At a time when shoppers are increasingly looking to reduce sugars in their diets, the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) is helping small producers who are considering reformulation but don’t know where to start to take the first step.
FDF published a free reformulation guide for small and medium sized companies in August. The guidance was developed by Leatherhead Food Research (LFR) for FDF.
The new guidance sets out the regulatory framework covering the reduction of sugars, key considerations when reducing sugars or using sugar replacers and factors affecting the consumer acceptability of sugar replacers. The guide covers the different challenges and opportunities in reducing sugars in the soft drinks, dairy and baked goods categories, and also discusses ingredient and labelling considerations.
Sugars are an essential ingredient in many foods and drinks, typically providing multiple functions in a recipe. These functions will vary from product to product and category to category, and must each be addressed when adapting a recipe. Sugars can add colour and sweetness, enhance other flavours, provide bulk and texture, and improve shelf-life by reducing available water and inhibiting growth of bacteria. In some products, sugars are used to improve the palatability of fibre, wholemeal or bran, for instance.