The possible perfect sugar substitute

“We believe it is the holy grail of sugar replacement.” Ziv Zwighaft states this about a white granular powder called allulose. It has approximately 70% of the sweetness of sugar. But it is very low in calories and does not impact blood sugar levels. Therefore, it could be the perfect possible substitute for sugar.
It occurs naturally in small amounts in figs and raisins. It is produced commercially from fructose. But its production is expensive. Ambrosia Bio, Dr. Zwighaft’s Israeli startup, has a much cheaper way to make it. It uses a patented enzyme that uses sugar or high fructose corn syrup as raw material.

Allulose seeks to be the perfect possible substitute for sugar.
Allulose seeks to be the perfect possible substitute for sugar.

Race for the sweetener

There are very high rates of obesity and diabetes. Consumers are looking for alternative sweeteners that are better and healthier than sugar. Finding the possible perfect sugar substitute is a million-dollar search.
Some governments are already adding taxes to sugar. The sugar substitute market will be worth more than $28 billion within a decade.
There are already many replacements. There are older artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, saccharin and sucralose. Also stevia and monk fruit extracted from plants. But the aftertaste and mouthfeel can be problematic. Other problems are associated with some sweeteners like these. Some may increase the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Ambrosia Bio is not the only one trying to produce rare sugar at an affordable price. In January, the American startup Bonumose began producing an alternative, tagatose, also at a lower cost. Beats allulose with 90% of the sweetness.

Many products are offered as healthy alternatives to sugar.
Many products are offered as healthy alternatives to sugar.


However, startups face obstacles. It can take a few years for large manufacturers to reformulate a product using a new ingredient. There is often hesitation among buyers when it comes to trying new products. Obtaining regulatory approval for new ingredients can also be difficult.
It’s exciting to see new alternatives to sugar emerge, says Kimber Stanhope, a nutritional research biologist at the University of California, Davis. The best solution is to eliminate sugar, but it can be difficult. “We need these products,” she says. She believes that sugar-free sweeteners may be useful for weight management and reducing the risk of diabetes. However, the road to finding the perfect product is long and winding.

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