite’ states that the rate of growth of global sugar consumption in the coming 15 years is likely to be lower than the growth rate seen in the last 15 years.

A step in the right direction some may say.

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