Real sugar syrup flood expected: Isoglucose could become a serious problem

End of the sugar market regulation for beet sugar: More and more isoglucose expected

The quota regulation for isoglucose expired at almost the same time. Health experts now fear an increase in cheap sugar syrup imports and an increase in sugar consumption.

High sugar consumption endangers health

Too much sugar makes you fat and sick - this has also been proven in numerous studies. It has long been known that high sugar consumption can lead to obesity, tooth decay or diabetes. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a maximum of 50 grams of free sugar a day. On average, the Germans consume almost twice the amount. This also has to do with the hidden sugar in food. Health experts fear that the food industry will use even more sugar in the future. The reason for the assumption is the abolition of the sugar market regulations for beet sugar and the end of the quota regulation for isoglucose.

Sugar market regulations for beet sugar no longer apply

On October 1, 2017, the sugar market regulations for beet sugar ceased to exist and the quota regulation for isoglucose expired at almost the same time.

In a joint press release, the German Obesity Society (DAG) and diabetesDE - German Diabetes Aid warn that the result is in sight: no more barriers to cheap sugar syrup imports with the collective name "isoglucose".

The syrup, which mostly consists of 55% fructose and 44% glucose, is not considered to be more harmful than industrial sugar, provided that the quantities consumed do not increase; however, production is expected to more than triple in the next ten years.

If isoglucose not only displaces sugar from the market, but is even more used in processed foods, overall sugar and calorie consumption will increase even more and would further favor the increase in obesity and obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

An increase in fructose intake would increase the risk of fatty liver or type 2 diabetes in the long term.

The experts therefore advocate rapid optimization and implementation of the national reduction strategy for sugar, salt and fat in the coming legislative period.

Food industry is likely to use more cheap isoglucose

"It is to be expected that the food industry will increasingly use cheap isoglucose in Europe," said Prof. Dr. Hans-Georg Joost, responsible for science and nutrition on the board of diabetesDE - Deutsche Diabetes-Hilfe.

"In the coming legislative period, the Federal Government must therefore work consistently to ensure that food does not become sweeter and that sugar consumption does not continue to increase - it is already double the recommendation for maximum intake and is jointly responsible for the high incidence of illnesses with diabetes type 2 and obesity! ”Says the diabetologist.

"To do this, the started national reduction strategy of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food must be consistently pursued and optimized, especially with regard to time-bound targets that should be mandatory for the food industry to implement; A sugar-fat tax would be even more efficient, ”said Joost.

Economic interests must not drive sugar consumption further up

"Using sugar and isoglucose as an example, we can see that agricultural and food policy has a direct impact on the nutrition of EU citizens and thus also has an impact on the development of chronic diseases," said Professor Dr. med. Matthias Blüher, President of DAG.

"We have to prevent economic interests from further driving up unfavorable sugar consumption and accepting the health of citizens as collateral damage to a unilateral agricultural policy," said the expert.

"Obesity prevention must be considered and taken into account in all political fields of action."

How consumers can recognize isoglucose

The cheap sugar syrup isoglucose is often added as a sweetener to processed foods such as lemonades, pastries or sauces.

Consumers also recognize it on ingredient lists under names such as fructose-glucose syrup. The product is made from corn, wheat or potato starch. So far, the share of isoglucose in the European Union has been limited to five percent of the sugar market.

Isoglucose mostly consists of 55 percent fruit sugar and 44 percent glucose, while sucrose (table sugar) contains both types of sugar in the same proportion. This difference is not considered relevant from a nutritional point of view.

Based on the similarity in composition with sucrose (beet sugar) and other fructose-containing sugars such as honey or invert sugar, the same energy content and the same metabolism, a current report by the Max Rubner Institute comes to the conclusion that "Isoglucose ... is the health of humans no more [hurts] than other sugars ”, provided the amounts consumed are the same.

However, experts from the European Parliament's Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) estimate that isoglucose production will more than triple in the period from 2016 to 2025 and expect an increased intake of isoglucose. (ad)

Author and source information

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