Sweeteners and Sugar taxes, combatting the obesity epidemic in Latin America


Obesity and diabetes levels are reaching alarming rates across Latin America. A recent WHO report highlighted that Mexico is of particular concern, with 33% of the population currently having BMIs in the obese category.

Reducing sugar in popular soft drinks

The country, currently ranked sixth for obesity, took the radical decision to impose a tax on the use of sugar in food and beverage products in July 2014. This government decision spurred soft drink manufacturers to look to healthier, lower-calorie alternatives, that still retain the taste of the brands that they know and love. The tax has also enabled manufacturers to tap into the health and wellness market, repurposing their brands to provide all the sweetness and taste of sugar, but without the calories.

At Tate & Lyle we provide an extensive portfolio of sweetening solutions that help food and beverage companies achieve their sugar and calorie reduction goals without sacrificing the sweetness that delights consumers’ palates. One of our newest and most promising sweetener solutions, DOLCIA PRIMA® Allulose, was approved by the Mexican food authority, COFEPRIS, for use in food and beverages in 2016. It’s an amazing sweetening solution that not only contributes sweetness, but also many of the other functionalities of sucrose like mouthfeel, browning, and freezing-point reduction.  This makes DOLCIA PRIMA® Allulose an exciting new solution for food and beverage manufacturers alone or in combination with a high-potency sweetener, enabling ‘zero calorie’ labelling on beverage products.

Enrique Estrada, Vice President Mexico, Central America and Caribbean, attributed this success to outstanding team work and speed. “Getting a new ingredient to market takes years and the commitment of many people to pursue the right regulatory environment and customer interest to allow it to succeed. I’m proud of what we have been able to achieve in Mexico, to gain the approval and get our product in front of customers so quickly is truly a great achievement.”

DOLCIA PRIMA® Allulose is now approved for use in four countries: USA, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico.

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