SWEETENERS

ISOMALT - a new natural sweetener, low in calories
Isomalt is made from beet sugar. In a two step process, the sugar components glucose and fructose are used to make ISOMALT which looks like sugar and tastes like sugar but only has half the calories of sugar. The reason for the reduced calorie content is because human enzymes digest ISOMALT in much smaller amounts and more slowly than sugar. As a result, blood sugar and insulin levels do not change following its consumption. The human body uses about 50% of isomalt because it belongs to a fibre group known as "low digestible carbohydrates". These stimulate bowel activity and help counteract constipation - so ISOMALT works like dietary fibre. ISOMALT is also toothfriendly because it does not promote dental cavities and has a very low glycaemic index. It is currently being used in some confectionery (e.g Wrigley's sugar free, Chupa Chups) and food products (Nestle) as an alternative to conventional sugars and sweeteners.

'Aspartame' (Equal) and health

The European Union's Scientific Committee of Food reviewed all the scientific research to date on aspartame and concluded that aspartame use (even at high intakes) was not linked to any health problems such as headaches, epilepsy, brain tumors and other illnesses. The report can be found at: http://www.foodstandards.gov.uk/mulimedia/pdfs/aspartameopinion.pdf

Last Updated: December, 2004