Nestlé Upcycling Cacoa Pod Leftovers Into New Chocolate Without any Added Sugar

Nestlé has created a KitKat bar that combines two things, chocolate and upcycling. Bloomberg reported yesterday that the Swiss candy maker has developed a way to use leftover material from cocoa plants to sweeten dark chocolate with no additional sugar.

How is this confectionary wizardry possible? Bloomberg writes, “The food company is using a patented technique to turn the white pulp that covers cocoa beans into a powder that naturally contains sugar.” Traditionally, this pulp has been thrown out, but by upcycling it, Nestlé can sweeten the bars without adding more sugar. This 70 percent dark chocolate KitKat bar will have “as much as 40 percent less sugar than most equivalent bars with added sugar,” according to Bloomberg, and will go on sale in Japan this fall.

An amusing sidenote to this story is that this discovery seems to be a bit of serendipity. Nestlé said it hadn’t set out to reduce the sugar, but was focused more on developing new ways to make chocolate using more of the cocoa pod. But we know that the company, facing consumers who are more health conscious and rising obesity rates, has been working on reducing sugars in its products. A little over a year ago Nestlé debuted a process of restructuring sugar that gave it more surface area and thus required using less of it while maintaining the same level of sweetness.

And Nestlé isn’t alone in looking to satisfy our global sweet tooth without sacrificing flavor. Israeli startup DouxMatok raised $22 million last month for its technology that uses silica to help sugar diffuse more efficiently in our mouths, so less is required. And in May, Singapore-based Nutrition Innovation raised $5 million for its Nucane, which is a lower glycemic sugar made via a different type of processing at sugar mills.

Nestlé said its new process could expand beyond dark chocolate and into milk and white chocolate as well. Even sweeter than the reduction in sugar is the reduction in food waste. Hopefully other companies will have cravings to follow suit.

Source: The Spoon

Infographic: A Daily Meal with 25 grams Added Sugars vs One with 50 grams

Source: Greatist

Fruit Sugars vs. Other Sugars

Zawn Villines wrote . . . . . . . . .

The sugars that manufacturers most commonly use in foods include:

  • corn syrup, which is usually 100% glucose
  • fructose, which is sugar from fruit
  • galactose, which forms the milk sugar lactose when combined with glucose
  • high fructose corn syrup, which combines refined fructose and glucose but with a higher percentage of fructose
  • maltose, which is from two glucose units
  • sucrose, or white or table sugar, which is equal parts fructose and glucose

These sugars differ from fruit sugar because they undergo processing and manufacturers tend to overuse them as additives in food and other products. Our bodies also metabolize these sugars more quickly.

For example, sucrose can make coffee sweeter, and high fructose corn syrup is a common additive in many processed products, such as soda, fruit snacks and bars, and more.

Potential risks

Research consistently links refined and added fructose, both of which are present in sugar and sweetened products, to a higher risk of health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.

It is worth reiterating, however, that this research looked exclusively at fructose in its processed form as an additive in sweetened foods, not at fructose from whole fruits.

Although some fad and extreme diets aim to reduce or eliminate fruit from the diet, for most people, there is no evidence to suggest that fruit is harmful.

A 2014 study comparing fructose with glucose reviewed 20 controlled feeding trials. Although pooled analyses suggested that added fructose could raise cholesterol, uric acid, and triglycerides, it did not have a more negative effect on lipid profile, markers for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, or insulin.

People with diabetes can also safely consume fruit. In many cases, sweet fruit can satisfy a craving for something else. Fruit has far less sugar than most sweet snacks, which can mean that a person consumes fewer calories and less sugar while also obtaining valuable nutrients.

Things to be aware of

Whole fruit is always a better choice than packaged or processed fruits.

For example, manufacturers tend to heavily sweeten and highly process fruit juices. Flavored juices that they market to children often contain large amounts of added sugars. These juices are not a substitute for whole fruit, and they may significantly increase a person’s sugar consumption.

People who consume canned fruits should check the label, as some canned fruits contain sweeteners or other flavoring agents that can greatly increase their sugar content.

A very high intake of fruit, as with any other food, may cause a person to consume too many calories, which may increase their risk of obesity. Overeating fruit, however, is difficult.

To exceed a 2,000-calorie-per-day diet by only eating fruit, a person would have to eat approximately 18 bananas, 15 apples, or 44 kiwifruits each day. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), however, most people eat fewer than five servings of fruit per day.

Some of the only people who should avoid fruit are those with rare conditions that affect the way their bodies absorb or metabolize fructose. People with specific fruit allergies should also avoid some types of fruit.

A condition called fructose malabsorption, for instance, can cause fructose to ferment in the colon, causing stomach pain and diarrhea. Also, a rare genetic disorder called hereditary fructose intolerance interferes with the liver’s ability to metabolize fruit, which may require a person to adopt a diet without fructose.

Pregnant women in their second trimester should try to avoid eating more than four servings of fruit per day, especially of fruits that are high on the glycemic index. They may also wish to avoid tropical fruits, as these may increase the risk of gestational diabetes.

Benefits of eating fruit

The benefits of eating fruit far outweigh any purported or hypothetical risks. The benefits include:

  • Increased fiber intake: Consuming fiber can help a person feel fuller for longer, reduce food cravings, nourish healthful gut bacteria, and support healthful weight loss. Consuming fiber may also help a person maintain more consistent blood glucose, which is especially important for people with diabetes.
  • Lower sugar consumption: People who replace sweet snacks with fruit may eat less sugar and fewer calories.
  • Better overall health: Fruit consumption is linked to a wide range of health benefits. Fruit and vegetable consumption, according to one 2017 analysis, reduces the overall risk of death. Consuming fruits and vegetables also lowers the risk of a range of health conditions, including heart disease and cancer.
  • Lower risk of obesity: People who consume fruit are less likely to develop obesity and the health issues associated with it.

Fruit consumption is so beneficial to health that a 2019 systematic review concluded that the current recommendations might actually underestimate the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables.

Summary

Nowadays, it can be difficult to separate nutritional facts from fiction, especially for people who are eager to lose weight, live longer, and feel better.

People should talk to a doctor or dietitian before making any dramatic changes to their diet. However, for most people, it is safe and recommended to eat several servings of whole fruit per day.

People with diabetes can also enjoy fruit regularly, though low glycemic and high fiber fruits are best.

Source: Medical News Today

Not All Sugars Are Created Equal

When it comes to sugars in food, you’re far better off having a bowl of blueberries than a granola bar, a nutritionist says.

Added sugars just aren’t the same as natural sugars, noted Kara Shifler Bowers, a registered dietitian at Penn State PRO Wellness, a health center in Hershey, Pa.

“Natural sugars in fruit are different because fruits carry fiber as well as many antioxidants and vitamins such as A and C,” she explained in a Penn State Health news release.

Cutting back on added sugars can prevent a number of health problems.

Women should consume no more than 6 teaspoons (25 grams) of added sugar each day. That’s equal to just two-thirds of a can of soda or 1.5 dessert-like yogurts. For men, the limit is 9 teaspoons, or 36 grams.

“The only danger in cutting out added sugars completely is that eventually, one may binge,” Shifler Bowers said.

Instead of suddenly eliminating added sugars, it might be a good idea to cut back gradually. Try limiting sugary sweets to special occasions.

“You crave what you eat,” Shifler Bowers said. “Your body can forget about foods, so to speak, so the longer you abstain from them, the easier it will be. You can still enjoy them at times, but you won’t need to eat the same amount.”

Watch what you eat because even seemingly healthy choices such as yogurt, fiber bars, protein bars and store-bought spaghetti sauce can have high levels of added sugars.

“In granola bars, the sugars help ingredients stick together,” Shifler Bowers said. “In spaghetti sauce, sugars are used to cut the acidity. Try snacking on fruit and nuts instead.”

Parents should wait as long as possible to introduce children to sugar, even sugar in juices.

“Their taste buds are still developing, so if they get used to sweet foods, that is what they are going to want to eat as they get older,” Shifler Bowers said.

Children aged 1 to 3 should have no more than 4 ounces of fruit juice a day.

“It’s really easy to consume a lot of sugar when drinking sweet beverages. Instead of juice, try offering children fruit such as melons or berries instead, so they get plenty of fiber,” Shifler Bowers said.

Source: HealthDay

Food Label with Added Sugars Content Could Lower Heart Disease/Diabetes Risk

A label showing added sugars content on all packaged foods and sugary drinks could have substantial health and cost-saving benefits in the United States over the next 20 years, according to a new study published in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation. Using a validated model, researchers were able to estimate a significant reduction in cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes cases from 2018 to 2037, if such a mandated addition to the Nutrition Label was implemented.

Poor diet, especially with overconsumption of sugar, is a known, preventable cause of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced an added sugars-labeling requirement on the Nutrition Facts label in 2016.

“The purpose of our study was to estimate the impact of the FDA’s added sugars label on reducing sugar intake and preventing diabetes and cardiovascular disease,” says Renata Micha, R.D., Ph.D., of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University in Boston. “Our results indicate that timely implementation of the added sugars label could reduce consumption of foods and beverages with added sugars, which could then lead to an improvement in health and a reduction in healthcare spending.”

The study was conducted as part of a National Institutes of Health-funded initiative, Food-PRICE, at Tufts University to identify nutrition strategies that can have the greatest impact on improving diet and health in the U.S.

The researchers predict that between 2018 and 2037, the added sugars label would prevent more than 354,000 cardiovascular disease cases and lead to almost 600,000 fewer cases of type 2 diabetes. The estimated reduction in net healthcare costs would be more than $31 billion, after policy costs have been factored in, and not including societal costs, such as lost productivity.

“We and others have shown that food labeling can be an effective strategy to support informed consumer choice and effectively change consumer behavior,” said Micha.

The study authors believe that the added sugars label would likely encourage food and beverage-makers to reformulate their products. As a result, they calculate the impact to be twice as great as having the added sugars label alone, at more than 700,000 fewer cases of cardiovascular disease and 1.2 million fewer diabetes cases, with net healthcare cost savings of more than $57 billion.

In explaining the potential effect that a mandated added sugars label would have on sugar content, Micha points to recent experience with food manufacturers who reduced or removed trans fats from their products following trans-fat labeling on products in the U.S. “That suggests that mandated labeling of added sugars content would stimulate the food industry to reduce sugar in their products,” she said.

“Clear, easy-to-understand nutrition labels help guide everyone on the path to healthy eating,” says Linda Van Horn, PHD, RDN., American Heart Association volunteer expert and Professor and Chief of Nutrition in the Department of Preventive Medicine at the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, in Chicago. “Consumers are better empowered to make more informed food choices that will help reduce their risk for heart disease and stroke and live longer, healthier lives.”

Although there have been recent declines in sugar consumption, mainly from sugary drinks, Americans still consume more than 300 calories per day from added sugar. The largest single source is sugary drinks, followed by cookies, cakes and pastries, candies and ice cream.

“Our findings may be conservative and underestimate the full health and economic impacts. The model only evaluated health benefits and cost-savings from diabetes and cardiovascular disease outcomes,” said Micha, who added that impact on other health concerns could further contribute to health benefits and reduced costs.

The study was conducted as part of the Food-PRICE: Food Policy Review and Intervention Cost-Effectiveness research initiative (www.food-price.org), a National Institutes of Health-funded collaboration led by Tufts University researchers to identify nutrition strategies that can have the greatest impact on improving diet and health in the US.

Source: American Heart Association