Innovative ‘Sugarwise’ test identifies added sugar in food


A ground-breaking innovation, designed to measure added sugar in foods, launches today.

The technology is the only way of independently measuring the added sugar in foods without requiring recipe information from manufacturers.

The Sugarwise certification programme uses this test to award a kitemark to those products low in added sugar, helping people to quickly identify them in order to control their added sugar intake.

It has been hailed as one of the most important breakthroughs in the fight against the negative health effects associated with high sugar intake.

Chief Scientist, Vinicius Ferreira, from Caltech developed the method working with Cambridge University Scientists.

Sugarwise, which was the first UK company to move its headquarters to the US following the Brexit vote, has been warmly received by American health campaigners.

Vinicius Ferreira, Sugarwise Chief Scientist said: ;An overwhelming majority of the American population far exceeds their added sugar target on a daily basis. Obesity levels are soaring and sugar related illness is rising rapidly. We have developed the test and certification to help people take control of their sugar intake. If Sugarwise encourages the food industry to address added sugar content the knock on effect could be huge.’

‘We have to start drawing a distinction between added sugars and overall sugars, because added sugar content, rather than the total sugar content currently displayed in nutritional labels, is the critical measure of the quality of a food's nutritional profile. Foods high in added sugar are almost universally deficient in other nutrients and fibre, and when the population starts getting a large proportion of their daily calories from foods high in added sugar, they fail to meet their daily requirements for nutrients and fibre.

‘Moreover, foods high in added sugar are typically digested faster and lead to more frequent feelings of hunger. To get the most “nutritional bang for your buck'” Sugarwise promotes consumption of foods low in free sugars, and, to cut through the noise and misinformation regarding sugars, my scientific colleagues and I have developed a new Sugarwise standard to evaluate foods. Foods that meet our criteria will carry our Sugarwise brand, which will enable consumers to easily and quickly identify products that are truly Sugarwise’

Rend Platings, Sugarwise founder, said: ‘I was shocked to hear my daughter’s generation may live a shorter life than their parents. It’s not that we don’t know about the dangers of sugar, we do; the problem relates to our lack of access to healthier choices. I am hoping that Sugarwise will have the potential to change things in the same way Fairtrade and Organic labels have – both have successfully driven up demand and availability of products in their categories. We would all benefit if the same was the case for low added sugar products.’

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