Overuse of Non-caloric Sweeteners in Foods and Beverages in Chile: A Threat to Consumers' Free Choice?
ABSTRACT: The prevalence of obesity among Chilean adults and children is one of the highest worldwide. To fight the constant increase of non-communicable diseases and the growing sales of sugar-sweetened beverages, the Chilean government recently enacted a new Law of Food Labeling and Advertising imposing the application of front-of-package warning labels in foodstuffs whose composition exceeds limits for critical nutrients including sugar. Accordingly, food companies have been reformulating their products, incorporating non-caloric sweeteners (NCSs) in partial or total replacement of sucrose. The number of NCS-containing foods and beverages, therefore, has been increasing in the last years. This study aims to identify the NCS-containing products from different food/beverage categories currently available on the Chilean market. Nineteen supermarkets and 13 food web pages were visited by trained dietitians to carry out a systematic search of ingredient information from the different food categories. Overall, 1,489 products were analyzed, of which 815 (55.5%) contained at least one NCS, being this proportion particularly high, compared to other countries. 67.1% of the dairy products, 31.5% of the cereal products, 49% of the processed fruits, 74.3% of the non-alcoholic beverages, and 46.2% of sweets and other desserts contained NCS. Considering the food categories more specifically oriented to children, NCSs were present in 98.8% of powder juices, 98.3% of the flavored milks, 91.2% of jellies, and 79% of the dairy desserts. Sucralose and steviol glycosides were the most widely used NCSs, these sweeteners being present, alone or mixed with other, in 73.5 and 39.7% of the NCS-containing products, respectively, while the use of saccharin and cyclamate was low. In addition, 80 tabletop NCSs were available in the local market, 91.2% of them being sucralose and steviol glycosides (alone or combined). The high number of food products containing steviol glycosides makes very plausible that the daily consumption of this NCS in the pediatric populations could exceed its acceptable daily intake (ADI). The fact that there are no NCS-free foods alternatives for certain food categories, especially for children, is worrying.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Consumption of non-nutritive sweeteners (NNS) is becoming increasingly more frequent, particularly in the context of obesity prevention policies. The aim of this study was to describe the consumption of NNS in an ongoing cohort of pre-schoolers (4-6-year-old) before the implementation of the Chilean Food Labelling and Advertising Law, identify sociodemographic and anthropometric characteristics associated with their consumption, and describe the main dietary sources of each NNS sub-type.<h4>Methods</h4>In 959 low-medium income pre-schoolers from the Food and Environment Chilean Cohort (FECHIC), dietary data from a single 24-h recall was linked to NNS content information obtained from packaged foods (n?=?12,233). The prevalence of NNS consumption was estimated by food source and characterized by child and maternal sociodemographic and anthropometric variables. Intakes and main dietary sources were described for the six most prevalent NNS in Chile: Sodium Cyclamate, Saccharin, Aspartame, Acesulfame Potassium, Sucralose, and Steviol glycosides.<h4>Results</h4>Sixty-eight percent of the pre-schoolers consumed at least one source of NNS on the day of the dietary recall; most of them consumed NNS from foods and beverages (n?=?532), while only 12% (n?=?119) also consumed table-top sweeteners. The prevalence of NNS consumption was significantly higher among children whose mothers had a high educational level compared to children whose mothers did not complete high school (p?<?0.05); however, it did not differ by any other variable studied. The highest intakes of NNS were observed for Aspartame [2.5 (1.4-3.7) mg/kg per consumer], followed by Sodium Cyclamate [1.6 (1.3-2.6) mg/kg per consumer] and Steviol glycosides [1.2 (0.2-2.1) mg/kg per consumer]. Beverages were the only food group that contributed to the intake of the six NNS studied, accounting for 22% of the overall intake of Saccharine and up to 99% of Aspartame intake.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Before the implementation of the Food Labelling and Advertising Law, NNS consumption was highly prevalent among a cohort of low-middle income Chilean pre-schoolers. Continuous monitoring of NNS consumption is essential given potential food reformulation associated with the implementation of this set of obesity-prevention policies.
Project description:Reducing added sugars in non-alcoholic beverages is an important public health goal, which can result in increased use of low- and no-calorie sweeteners (LNCS). The aim of this study was to investigate recent changes in the use of LNCS in non-alcoholic beverages in the Slovenian food supply. The national branded foods dataset was updated with beverages available in 2020, and compared with previous datasets. The data were extracted from food labels. In 2020, <i>N</i> = 1,650 unique beverages were found in shops from five different retailers, covering the majority of the national market. The use of LNCS increased from 13.2% in 2017 and 15.5% in 2019 to 20.2% in 2020, with a major growth in soft drinks (16.8, 19.6, and 26.7%, respectively). We observed a significant growth of beverages containing both LNCS and added sugar. Results were also consistent with sales data, which showed that increased offer of beverages with LNCS also resulted in similarly increased sales of such beverages. The average energy and total sugar content in non-alcoholic beverages decreased, which reflects both the higher percentage of beverages with LNCS, and also the reduction of the sugar content in beverages with only added sugar. Analyses of product-specific reformulation practices highlighted reduced sugar content in 16.8% of products, and in 3.6% with the use of LNCS. The most commonly used LNCS are acesulfame K, sucralose, and aspartame. Typically, combinations are used, however steviol glycosides, sucralose and saccharin are also used alone, in most cases combined with added sugar. The results indicated rapid changes in the use of LNCS in non-alcoholic beverages in the Slovenian food supply, making further monitoring of this area highly relevant.
Project description:The method for the determination of acesulfame-K, saccharine, cyclamate, aspartame, sucralose, alitame, neohesperidin dihydrochalcone, neotame and five common steviol glycosides (rebaudioside A, rebaudioside C, steviol, steviolbioside and stevioside) in soft and alcoholic beverages was developed using high-performance liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry with electrospray ionisation (HPLC-ESI-MS/MS). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first work that presents an HPLC-ESI-MS/MS method which allows for the simultaneous determination of all EU-authorised high-potency sweeteners (thaumatin being the only exception) in one analytical run. The minimalistic sample preparation procedure consisted of only two operations; dilution and centrifugation. Linearity, limits of detection and quantitation, repeatability, and trueness of the method were evaluated. The obtained recoveries at three tested concentration levels varied from 97.0 to 105.7%, with relative standard deviations lower than 4.1%. The proposed method was successfully applied for the determination of sweeteners in 24 samples of different soft and alcoholic drinks.
Project description:As a natural sweetening and solubilizing agent, rubusoside has great potential in the application of healthy beverages and pharmaceuticals. However, the direct extraction and purification of rubusoside from raw materials is inefficient. In this work, a novel β-glucosidase (CsBGL) was obtained from Chryseobacterium scophthalmum 1433 through screening of the environmental microorganisms. CsBGL markedly hydrolyzed sophorese (Glcβ1-2Glc) and laminaribiose (Glcβ1-3Glc), but for steviol glycosides, it only hydrolyzed the C-13/C-19-linked sophorese, instead of the C-13/C-19-linked Glcβ1-2[Glcβ1-3]Glc trisaccharide and Glcβ1-monosaccharide. It efficiently hydrolyzed stevioside (240 g/L) to produce rubusoside (99% yield) at 47.5°C for 70 min. Even when using a crude steviol glycosides extract (500 g/L) containing ∼226 g/L stevioside as the substrate, CsBGL could also convert stevioside to rubusoside (99% yield) at 47.5°C for 2 h, in which the rubusoside concentration increased from the initial 42 g/L to the final 222 g/L. These results reveal that CsBGL would be a promising biocatalyst for the industry-scale production of rubusoside from stevioside or/and the crude steviol glycosides extract. Graphical Abstract As a natural sweetening and solubilizing agent, rubusoside has great potential in the application of healthy beverages and pharmaceuticals. A novel β-glucosidase CsBGL obtained here from Chryseobacterium scophthalmum 1433 through screening of the environmental microorganisms could specifically hydrolyze the C-13- or/and C-19-linked sophorese of steviol glycosides, but not the C-13- or/and C-19-linked Glcβ1-2[Glcβ1-3]Glc trisaccharide and Glcβ1-monosaccharide of steviol glycosides, and thus could be a promising biocatalyst for efficient rubusoside production from stevioside.
Project description:Food products and botanicals on the global market need to be investigated in a more comprehensive way to detect effects, falsifications or adulterations. This is especially true for such ones containing Stevia leaves, Stevia extracts, or steviol glycosides. A multi-imaging profiling was developed exploiting hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography (HILIC). A minimalistic sample preparation, different mixtures of acetonitrile and water/buffer on the silica gel phase as well as derivatization reagents and optional hyphenation with high-resolution mass spectrometry were exploited. The hydrophilic interaction high-performance thin-layer chromatography (HI-HPTLC) development took 10 min for 48 analyses. It was used to screen Stevia leaf extracts and 20 different food products. For the first time, the biological and biochemical profiling of Stevia leaf products by HI-HPTLC-UV/Vis/FLD-assay pointed to 19 different bioactive compound bands found in the more natural multicomponent Stevia leaf extracts, whereas most of these activities were not existent for the steviol glycosides. The chemically isolated, purified, and EU-regulated steviol glycosides ease risk assessment and food product development. However, multipotent botanicals may have subtle impact on homeostasis via several metabolic pathways, providing benefits for the consumer's health. Analyzed side by side by means of the effect-directed profiling, their individual activity profiles were visualized as image and individual substances of importance were pointed out. Multi-imaging (comprehensive detection) plus non-targeted bioprofiling (focus on known and unknown bioactivity) allows for a fast detection of questionable product changes that occur along the global food chain and are particularly related to food safety. Graphical abstract.
Project description:To supply the increasing demand of natural high potency sweeteners to reduce the calories in food and beverages, we have looked to steviol glycosides. In this work we report the bioconversion of rebaudioside A to rebaudioside I using a glucosyltransferase enzyme. This bioconversion reaction adds one sugar unit with a 1?3 linkage. We utilized 1D and 2D NMR spectroscopy (1H, 13C, COSY, HSQC-DEPT, HMBC, 1D TOCSY and NOESY) and mass spectral data to fully characterize rebaudioside I.
Project description:Objectives Food marketing to children is pervasive and linked to increased preference and intake of unhealthy foods. The World Health Organization (WHO) developed the only multi-country nutrient criteria, and Chile recently released the world's most comprehensive regulation to identify foods that should not be marketed to children. Our objective was to examine the proportion of US packaged food and beverage products eligible for marketing to children under the WHO Europe Nutrient Profile Model (NPM) and the 2019 Chilean regulation. Methods Data for this study are from Label Insight's 2017 Open Access branded food database. Each product was assigned to one of 13 food categories, and nutritional content compared to both the NPM and Chilean criteria. The proportion of US products meeting criteria for marketing to children using both schemes was examined overall and by category. Agreement between the two criteria was examined using Cohen's Kappa. Results Of 17,740 US products, 21% were eligible to be marketed to children using the WHO criteria and 26% using the Chilean criteria. 'Egg and egg products' and 'Seafood' had the highest proportion of products eligible for marketing to children under both schemes. 'Confectionery' and 'Snack foods' had the lowest proportion eligible. Conclusions for practice The WHO NPM and Chilean criteria both restrict less healthy items from being marketed to children. Regulatory agencies in the US developing policies should consider the implementation of nutrient criteria to restrict the marketing of less healthy foods and beverages to children and adolescents.
Project description:<b>Background:</b> The past few years have witnessed an increase in the availability of food products containing one or more low- and no-calorie sweeteners (LNCS) in the Spanish market, mostly due to the new massive reformulation plan. However, these are not included in food composition tables or databases, and, therefore, assessment of their intake among the population is complex. This study aims to update a database including commercialized foods and beverages. <b>Method:</b> A systematic search of ingredients information from the different food and beverage categories was undertaken during 2019 by recording the availability and type of LNCS declared in the information of the product from labels and online shopping platforms of retailers from Spain to update a previous food composition database compiled in 2017. <b>Results:</b> A total of 1,238 products were identified. The major groups were sugar and sweets (24%), non-alcoholic beverages (21%), cereals and grains (19%), and milk and dairy products (14%) accounting for >70% of total products. The mainly declared LNCS were sorbitol (19.5%), sucralose (19.5%), and acesulfame K (19.2%). <b>Conclusion:</b> There is a wide variety of products that include LNCS as a main ingredient with higher availability than when compared with the results of database of 2017, consequently, it might be expected that LNCS are commonly consumed at present in the Spanish diet.
Project description:BACKGROUND:More than 330 food additives (e.g. artificial sweeteners, emulsifiers, dyes) are authorized in Europe, with a great variability of use across food products. OBJECTIVE:The objective of this study was to investigate the distribution and co-occurrence of food additives in a large-scale database of foods and beverages available on the French market. DESIGN:The open access crowdsourced Open Food Facts database (https://world.openfoodfacts.org/) was used to retrieve the composition of food and beverage products commonly marketed on the French market (n?=?126,556), based on the ingredients list. Clustering of food additive variables was used in order to determine groups of additives frequently co-occurring in food products. The clusters were confirmed by network analysis, using the eLasso method. RESULTS:Fifty-three-point eight percent of food products contained at least 1 food additive and 11.3% at least 5. Food categories most likely to contain food additives (in more than 85% of food items) were artificially sweetened beverages, ice creams, industrial sandwiches, biscuits and cakes. The most frequently used food additives were citric acid, lecithins and modified starches (>10,000 products each). Some food additives with suspected health effects also pertained to the top 50: sodium nitrite, potassium nitrate, carrageenan, monosodium glutamate, sulfite ammonia caramel, acesulfame K, sucralose, (di/tri/poly) phosphates, mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids, potassium sorbate, cochineal, potassium metabisulphite, sodium alginate, and bixin (>800 food products each). We identified 6 clusters of food additives frequently co-occurring in food products. CONCLUSIONS:Food additives are widespread in industrial French products and some clusters of additives frequently co-occurring in food products were identified. These results pave the way to future etiological studies merging composition data to food consumption data to investigate their association with chronic disease risk, in particular potential 'cocktail effects'.
Project description:Reductions on the sugars content of the food supply have been described after the initial implementation Chilean Labeling Law, but it is unclear if sugars were replaced by non-caloric sweeteners (NNS). We evaluated changes in the NNSs use in foods and beverages after the initial implementation of the labeling law. We used longitudinal data on packaged foods and beverages collected in six major supermarkets and three candy distributors in Santiago, Chile, in January-February 2015/2016 and in January-February 2017. We included in the analysis beverages, dairy-based beverages, yogurts, breakfast cereals, desserts and ice creams, candies and sweet confectioneries, and sweet spreads with a market share ≥1% of their food groups (<i>n</i> = 999). We compared the use of any NNS, the number of different NNSs used, and the combined use of NNSs and ingredients adding sugars using non-parametric tests for matched samples. We evaluated the association between a reduction in sugars and starting NNS use in the post-implementation period using negative binomial regression. The use of any NNS increased from 37.9 to 43.6% (<i>p</i> < 0.001) after the law's implementation, NNSs increased among beverages, dairy-based beverages, yogurts, and desserts and ice creams (<i>p</i> < 0.05), driven mostly by increases in sucralose and stevia use (<i>p</i> < 0.05). We found that reformulated products that reduced the amount of sugars below the law's cutoff were more likely to start using an NNS in the post-implementation period (prevalence ratio: 12.1; 95%CI: 7.2-20.2; <i>p</i> < 0.001). Our results suggest that NNSs likely replaced sugars after the initial implementation of the law. Further analyses should explore how these changes may impact NNS consumption.