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Health: New Sugar Without Calories - Does It Work?


Allulose: real sugar with almost no calories?

Almost zero calorie sugar has been around for a long time in the United States and some Asian countries under the names allulose or psicose. A start-up of the Pfeifer & Langen sugar factory now wants to apply for approval of this sugar in the European Union as well and start large-scale production in the Rhineland.

The young company has developed a process for producing sugar from sugar beet on a large scale with almost no calories. The company claims to change the molecular structure of the beet sugar so that the energy content is encapsulated to a certain extent.

Human metabolism no longer recognizes allulose as a source of energy. There are currently no health concerns. On the contrary, the extremely low calorie content counteracts obesity and thus serious complications such as type 2 diabetes, heart attack or stroke.

Various bodies and increasingly the food industry are currently trying to reformulate the sugar and salt content of food. And consumers are always on the lookout for low-sugar foods. Accordingly, an interesting market can be expected for the almost calorie-free sugar - with the appropriate pricing.

Production is a complex food technology process. Beet sugar is the starting product. That should also make European sugar beet growers happy. In terms of taste and function, the allulose should be suitable for sweetening food and beverages. It should still be possible to find out whether it works with baking. The sugar retains a residual calorie content of 0.2 kcal per gram.

Common table sugar has 4 kcal per gram. The new company therefore expects that the label "without calories" will be approved by the EU. And that would be crucial for customer acceptance and rapid market success. Britta Klein, bzfe, sb

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