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Sugar replacers: from technological challenges to consequences on health

Lê, Kim-Anne; Robin, Frédéric; Roger, Olivier

Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care: July 2016 - Volume 19 - Issue 4 - p 310–315
doi: 10.1097/MCO.0000000000000288
CARBOHYDRATES: Edited by Luc Tappy and Bettina Mittendorfer

Purpose of review Dietary sugars play a role in noncommunicable diseases and represent a clear target for reduction. In this context, product reformulation can have a positive impact on health. Several technological solutions are available to replace sugar, all with benefits and limitations. The goal of this review is to describe the main sugar replacement alternatives and discuss their impact on health and product physicochemical properties.

Recent findings Although high intensity sweeteners and polyols have been used for a long time to replace sucrose and despite no clear evidence of harm, the trend is today to look for alternatives such as sweet enhancers or alternative sugars such as allulose or tagatose, which are both low caloric. To replace the physical properties of sugars, new trends are to substitute widely used maltodextrins by dietary fibres to confer added health benefits.

Summary A wide range of solutions is currently available to replace dietary sugars and compensate for the impact on bulking properties and sweetness profile of food products.

aNestlé Research Center, Lausanne

bNestlé Product Technology Center, Orbe, Switzerland

Correspondence to Kim-Anne Lê, Public Health Nutrition, Nestec Ltd., Nestlé Research Center, 1000 Lausanne 26, Switzerland. Tel: +41 21 785 86 03; e-mail:

Copyright © 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.