Artificial Sweeteners and Your Health

Jul 16 2018

The debate between sugars versus artificial sweeteners has been going on for decades. Public Health England, celebrity chefs, diet enthusiasts and health officials constantly drum into the publics’ mind that replacing sugar in food and drink with a substitute is the way forward to combatting obesity and living a fuller, healthier life. But, and it’s a BIG BUT… is this true? Are artificial sweeteners really the best option to curb obesity?

This is a very controversial topic, where research by scientists and food & drink specialists has shown that artificial sweeteners aren’t all sweetness and nice, they can actually be harmful to the human body.  Sucralose, aspartame and other similar substitutes have dominated the weight loss world for such a long time; however, it may now be time that scientists can finally take them off their pedestal.

Ragus is one of the world's leading pure sugar manufacturers. It sources raw sugar from across the world to manufacture sugars, syrups and special formulations from its advanced UK factory. Ragus ships its sugars globally, delivering on-time and in-full to customers across the baking, brewing, confectionary, and pharmaceutical industries

 

“Artificial sweeteners are not risk-free,” says Brian Hoffmann, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the Medical College of Wisconsin and Marquette University, declared.  

Hoffman indicated that his recent research findings show that artificial sweeteners contribute to “metabolic disorder and disease through an entirely different pathway compared to (normal) sugar.”  The research shows that these sugar substitutes change the way certain specific genes, which are responsible for breaking down fats and proteins, work.

 “if you use sweeteners as an alternative to sugar, the sweeteners suppress the production of the hormone lecithin. Lecithin tells the brain when it’s had enough carbohydrate, but with sweeteners the brain doesn’t receive that signal – so you just keep eating.”

Ben Eastick, Marketing Director of Ragus

Using rats and human cell cultures, Hoffman and his team of scientists found that in just three weeks of exposure to aspartame and acesulfame potassium, two common sweeteners, the select genes charged with lipid metabolism, were altered.

Explaining further, Hoffman added “Aspartame had some significant changes, and one of those was an increase in lipids in the bloodstream and a decrease in a biomolecule that is involved in clearing (lipids) from the bloodstream. And we saw the exact same thing with the acesulfame potassium.”

Hoffman and his team have shown that artificial sweeteners cause metabolic changes at a genetic level — changes that do not take place when regular sugar is consumed.

There has been research in past years suggesting that sugar substitutes can increase the risk of diabetes by up to 500%. Plus, research published online at stroke.ahajournals.org revealed that, over a 10 year period, one can of diet drink or more on a daily basis was associated with a three times increased risk for stroke and dementia, compared with consumers who drank regular beverages. Further research by the U.S National Institutes of Health show that malodextrin, a food additive commonly used in some sugar substitutes may cause Crohn’s disease, as it encourages the growth of the bacteria E. coli in the small intestine.

These are just a small handful of studies that have show that while artificial sweeteners may be low in calories, they are not good for the human body.

Here at Ragus, we supply pure sugars as ingredients to the baking, dessert, beverage, confectionery, sauces/preserves/ cereals and pharmaceutical manufacturers. We only deliver products and services of the highest quality and have gained a range of accreditations to demonstrate this fundamental commitment. For more information contact sales@ragus.co.uk

 

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THE SUGAR DEBATE

Jul 10 2018

Sugar is constantly coming under scrutiny in the media, whether it is manufacturers reducing the sugar content in products, celebrity chefs non-stop publicising the potential dangers of sugar, the Government enforcing sugar taxes or Public Health officials warning of the dangers of obesity, meaning it’s a topical debate that keeps escalating.

In March 2017 the Public Health England called for all food and drink manufacturers to voluntarily reduce sugar content in them products by 20% by 2024; hence companies such as Nestle are introducing chocolate products with lower sugar levels.

Plus, the implementation of the Sugar Tax, which at the moment applies only to sugar-sweetened beverages, adds to the pressures that the food and beverage industry are incurring.

These enforcements come down to the fact that experts say that one in five children are currently obese or over weight. Public Health England reveal that seeing a 20% reduction in sugar content would cut costs to the NHS by £4.5bn over 25 years.

However, reducing the sugar content is not just an easy task. Firstly, consumers will be the first to complain that the taste, texture and appearance are different as a result. Plus replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners brings on a whole new debate over the health implications of these manufactured substitutes. Lastly, manufacturers are concerned that by reducing sugar in some food and drink items can cause products to break down as sugars are needed to colour, bind & caramelise etc, certain products; costs of products will also rise to accommodate alternative ingredients.

 

“if you start adding polyols for bulk and colours, not only does the product become less natural, ultimately it becomes more expensive to make.”

Ben Eastick, Marketing Director of Ragus

For example, in manufacturing baked goods, such as bread, “taking out sugar altogether is not really a viable option,” says Eastick. “Sugar contributes to the bakery process by browning and caramelising breads, contributing to yeast nourishment, controlling water content and improving the leavening and gelatinisation of the dough”.

Ragus is one of the world's leading pure sugar manufacturers. It sources raw sugar from across the world to manufacture sugars, syrups and special formulations from its advanced UK factory. Ragus ships its sugars globally, delivering on-time and in-full to customers across the baking, brewing, confectionary, and pharmaceutical industries

 

Andrew Hughes, of Campden BRI Group agrees with Eastick, adding ‘the role of sugar in bakery products isn’t just about sweetness, it’s a functional ingredient which can affect the texture, shape and shelf life of the product. Reduction or replacement of sugar can therefore have a number of different results.”

Dawn Foods, marketing manager Jacqui Passmore agrees too, she says, “achieving a 20% sugar reduction is more challenging, especially when we do not want to increase ingredients costs or alter product texture.” Natalie Drake, category manager forSynergy Flavours, also highlights that “when sugar is removed from products it can cause a distinct loss of flavour.”

As previously suggested, the solution for some manufacturers is to replace sugars with sweeteners, but these too carry numerous health implications as “if you use sweeteners as an alternative to sugar, the sweeteners suppress the production of the hormone lecithin”, adds Eastick. “Lecithin tells the brain when it’s had enough carbohydrate, but with sweeteners the brain doesn’t receive that signal – so you just keep eating.”

Many bakers and chefs are now introducing alternative forms of natural sugars including using honey, maple syrup and fruit and vegetables to avoid using refined sugars, but at the end of the day“health is important”, says UK chef consultant David Colcombe, “ but indulgence is key too.”

Thus, surely the issue should come down to educating the public on self-control and how to sustain a healthy balanced diet.

Sugars are an important source of energy that we all need in order to survive. The most common sugar in the human body is glucose, which your brain, major organs and muscles need in order to function properly.

Andy Baxendale, aka, The Sweet Consultant who has more than23 years’ experience in the confectionery industry adds, “it is time to stop vilifying sugar – it is not hidden in confectionery products – they are meant as treats not staple diet. Education is the key here, not being dictated to by a nanny state.”

Established in 1928, Ragus today are a leading supplier in the production of brown sugars, syrups and treacles for major food, drink and pharmaceutical companies. Ragus develop customised sugar formulations for a wide variety of applications from ethically sourced raw materials to the controlled transformation into high quality functional ingredients. Ragus provides its clients with pure sugars for taste, texture and appearance of their consumer products based on our unique knowledge, experience and dedication.

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Can syrups take the place of sugar in bakery?

Jul 02 2018

Ragus is one of the world's leading pure sugar manufacturers. It sources raw sugar from across the world to manufacture sugars, syrups and special formulations from its advanced UK factory. Ragus ships its sugars globally, delivering on-time and in-full to customers across the baking, brewing, confectionary, and pharmaceutical industries

With the government targeting refined sugar as part of its drive to cut obesity, bakers can use syrups to create sweetness in baked goods, but what complications do they bring?

In the ongoing clamour to cut sugar from the nation’s diets – given fresh impetus by last month’s Public Health England findings  – baked goods need special consideration as sugar does a lot more than sweeten – it adds texture, crumb and colour, and helps keep them moist.

But when it comes to reducing the sugar content of baked goods, syrups offer potential as they are sweeter and have other benefits. “Depending on the exact type of syrup used, they are around 40% sweeter than sucrose (granulated sugar) so less syrup is needed in a formulation,” says Ben Eastick, director at sugar and syrups supplier Ragus.

“Syrups also perform the role of a binding agent, moisture attractant and flavour enhancer, as well as aiding and controlling colour development in baking.”

Ben Eastick, Director at Ragus

Treacles, for example, can add a robust flavour, are a natural food colourant and are high in minerals (iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium), he explains, while cane treacle is a natural food supplement with over 5% of vitamin B6 daily requirements. And although syrups can cost around 20% more than sucrose, Eastick says this should be countered against their advantages. “Syrups are ready to mix, so reduce pre-mixing time, energy and labour costs,” he explains, “And depending on volume and application, they can also reduce raw material volume held in stock and costs.”

Read more at: https://bakeryinfo.co.uk/

Brtish_Baker

 

 

 

 

 

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