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Sugar reduction: clean label options

Project title: Clean label sugar reduction
Member Funded Research project number: 144037

Why are we undertaking this project?

There has been a lot of focus on identifying suitable alternative ingredients for sugar reduction in recent years (e.g. sweeteners). However, these are not always well accepted by consumers who are increasingly demanding clean label solutions.

What are we doing as part of this project?

Understanding how much sugar can be removed before product quality is compromised to an unacceptable level or functionality is lost. The smallest portion size consumers will accept before they buy two of the same product will also be explored, as well as the effectiveness of two clean label approaches in composite products.

Current status of the project

Work was undertaken with consumers at a central location which assessed the acceptability both portion size and increasing aeration as a way of reducing both sugar and calories. In cake bars 80% of consumers did not reject individually wrapped cake bars with (up to) a 31% reduction in portion size. The work on aeration indicated that this would be an acceptable method of reducing portion weight, sugar and calories in desserts. An R&D report on this work will be published shortly..

Work for 2020 will include looking at the use of novel fibres and sweetness boosting natural flavours as a possible approach to sugar reduction. The products that will be investigated will from one or two of the Public Health England 9 sugar reduction categories. The categories will be chosen from ice cream, lollies and sorbets; morning goods; puddings; sweet confectionery; or sweet spreads and sauces.


Project timeline

Jan 2018 - Dec 2020

Project outputs