Chicago Tribune

A natural sweetener with a tenth of sugar's calories, allulose could be 'breakthrough ingredient'

CHICAGO - People looking to cut back on sugar may soon start seeing more of a novel ingredient: allulose, a substitute that tastes and performs much like the real thing but with a tenth of the calories and none of the cavity-causing, insulin-spiking drawbacks.

Allulose, considered a "rare sugar," in April got the blessing of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to not be counted as sugar in nutrition labels because it does not produce the same physical effects.

Since then, its primary manufacturer has seen a surge of interest from food companies seeking to cater to the large and growing contingent of consumers concerned that added sugar plays a leading role in obesity and disease.

"The size and value and number of opportunities that we're working jointly with customers on has, since April, probably grown by a factor of three or four," said Bill Magee, senior vice president and general manager of food and beverage solutions at ingredient-maker Tate & Lyle, which pioneered the commercial development of allulose at its global innovation center in Hoffman Estates, Ill.

"A lot of these customers had been doing the work to be ready to go ... and now (with the FDA label decision) everyone is running really fast to figure out

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