The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) has just released a brand new sugar reformulation guide. This free guide is designed to help small and medium sized enterprises reduce the sugar content in their products.
According to the FDF, this guide (developed by LFR – Leatherwood Food Research) explains the regulatory framework covering the reduction of sugars, key concerns when reducing sugars or using sugar replacements, and the consumer acceptability of sugar substitutes. Ian Wright, FDF Director General, stated “Our companies are constantly innovating to meet the demands from shoppers and consumers for great tasting, nutritious and affordable foods and drinks. Sugar reduction is a major focus as consumers look increasingly closely at the sugars in their diets. This presents both challenges and opportunities” – this guide is meant to help overcome the challenges and increase the opportunities.
Wright also said “Recipe changes need to pass the consumer acceptance test to be successful, lasting and beneficial to consumer health” – this guide will also provide businesses with a resource for shaping/reformulating recipes to make them healthier!
The FDF is committed to seeing their members succeed, saying that “FDF is committed to giving our members – particularly small and medium sized businesses without large resources – the help they need to reformulate their products successfully“.
Jenny Arthur, head of nutrition and product development at LFR (the company that created the guide) said that reformulating products was a “challenging task“, but has high hopes that the guide will be very helpful. “We hope this guide will give companies practical advice to help them create products with an overall reduction in sugars, while still delivering on taste, texture, and mouthfeel” says Arthur.
The guide comes at a time when the viability of the proposed sugar tax has come into question, following the historic decision for the UK to leave the EU. Previously, pressure group Action on Sugar said voluntary reformulation schemes would only reduce the UK’s sugar intake by 20%, which is lower than the suggested 50% reduction to help prevent dietary illnesses such as type 2 diabetes.
That level of reduction has “been shown internationally for salt reduction to be far more effective in reducing salt than voluntary systems which tend to be eroded by the food industry“. The AOS group states that they “estimate that the plan in its current form will only reduce calorie intake by only 10-20 kcals per person, per day as a maximum and this is nowhere near enough to have any real effect on preventing obesity.”
Meanwhile, the FDF has been fighting criticism over its comment that non-western countries had “no problem” with less healthy foods being advertized at the Rio Olympics.