Sugar Under Scrutiny with New Taxes and Label Regulations
A bright global spotlight is shining on sugar, causing the infamous additive’s future to look dimmer than ever before.
Sugar taxes are coming down on the beverage industry pretty hard. After Mexico’s first year of the sugar-sweetened beverage tax, purchases of taxed sugary beverages decreased by an average of 6%, even declining up to 12% by December 2014 (British Medical Journal). According to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health, research projected a 10% reduction in sugary beverage consumption among Mexican adults could result in about 189,300 fewer cases of type 2 diabetes. This research is significant, as it links soft drink consumption to obesity and diabetes.
With over 400 million adults with diabetes around the world, the scrutiny on sugar could potentially ripple into categories beyond beverages. The idea of taxing sugary packaged goods could especially be promoted by global governing bodies who are actively seeking solutions to address public health issues such as obesity and diabetes. Governments are certainly not alone in this battle on sugar — consumers and advocacy groups are also placing pressure on food and drink manufacturers to reduce sugar usage.
The Threshold of 0g of Added Sugars
In 2018, a newly designed “Nutrition Facts” label will require U.S. food and drink manufacturers to declare the amount of “Added Sugars” in grams. To avoid consumer backlash against “Added Sugars,” packaged food brands will reformulate to reduce sugar count wherever possible. We expect demand for sugar-free ingredients to rise, especially for those trying to hit the specific threshold of 0g of Added Sugars. Color from some fruit and vegetable sources inherently carries trace amounts of sugar. Luckily, there are sugar-free natural color solutions available. Advanced technologies and enhanced facility capabilities enable our efforts to reduce or remove sugar from natural color solutions.
–– Removing Sugar From Natural Color Solutions ––
Reformulation Of Color Solution’s Carrier
Expertise: Reformulating application-specific solutions to perform and deliver the same shade with carriers other than sugar.
Why Important: Some food manufacturers use carriers, like sugar, to enhance color incorporation within a formula or recipe but need a sugar-free solution to meet the “0g of Added Sugars” label specifications.
Example: Oil-Based or Water-Based Dispersions
Customization of Natural Color Solutions
Expertise: Advanced blending technologies enable us to combine multiple natural color sources into a single-delivery system to more accurately achieve target shades and manage desired sugar content.
Why Important: Dependent on application, sugar content can be removed by adjusting the solution’s color source components based on sugars while still achieving target shade.
Example: A natural purple solution consisting of red beet vegetable juice and blue spirulina is 4x the amount of sugar than a purple solution consisting of red anthocyanin vegetable juice and spirulina blend. Additional sources may also be incorporated to further reduce sugar or achieve target shade.
–– Reducing Sugar from Natural Color Solutions ––
Development of Highly Concentrated Color Solutions
Expertise: Specialized extraction techniques intensify pigment load from raw material which helps to decrease usage rate.
Why Important: Delivers bold colors at lower usages rates with less calories and sugar count.
The 2018 sugar label will certainly affect U.S. food scientists and U.S. imported food brands, but the demand for reduced or sugar-free could be widespread, especially in markets where a “Sugar-Free” claim is important or an “Added Sugars” label line might be a possibility.
If you are interested in sugar-free or reduced sugar natural color solutions, please reach out to me with any formulation or application-specific questions.
I’m happy to help food scientists adapt to any reduced-sugar needs in natural color solutions!