New advice for food & drink producers on reducing sugars

FDF publishes a free reformulation guide to reducing sugars developed by Leatherhead Food Research.

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.

Today, FDF publishes a free reformulation guide for small and medium sized companies. 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.

FDF Director General Ian Wright CBE said:

“Our member companies are constantly innovating to meet the demand from shoppers and consumers for great tasting, nutritious and affordable foods and drinks. Sugars reduction is a major focus as consumers look increasingly closely at the sugars in their diets. This presents both challenges and opportunities. Recipe changes need to pass the consumer acceptance test to be successful, lasting and beneficial to consumer health. FDF is committed to giving our members - particularly small and medium sized businesses without large R&D resources - the help they need to reformulate their products successfully.”

Jenny Arthur, Head of Nutrition and Product Development at Leatherhead Food Research, said:

"Reformulating products is a challenging task, as sugars are multifunctional ingredients delivering a variety of roles in different products. We hope this guide will give companies practical advice to help them create products with an overall reduction in sugars, while still delivering on taste, texture and mouthfeel.”

Notes to editors

  1. The Food and Drink Federation is the voice of the UK food and drink industry, the largest manufacturing sector in the country.
  2. Leatherhead Food Research provides expertise and support to the global food and drink sector. www.leatherheadfood.com
  3. FDF's publications, including the new reformulation guidance, are available here

More information

Contact the FDF press office via press.office@fdf.org.uk or via 0207 420 7131/20/18/40

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