For years, sugar has been a prominent ingredient in consumer diets throughout many Latin American countries. However, the current average daily intake of added sugars in the Latin America population is higher than World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations1 - which may contribute to the high prevalence of obesity and diabetes rates, showing a clear need for effective tools that can reduce sugar and calories without losing the sweetness that consumers love.
Low and no calorie sweeteners (LNCS) continue to grow as one of the food and beverage formulation tools used to meet the demands of consumers, who are seeking to achieve improved health outcomes—such as favourable blood glucose levels and healthy body weight. This creates a unique opportunity for leading experts in the field to partner and develop initiatives supporting science-based education around LNCS that ultimately benefits society as a whole population.
Health and food industry professionals are always looking for the latest evidence-based knowledge to support the patients they see in daily practice. New digital education courses offer the latest scientific information that can help them to better advise their patients.
That’s why Tate & Lyle, in collaboration with leading nutrition experts and industry partners, has supported the development of a new digital science education series for health and food industry professionals in Latin America, entitled “Low/No Calorie Sweeteners: Metabolic Health and the Science of Sweetness.” The 12-course series helps fill the information gap that exists around LNCS ingredients and their presence in tastier, healthier products.
Renata Cassar, Head of Nutrition in Latin America and member of the Global Nutrition Team at Tate & Lyle, shared: “There is a lot of misinformation surrounding LNCS, which often makes consumers feel unsure about their use. Our aim is to update industry and health professionals about LNCS and clarify inaccurate information, based on evidence-based knowledge. We know that health professionals are always looking for robust information based on credible science that can help them to better advise their patients to make better dietary choices.”
NutriSmart, a leading nutrition education platform, hosts this free series to offer Spanish speaking health and food industry professionals an accessible, easy to use digital experience. The series includes 12 short, on-demand video classes (15 min. each) supported by presentations developed by nutrition academics from leading institutions in Mexico, Colombia, Chile and Argentina. The platform is open for registration at https://nutrismartedu.com/.
Susana Socolovsky, Ph.D., CFS and President at the Argentinean Association of Food Technologists (AATA) and one of the keynote speakers at the course, added: “It is important to inform different audiences about the fact that all approved food additives, including low- and no- calorie sweeteners are safe and suitable for use in foods consumed by the general population with the purpose to provide sweetness.”
Rebeca Leyva Rico, M.S. and Specialist in Obesity and Comorbidities and one of the course speakers, highlights that health professionals want to keep up to date with scientific information that is relevant to their daily practice, and this course facilitates the achievement of this goal by providing state of the art, evidence-based information. “Successful dietary guidance requires several strategies and LNCS can be a useful tool to manage obesity or diabetes, supporting the goals of those who need to maintain their health.”
As a science-driven company with deep expertise in developing innovative sweetening solutions, Tate & Lyle recognizes the importance of connecting science and daily healthcare practice to enable actions that support healthy living by a wide variety of people. Educational resources provided through digital platforms bring even greater value as a solution for busy health and food industry professionals. We’re proud to join this effort with fellow leaders in the industry, including the Asociación Latinoamericana de Diabetes (ALAD), Asociación Latinoamericana y del Caribe de Ciencia y Tecnología de Alimentos (ALACCTA), Federación Mexicana de Diabetes (FMD), PepsiCo Health & Nutrition Sciences, Splenda, and the International Council of Beverages Association (ICBA), and look forward to future partnerships and initiatives in this space.
Erika Rius Schmidt, Healthcare Marketing Manager – Splenda at Heartland Food Products Group said: “The overconsumption of sugar is a matter of concern worldwide, while the misinformation about LNCS’s, a tool that could help reduce excessive sugar intake levels, frequently leads to many doubts and barriers to LNCS consumption. For this reason, it is of the utmost importance to continue informing health professionals on this subject, always based on the highest quality scientific evidence, so they can correctly guide and advise their patients about the use of LNCS's.”
This initiative supporting education to improve nutrition represents one of the many ways Tate & Lyle makes a positive impact on society by living its purpose, Transforming Lives through the Science of Food. To learn more, visit www.tateandlyle.com/purpose.
1 Kovalskys, I., Fisberg, M., Gómez, G., Pareja, R. G., Yépez García, M. C., Cortés Sanabria, L. Y., Herrera-Cuenca, M., Rigotti, A., Guajardo, V., Zalcman Zimberg, I., Nogueira Previdelli, A., Moreno, L. A., Koletzko, B., & ELANS Study Group (2018). Energy intake and food sources of eight Latin American countries: results from the Latin American Study of Nutrition and Health (ELANS). Public health nutrition, 21(14), 2535–2547. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1368980018001222