Reformulation of Product by reducing its sugar content

Scientific studies about sugar are not sweet and warn about its imminent dangers.  It is the significant cause of obesity, which is the fifth leading risk for causing 2.8 deaths globally.   Also, it is one of the major causes of heart diseases, which is the first leading risk to cause over 8.9 million deaths annually. 

There are also many other non-communicable diseases like diabetes to make sugar cause many deaths globally.  And it is why the reformulation of the product by reducing its free sugar or the monosaccharide and disaccharides is increasing its importance worldwide.  But experts apprehend that it should not become a 'halo effect' by perceiving reduced sugar as healthier.  Hence check out the challenges for a holistic approach for reformulation of products by reducing sugar to aim for safer low-calorie products to prevent millions of deaths globally.

Reformulation of Product by reducing its sugar content

Increasing sugar consumption and its dangers

On average, most people take over 270 calories of sugar each day over the 200 calories recommended by the WHO .  It is apart from the 17 teaspoons of sugar taken daily and baked food, sauces, savory foods, and sweetened dairy. And another hidden truth is of taking sugar from packed foods like corn syrup, palm sugar, cane juice, sucrose, and others, of which it is difficult to find the sugar content on their labels. 

All these excess sugar intakes ends up as unburned calories to cause obesity, heart disease, diabetes, poor oral health, among others .  Hence scientists confirm that a single factorial approach may not be the right panacea for its dangers and unintended consequences.  Hence there needs to be a paradigm shift to have a holistic approach to make all the product ingredients with lower sugar and safe for delivering maximum impact at optimal levels.

European food reformulation to reduce free sugar impacts


The European government and food industry took the foodreformulation action to reduce sugar, salt and fat content to reduce deaths.  These excessive ingredients in the cakes and biscuits intake increase non-communicable diseases like diabetes and other life-threatening diseases.  

Also, ultra-processed and pre-packaged food has become a significant part of most peoples' diets . All of it has increased the excess sugar consumption to epidemic proportions in the last three decades in Europe and worldwide. Hence, as per the initiative taken by some EU member states to reduce sugar intake in 2005, the food reformulation to reduce free sugar is now gaining importance worldwide.

The challenges of reformulation of the product by reducing its sugar content

There are many challenges in reformulating the products by reducing their sugar content to save precious lives. Moreover, there are many direct and indirect consequences for the food industry. For example, they require investments for research and development and remove the sugar from the other ingredients like fat from the products. Hence product quality, consumers' preferences, and industry engagement, among others, are the challenges for the reformulation programs by many countries that include.

Unlike the simple way of replacing sugars with artificial sweeteners, it is complicated to replace sugar in foods as sugars are lesser in energy-dense than fats to make it difficult to replace them without increasing energy content and food texture

·  Though there are many sugar replacers of one or two functions of sugar like  sweeteners, fibers, bulking agents, and polyols, none of them can replace all the  sugar functions

·    Even after reformulating many products, like beverages, it is challenging to do it in foods with a significant quantity of fat or starch combined with sugars.

·  It is also challenging for the food manufacturer to reformulate the food to reduce sugar with no changes in taste for the consumers and with little or no increase in the costs

·  Since consumers now demand clear labels depicting all the ingredients to know about them, it becomes difficult for naming the many ingredients for reformulation to replicate the multifunctional properties of sugar brings many conflicts with them

·   Many regulations on the use of sugar replacers for specific activities avoid them having phenylalanine and excessive polyols to cause laxation to make food reformulation challenges.

·  The other major challenges include the increased number of ingredients and warnings and the insignificant changes in the products' energy content and its impacts on food safety.


 It is imperative to overcome all the above challenges in thefood industry to reduce sugar consumption by reformulation as it has many potential advantages. Since it is nearly impossible to change the consumers' behavior for reducing their sugar content to not fall prey to many life-threatening diseases, it is only the holistic reformulation approach of all governments that will help save precious lives because of excessive sugar intake.