China Food

Sugar, not so great work

 


一篇文章看懂甜。

 

引子 – 代糖火热的背后

“糖”在消费者印象中以前一般与白砂糖、糖果联系在一起,日常并不会太提到。但近几年,“糖”“蔗糖”“代糖”这样的词汇突然充斥在消费者耳中。食品饮料品牌在美味之外,纷纷将健康作为另一个关键的研发方向和宣传卖点,而健康食品大部分都与减糖有关,代糖是其中最重要的一种实现方式。
However, the proportion of sugar in our daily food is much higher than we think. We observed the shelves in the supermarket and found:
Less than 20% of foods without sugar in supermarkets
This observation intensifies our curiosity about sugar. Why is sugar so popular in our daily life? Since when? What’s the harm?
Nowadays, the application of sugar substitutes is becoming more and more common. What do consumers really care about?
Amoy is the top ten products in beverage sales in 2021, and the seven keywords are “low sugar / no sugar”. Among the sugar substitutes of Tiktok, the search results and sales volume of “0 sucrose”, “0 sugar” and “zero calorie sugar” are the largest, followed by “xylitol”, “sugar substitute” and “erythritol”.
“Erythritol”, a word that appears frequently in the media, is not well understood by consumers. Tiktok and xiaohongshu are related to sugar substitutes. The high-frequency keyword searched is “weight loss / fat reduction”, but little is known about the real harm of sugar.
Sugar free is actually the most concerned point of consumers, followed by “0 calories”, “0 calories” and “0 sugar”. For sugar, consumers care most about calories rather than other health problems.
Don’t give me sugar, don’t give me calories, but I want to be sweet and delicious.
The best selling drinks in the sinking market are still sugary drinks under 4 yuan
Why do humans need sugar so much? Why is sweetness so important to human beings?
How did today’s developed sugar industry come into being in the long history? How much blood and tears have mankind paid for this?
How much sugar did we eat that we didn’t need? What are the disadvantages of sugar? How does sugar make us addicted?
Human beings have been living with “sweet” for thousands of years, so they have benefited and paid a lot of costs. What will happen in the future?
The initial meaning of sweetness
“sweetness” in early human beings represents survival opportunities
Taste (sour, sweet, bitter, salty and fresh) is produced by the taste receptor cells in the taste buds contacting food. Its essence is to quickly make a simple division of what substances are contained in the imported objects. This is a kind of protection for the human body to absorb beneficial ingredients and avoid harmful ingredients when the evolutionary mechanism can only rely on heaven to eat in the early stage of mankind. Substances produce taste, which stimulates the brain. The brain gives orders to decide whether to stop eating or eat more, so as to ensure the healthy survival of the human body.
Humans like to eat sweet food because we have evolved a mechanism to consume sugars and convert them into energy. After digestion and absorption, food turns into glucose in the blood (i.e. blood glucose) to supply energy to the human body, especially the brain can only use glucose. Humans crave energy, and natural sweetness comes from sugars that are easy to digest and absorb. Sweetness often means a high-density source of energy. Our ancestors lived in a poor living environment for a long time, and sugar is a rare and scarce resource, so the brain rewards us with sweetness to be infatuated with this taste. It allows us to obtain energy, store fat and survive. Guided by sweetness, we cherish sweet substances when we get them and look for them when we don’t. They are like airdrop boxes that suddenly fell in the early game of human survival. They are a reward from heaven and a gift from nature. People who love sweets are more likely to survive when energy supplies are scarce, and genes have written down this preference.
Sugars that can bring energy to people after digestion and absorption, that is, carbohydrates, are divided into monosaccharides, disaccharides and polysaccharides. When the human body uses these substances for energy supply, disaccharides can be hydrolyzed into two monosaccharides, and polysaccharides can be hydrolyzed into multiple monosaccharides. Sugars with simpler structures are more efficient energy sources for humans. Lactose in breast milk, fructose in fruits, glucose and maltose in honey, and sucrose in sugarcane are monosaccharides or disaccharides. The brain gives great rewards to such simple sugars, and links them with sweetness in the taste system. But we can’t taste the sweet taste of starch. Sweetness is the command given to us by the brain: find them and eat them. It was not until the very late stage of human development that cereals and rice flour processed foods, namely polysaccharides, were planted and ingested on a large scale. The pursuit of sweetness has led mankind through the era of hunger.
Development history of sugar
in prehistoric times, we happened to get fructose and glucose from fresh fruits, honey and plants. Later, maltose was extracted from wheat, commonly known as maltose. Maltose is considered to be the first sugar made by human beings in the world. But the former needs luck, while the latter is a waste of food.
Later, humans found that the best way to obtain sweetness on a large scale was to plant sugarcane. Sugarcane is rich in sugar and easy to extract. Sugar is several times sweeter than maltose, and can be made into white granulated sugar, red granulated sugar, soft white sugar, rock sugar, yellow sugar, brown sugar, black sugar, square sugar, icing sugar, liquid syrup, etc., which can be regarded as “great works” of mankind. The “sugar” we most often contact is “white granulated sugar”, also referred to as “white sugar”, which is a crystal containing more than 95% sucrose. White granulated sugar is the most widely used sugar in daily life, accounting for about 90% of the total sugar. It is a commonly used condiment for household and catering, and also the most commonly used sweetener in the food industry. It can be said that the development history of sugar has shaped today’s sugar industry.
Sugarcane should be cultivated in the tropics, which originated in New Guinea or Indonesia. After being introduced into India, the method of refining sucrose and molasses appeared. Today’s “sugar” was first called “sarkara” in Sanskrit in India, which refers to a large piece of brown sugar, which was translated as “Sha cutting order” when it entered China in the Tang Dynasty. Originally, China could only refine sugarcane syrup. After Li Shimin sent an envoy back from India in the prosperous Tang Dynasty, he had the technology to refine brown sugar. Later, in the Ming Dynasty, he took the lead in upgrading the method of purifying brown sugar and produced the world’s leading white granulated sugar. Instead, India began to import sugar from China, which is called “Cini”, meaning “Chinese”. Regardless of race, regardless of region, sweetness has always driven mankind to find the highest purity sugar that is most suitable for preservation and transportation.
On the other side of the Eurasian continent, the thirst for sugar is also happening. From the 8th century to the 13th century, Arabs and colonists brought sugarcane to the eastern Mediterranean, North Africa and the Iberian Peninsula, that is, “sugar came with the Koran”. However, there is no place suitable for growing sugarcane in Europe, which has long relied on sugar transported from the East. Even if only a handful of nobles can enjoy it, it is in short supply. In order to seek cheaper factors of production, “global expansion” has come.
The sugar industry carries the development of imperialism, capitalism and global colonialism
In the 16th century, Portugal and Spain brought the sugar cane and sugar refining industry to all corners of tropical America. There are not only suitable land for planting, but also hard-working slaves. The demand of large countries has led to the expansion of colonial production, and the development of sugarcane industry is increasingly moving towards division of labor and standardization.
After the 17th century, the industrial revolution made the British gradually catch up. The sweet taste of sugar stimulated the annual consumption of sugar by British people from 2 kg in the 18th century to 8 kg in the 19th century, and then to 40 kg in the 20th century. Slowly, this has also changed the history that sugar was a luxury for many ordinary people. Sugar has gradually been industrialized, affordable by all levels of society, and its use has also increased a lot. Sugar accounted for 20% of European imports in the 18th century.
On the one hand, people continue to eat sugar driven by sweetness. At that time, the saying goes, “unsweetened tea tastes like bland wine.” Coffee, tea, chocolate and various fresh addictive foods and beverages have become popular all over the world, but sugar plays a role in regulating sweetness. Portuguese people add a lot of sugar to their Brazilian coffee, and the spoon in the cup can stand up. Queen Elizabeth I of England is proud to have sweets and even black teeth at every meal. Paul hemtzner, a Dutchman who traveled in Britain, said that black teeth “seem to be an old problem of the British, all because of too much sugar.”
On the other hand, people have found that there are many things sugar can do. Make wine, make marijuana, and add flavor and color to tobacco preservation. There are needs and interests, coupled with the gap in weapon levels brought about by the development of industry and technology at that time, the discovery of sugar brought a sweet life and countless servitude. The rising demand for sugar and the decline in prices have increased the demand for labor and intensified the heinous slave trade.
From 1501 to 1867, 13million African slaves were transported to America to grow sugarcane
Oppressed sugar producers are engaged in endless and labor-intensive sugarcane harvesting, and living in stuffy houses in the tropics, the mortality rate is increasing and the fertility rate is declining. In order to supplement the labor force, wars have been fought all over the world, many of which have nothing to do with land invasion, but to obtain more manpower. Slave ships came to sugarcane fields in batches.
In the 18th century, sugar occupied a position in the economy, just like steel in the 19th century and oil in the 20th century. The colonial interest disputes represented by sucrose even directly affected the wars between the European suzerain countries, and even changed the balance pattern of the slave owners. Behind sweetness is blood. Ironically, besides sugar, blood is actually sweet. Slaves and lower class workers also formed the habit of eating sugar and adding sugar to drinks, because this is the simplest and most efficient way to replenish their physical strength.
From the late 18th century to the early 19th century, the success of sugar beet production greatly promoted the development of sugar industry, solved the problem that sugarcane only grows in tropical and subtropical areas, and directly led to the mechanization of sugar industry. Once evil and dark, sugar manufacturing, together with the rest of the world, has gradually stepped from the backward system to modernization.
We eat more sugar than we need
Sweetness guides human beings to pursue sugar constantly, but sugar is no longer important simply from the perspective of energy supply. After the development of large-scale agriculture, cereals such as wheat, corn and rice have become the main source of human energy. Sugar with sweet taste gradually turns into the role of seasoning.
Although recently, due to the war between Russia and Ukraine (the two countries contributed 1/3 of global grain exports), changes in the global trade environment, and the short-term export ban of grain and food, there have been a lot of rising food prices and concerns about insufficient food supply; But the global grain production has increased year by year, and there is a surplus every year. In the past decade, the products of major grain crops have increased by 50%. The fact that hundreds of millions of people are hungry is more the social status quo caused by uneven development. Putting aside the distribution problem, on a macro scale, human beings have come to a stage of development in the long history where sweet sugar is no longer the main source of energy.
At present, the global per capita food supply is about 2900 kcal / day based on calories. According to the dietary guidelines for Chinese residents, the average calorie intake should be 2000 kcal / day. In the total energy supply, sugar (mainly white granulated sugar and fructose syrup) contributes about 8%. Even in the lowest income countries, sugar does not play a more important role, but the energy contribution of staple foods will be higher, reaching 70%.
From the perspective of energy intake, we no longer need the brain to chase sweetness. But “it is easier to ask God than to send God”, sugar has penetrated into all corners of human diet. The recommended daily sugar intake for citizens in the United States is 36 grams for men and 25 grams for women. In fact, their average intake is 70 grams. According to the dietary guidelines for Chinese residents, the intake of sugar should not exceed 25 grams per day, but a can of coke can easily exceed more than 30 grams of sugar. Think about bread for breakfast, sweet potatoes for afternoon tea, potato chips for night snack, and milk tea and fruit juice for the day
The annual output of sugar in the world is 180 million tons, of which 59 million tons are involved in import and export trade, accounting for 33% of the total output, which reflects the global people’s dependence on the global production of sugar today. In recent years, the growth of global sugar consumption has exceeded the growth of production. According to a rough calculation, the global per capita sugar consumption is 70 grams per day. Considering the backwardness of sugar shortage and war areas, the population of other countries in normal living conditions eats far more sugar than they need.
The food industry has been highly developed, and we can easily obtain food with high density and high absorption efficiency. However, the pursuit of sweetness written in genes has not yet adapted to the current dietary structure. We eat so much sugar because sugar is almost everywhere in modern food and beverage. As an important additive in food, sugar constantly shows an important role in food processing and quality improvement.
As a basic nutrient, sugar is the main raw material of fermentation industry. Sugar can be used to improve the flavor, taste and color of cakes and cold drinks. The properties of sugar such as easy dissolution, color matching and crystallization are very beneficial to candy production. In addition to being used as a sweetener, sugar is also used as an improver, crystallization improver and bulking agent for frozen food. Due to penetration, sugar can also preserve jam, jelly and preserves, so as to prolong the shelf life of food. Sugar also plays an irreplaceable role in vegetable preservation and dehydration processing.
The beverage industry is the main application field of sugar as a sweetener. Different concentrations of solutions produce different viscosities, which can provide different flavors and maintain stability. If you carefully check the ingredient list of various products on the shelves in the beverage area, you will find that no matter what category the beverage belongs to and what flavor it is, the first three ingredients are almost certainly water, white granulated sugar and fructose syrup.
42% of the sugar you eat comes from drink
Sugar is not only sweet, but also can produce a unique flavor, namely pyrosaccharification and Maillard reaction.
Caramelization reaction refers to the process of dehydration and degradation of sugar when it is heated above the melting point without protein, producing brown substances (mainly Caramel) and aroma at the same time. Caramel is a widely used natural colorant and food additive. Caramel is added to soy sauce, vinegar, cooking wine and oyster sauce commonly used in cooking. The coloring of soy sauce and coke depends on caramel.
Maillard reaction refers to the process of condensation and polymerization of sugar during heating in the presence of protein to produce melanins, aromatic compounds and other substances. The products of this reaction will also cause changes in the color and flavor of food. The combination of streaky pork and sugar is the most classic application. Since most foods contain sugar and protein, caramelization and Maillard reaction can occur during heating, such as baking sweet potatoes, toast, roast meat, popcorn and so on. The types of sugars and amino acids in food are different, and the reaction products are also different, resulting in various flavors. Barbecue chicken, mutton and beef have different flavors, which is here.
The color and aroma of coffee baking are actually brought by sugar
The 800 flavors of coffee, including flower, fruit, nut, cream, caramel, etc., are also produced by caramelization and Maillard reaction. The content of sucrose is positively correlated with the aroma of roasted coffee. Arabica is more fragrant than robusta because of the higher sucrose content, one is 6-9%, the other is 3-5%. The dark brown of coffee is actually a dehydrated product of sugar. “Coffee” should actually be called “sugar”. Sugar is widely used in beverages, dairy products, condiments, baked goods, candy chocolate and other fields. And because it tastes better when heated, it is easy for consumers to choose, which makes more and more sugary foods.
Harm of sugar
in a long historical period, sugar refining technology is backward. In addition, sugarcane cannot be planted in higher latitudes, and only the rich and noble can consume “sweet” as an ordinary consumption. Heavy sugar is not only a dietary habit, but also a sign of identity. This also explains why the taste in some regions is “sweet”, such as Britain and France in Europe, Jiangsu and Zhejiang in China. But nowadays, with the development of modern food industry and the availability of sugar, the pursuit of sweetness engraved in genes brings excess sugar, causing damage to life.
Various refined foods invented by human beings often have high GI values due to their high absorption efficiency. GI (glycemic index) value refers to the speed of the impact of eating a certain food on the rise of human blood glucose. Low GI foods stay longer in the intestines and stomach, with lower absorption rate, which can increase the sense of satiety and reduce the desire to eat. High GI food will make blood sugar rise faster, insulin secretion increase, and hunger faster. In the long run, it will not only make insulin too excited, but also inhibit fat decomposition and promote fat synthesis. Although the food in the stomach is actually enough, the uncontrollable extra meals caused by hunger make the intake of energy far exceed the actual needs of the body.
The sweeter you eat, the faster you starve
The World Health Organization recommends that adults’ daily intake of sugar should not exceed 10% of their total calories. If you eat too much sugar, there are sufficient scientific arguments pointing to the risks of overweight, obesity, tooth decay, osteoporosis, cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, accelerated skin aging and so on. In the past 40 years, the prevalence of obesity among children and adolescents aged 5-19 has increased more than 8 times, and continues to rise. The overweight and obesity rate of adults and children aged 6-17 in China has also been rising.
What is more dangerous than obesity is that the body is big but the parts are loose. Excessive consumption of sugary food, especially beverages, has a high risk of dental caries, which will also affect the absorption of calcium in food and easily lead to osteoporosis.
A strong heart is in charge of the inside and a good skin is in charge of the outside, but sugar, as a high-density energy source, will “kill all sides” after excess, and both inside and outside will be destroyed. Sugar can affect intestinal flora, increase triglycerides, and increase the risk of heart disease. And sugar will take away the collagen in the human body, causing saccharification reaction, making the skin less elastic, and wrinkles and spots appear.
The harm of eating sugar has now attracted some attention, but “drinking sugar” is the greater danger. More terrifying hidden danger: fructose and fructose products mainly exist in the form of beverages. Our bodies basically don’t need fructose, but the disadvantages of fructose are very terrible.
In short, fructose is almost only metabolized in the liver and does not enter the blood to form blood glucose. The regulation mechanism of fructose is independent of the main glucose metabolism mechanism. After a 70 kg person takes 100 grams of glucose, the whole body weight, that is, 70 kg, is involved in the metabolism of 100 grams of glucose. But after taking 100 grams of fructose, only 1 kg will participate in metabolism. Too much fructose will increase the metabolic burden of hepatocytes and form ectopic fat distribution, that is, other parts that should not have fat except normal subcutaneous fat, the most common are visceral fat and abdominal fat. Serious and even form nonalcoholic fatty liver. The efficiency of fructose to produce fat, even glucose, can only be inferior.
Fructose in fruits and beverages is harmful and hidden
All kinds of beverages basically contain fructose, mainly fructose syrup. Fructose content of fructose syrup can be as high as 90%. Because fructose does not form blood sugar, it is not controlled and regulated by insulin, and it will not give people a sense of satiety, so it is impossible to inhibit the calories of other foods through the mechanism of regulating calorie intake. Sugary drinks cannot fill your stomach when you are hungry. They become extra calories in addition to physiological needs. Too much blood sugar will inhibit intake, but fructose will not, so it is easy to be uncontrolled. The concealment of its harm is much stronger than glucose, refined carbon water and other closely watched substances. Because fruit juice has a mask of high fiber, moisture and natural health, people feel no guilt when drinking it, but these overdoses are just more dangerous.
Sugar addiction hard to quit
Sugar is a heavy addictive substance
Why is it difficult for us to control our desire to eat too much sugary food? It’s not that everyone has weak willpower, but that the physiological mechanism of addiction is too strong. Sugar is highly addictive, and its principle is not fundamentally different from other addictive substances such as caffeine and alcohol. Nowadays, sugar is the most addictive substance with wide universality of cosmology and deep influence on people. The terrible thing is that in the management of food additives, other addictive substances have strict upper limits, but sugar is often relaxed.
Addictive food will activate the dopamine system in the midbrain margin, produce excitement and send out the signal of “that’s right”. Experiments at the University of Bohr in France, Princeton University in the United States and the National Institute of drug abuse in the United States found that high sugar food stimulates the reward system in the brain, just like the mechanism of addictive drugs such as cocaine, with similar biological and neurological principles.
What makes consumers addicted to sugar is also taste. The combination of sugar sweetness and slightly bitter coffee, tea, wine, cocoa, etc. can be called the greatest invention of food retail industry. The most successful example is “fat house happy water”. In the process of epidemic control, we have also seen how coke, as a “hard currency” for survival, circulates in barter transactions.
Addiction can be summarized as “stimulation” — “action” — “reward”, which is a continuously circulating path, and this path is affected by dopamine. Nerve cells in the brain transmit information through neurotransmitters, which affect human behavior. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter between neurons. When we expect to be rewarded, the neurons that release dopamine will be activated, and the release of dopamine will produce a pleasant feeling, that is, the reward effect. Take ice cream rich in sugar for example: “stimulation” is the first time we see ice cream, taste it, and feel the sweetness. Taste receptors sense high-density energy substances, stimulate the brain with sweetness, and feel that eating ice cream is something to be encouraged. “Action” means that we continue to eat more ice cream, the brain releases a lot of dopamine, and the “reward” is completed.
Sweet happiness lasts only 5 minutes
However, the duration of dopamine secretion is very short, and more than 80% will disappear after 5 minutes. This is why we often feel “empty” after “happy”. Therefore, we want to continue this cycle immediately. After continuously cycling and deepening the learning of this reward system, the time of dopamine secretion will be more and more advanced. “Stimulation” turns into thinking of ice cream packaging, when dopamine has begun to secrete.
The first problem is the early secretion of dopamine after continuous circulation. When dopamine was first discovered, scientists called it “happy molecule”, thinking that what dopamine gives us is happiness. But later, more experiments found that what we get is not happiness, but the expectation that we will get happiness. Dopamine promises that you can get happiness by doing something, and this commitment often doesn’t matter what you do. When we can’t help overeating, staying up late for revenge and wasting ourselves, the result is actually not enjoyed, but the expectation before action makes us impulsive and happy.
Another problem with dopamine is that it leads to unrestrained and endless desires. When we are addicted to sugar, we can’t achieve the same happiness by eating the same sugar again. When the reward system releases dopamine repeatedly, the body will secrete a large amount of dopamine, and the brain observes that the dopamine content is too high, it will start to reduce dopamine receptors and transporters to maintain balance. In short, when the dopamine receptor is not so easy to use, it needs to produce more dopamine to have the same effect. The next time you need to eat more to achieve the same feeling, this is “dopamine resistance / desensitization”. At the same time, when similar stimuli appear, we will be more sensitive than others, because the brain knows that it can satisfy us. Like the principle of learning, the connections between synapses of neurons continue to strengthen until they are firm. This phenomenon is also known as “sensitization reaction”.
In the continuous desensitization and sensitization reaction, we want more and more, and then we will continue to want in an instant. We ate package after package of sweets that our bodies no longer need, and buried endless hidden dangers under endless greed. After long-term addiction, it is no longer a beneficial result for us to do this, but dopamine itself. Things that bring sweetness and happiness, such as virtual sweetness: eating CP sugar, is the same in nature. Addictive behaviors such as games, cigarettes and alcohol are all related to this.
Since 2016, the World Health Organization has repeatedly called on governments to impose a special tax of at least 20% on sugary beverages. At present, about 50 countries around the world levy sugar taxes. The public revenue increased by sugar tax can be directly used for health or medical expenditure, mainly to solve diabetes, obesity and dental caries. Under the guidance of this policy trend, it has become the common goal of global food enterprises to find sweeteners that can bring sweet senses to human beings but do not have the harm of sugar to replace sugar. Stimulated by the sugar tax, enterprises have objectively realized the rapid development of sugar substitute industry through the support of upstream scientific research, the investment in midstream production and the education of downstream consumers.
The implementation of sugar tax makes the reduction of sugar in the food industry, especially the beverage industry, like the replacement of fuel vehicles by new energy vehicles, no longer an optional marketing gimmick or an alternative option for vertical users in a small range, but an irreversible trend in the world. But for enterprises, reducing sugar is not just about putting less sugar. The sweetness and addiction of sugar are the basis of selling well. Consumers should be healthy and delicious. It has become a strategic issue for global food and beverage enterprises to promote sugar substitutes to have good taste under the condition of controllable cost and guaranteed safety.
Although sugar substitute
has not been widely used for a long time, the first generation of sugar substitute products have appeared even more than a hundred years ago. Human beings have been searching for more sweet sources. At first, they didn’t even want to be healthy, but just want sweeter taste stimulation or cheaper sweet supply. In the history of human pursuit of sweetness, the following sources have gradually formed:
In addition to sugar, the so-called “sugar substitutes”. The essence of “sugar substitute” is “sweet substitute”. We hope to use other sweeteners to achieve sweetness, while reducing the health problems caused by excessive sugar intake.
Classification and iteration
in the global sweet ingredients market, sucrose (mainly white granulated sugar) accounts for 80%, fructose syrup accounts for 10%, and currently only 1 has become a sugar substitute. According to the Chinese national standard, there are more than 20 kinds of non sugar sweeteners allowed to be added to food, of which only a dozen are high-power sweeteners, and the same is true worldwide. Although it has been developed for more than 100 years, there are not many sweetener products that can meet the requirements of food processing and obtain safety evaluation.
The main advantage of sugar substitutes is that while providing sweetness, they strive to achieve the function of not participating in human metabolism and not easy to be absorbed by the human body. There are different technical implementation routes for sugar substitutes. Under various attempts, which is more suitable has been changing. The main way to distinguish is synthetic or natural extraction. Since the invention of sugar substitutes, the production of sugar substitutes in the world is still based on artificial synthesis.
Synthetic sugar substitutes have experienced the development of saccharin, cyclamate, acesulfame, aspartame, sucralose, neotame and other six generations. The development history of synthetic sugar substitutes is a history of continuous abandonment. From invention to discovery, it is harmful to human body or controversial, and then continue to be invented.
China is the largest producer of artificial sugar substitutes, accounting for about 75% of the world’s output
Saccharin was discovered 140 years ago. It was first accidentally tasted sweet in chemical experiments and began to be used. Later, it was found that it may cause poisoning, mental and visual disorders, and induce bladder cancer, which was gradually banned by some countries. The second-generation product sodium cyclamate was also later found to have cancer risk, and now it has been banned by more than 50 countries. However, considering the cost and universality of application, their combination is still the largest sugar substitute in the world today, and so is China.
China is still the largest production and consumption market of sodium cyclamate in the world. In the past 10 years, the output has basically maintained at 70000-80000 tons / year, accounting for 80% of the global output. In recent years, with the intergenerational elimination of sugar substitutes and market competition, only single digit enterprises are producing.
Aspartame still accounts for about 20% of the global sugar substitute market share, but because metabolites have been proved to be harmful to human body, the compound growth rate in the past five years has remained close to -15%. At present, acesulfame and sucralose are growing at a high speed because of their relative safety, and the compound growth rate in the past five years has remained close to 20% and 10%. Due to the unit price, the output value of sucralose is significantly high. At present, it has surpassed aspartame, the king of the previous generation, and has become the first in the output value.
In addition to the changes in the internal structure of synthetic sweeteners, the overall sweetener market structure is also changing. In the past five years, the annual growth rate of natural sweeteners in the world has been in line with 10%, more than twice that of artificial sweeteners.
Although the sugar reducing performance of synthetic sugar substitutes has met the requirements, there are some hidden dangers in health and safety, and some taste reducibility is low, so naturally extracted sugar substitutes began to develop. People often think that natural food additives are safer than synthetic ones. For the addition of artificial sugar substitutes, consumers often have a mentality of exclusion. And objectively speaking, compared with the complete taste of reduced sucrose, artificial sugar substitutes do have many problems.
Naturally extracted sugar substitutes are generally sweet chemical components directly extracted from nature or appropriately modified, and most of them are secondary metabolites of plants or microorganisms. They have good solubility, good taste, high stability, and few safety problems.
Some sugar substitutes are gradually eliminated, and some are more used. How can we simply judge the so-called “good” sugar substitutes? Physical and chemical properties, heat, production cost and safety are all important. In addition, the most direct requirement is the sweetness effect. The sweetness is the most basic. The time and durability of sweetness are also very important. At the same time, the best taste is pure without bad aftertaste.
In the actual food addition scenario, sugar substitutes are generally not used alone, but mixed in a variety of ways to achieve a more reduced taste of sucrose, better stability under a variety of scenarios, and reasonable control of the overall cost. For example, the sweetness of erythritol is 70% of sucrose. Using erythritol alone may be costly and light in taste, so a very small amount of high-power sweetener is generally added. For example, saccharin has afterbitter taste, cyclamate has slightly bitter taste and slightly poor acid resistance, stevioside has a certain straw smell, Ansai honey is short of sweetness after it goes fast, aspartame is short of sweetness before it and its stability in acidic drinks is poor.
Generally, sugar substitutes are not only added, but used in combination
Synthetic high-power sweeteners took the lead in the development. In recent years, naturally extracted high-power and low-power sweeteners have also increased rapidly, which makes the compound use of sweeteners more common and abundant. Natural low power sweeteners are usually used as fillers in compound sweeteners, which constitute the vast majority of the content of compound sweeteners. Therefore, with the expansion of the compound sugar market, the market demand for natural low power sweeteners is growing more rapidly. At present, the most popular erythritol in China is a typical representative.
Erythritol and sucralose
The internal structure of sugar substitutes has been iterating. At present, erythritol and sucralose are the most concerned in China, which is also the most common combination of sugar substitutes in the new sugar free bubble water, sugar free tea and other drinks that have become popular in recent years. It is inevitable that they will become the hottest choice of sugar substitutes at present. The bubble water of Coca Cola, Pepsi, Sprite and Fanta is gradually occupied by emerging brands. The key point is that the taste and health of aspartame are obviously overtaken by the new generation products represented by erythritol and sucralose.
Sugar alcohols are the processed products of natural sugars, which are different from the physiological mechanism of sugar metabolism. They produce significantly less heat than sugar, while maintaining a certain sweetness, which is generally slightly less than sucrose. Therefore, sugar alcohols represented by xylitol were once a good natural sugar substitute, and even the substitute sugar used in mainstream consumer retail instead of white granulated sugar is xylitol. However, because xylitol will bring certain intestinal reactions and flatulence, it has not been widely opened to the market.
Erythritol has become the most concerned sugar substitute additive due to its high safety, low calorie, small intestinal reaction, high tolerance, good physical properties, refreshing taste and other characteristics, coupled with the strong use and promotion of domestic emerging brands. After entering the body, it cannot be digested and degraded by the enzyme system. It is filtered out of the blood through the kidney and excreted out of the body through urine. A few enter the large intestine and are hardly fermented by bacteria, and their human tolerance is 2-4 times that of xylitol and other sugar alcohols. It is considered to be a natural sweetener that is really infinitely close to zero calories because it rarely produces calories or causes blood sugar changes. Some other sugar alcohols are involved in metabolism, but there are still low calories, but erythritol is the only 0 calorie component in sugar alcohols. And it can make use of the characteristics of dissolution and heat absorption to increase the cool taste of the drink, and the high temperature resistance makes it stable in the food industry. In terms of manufacturing, erythritol is the only sugar alcohol product on the market that is naturally transformed and extracted by biological fermentation, and the upstream is glucose made from corn.
Erythritol is the fastest-growing sweetener in the world in recent five years, with a CAGR of 32%
In 2022, the global demand is nearly 200000 tons, and the compound growth rate in the next three years is predicted to be 22-34%. In terms of production, the compound growth rate of global output in the past five years is 25%, of which China’s compound growth rate is 47%, and the global manufacturing center is gradually transferred to China.
At present, there are many brands and products using erythritol, such as nkdliving’s compound sugar, lakanto’s flavoring syrup and chocolate, natvia’s jam and dessert jam, halo top, Breyers, rebel’s ice cream, Celsius’s energy drinks, Coca Cola, Jianlibao’s bubble water, Master Kang, the favorite tea, Mengniu real fruit granules, tangrenfu’s bread and cake, etc. Black sesame paste, protein powder and even skin care water are also used.
Erythritol needs to be mixed with appropriate high-power sweeteners, such as sucralose, stevioside, Siraitia grosvenorin, etc., because its sweetness is lower than that of high-power sweeteners, and the dosage is often large, generally more than 99%. The growth that complements the market of high-power sweeteners will make erythritol more advantageous in the future.
Erythritol is currently an absolute cutting-edge head in China, and has a good growth in the United States. As the collocation of erythritol, there are more and more studies on sucralose in China.
Sucralose, as a high-power sweetener, is usually used with erythritol and other low-power sweeteners. In the past three years, the global demand has increased by 15%, and the demand has increased five times in the past 10 years. The growth rate is expected to remain at about 15-20% in the future. The global production capacity is concentrated in China, more than 70%.
Since sweeteners need a variety of combinations, new sweeteners will not be completely replaced, but will develop cooperatively. At present, the brands and products using erythritol and sucralose mainly include Monster Energy claw sports drink, Splenda table and coffee sugar, Nongfu mountain spring bubble water, Yuanqi forest bubble water and tea, and unified, Hankou No. 2 factory tea.
Stevioside
Among
natural sweeteners, in addition to erythritol, stevioside and Siraitia grosvenorii stevioside have the most growth potential. In the past five years, the compound growth rate of Stevia was 13-16%. In 21 years, the number of products in the U.S. beverage market increased by 10% related to stevia, while the sales increased by 15%.
Stevioside is a general term for sweet substances isolated from Stevia rebaudiana. Japan was the first country to use Stevia on a large scale. In the 1970s, Coca Cola gradually reduced saccharin and cyclamate in its formula, and stevia appeared in Japan as a substitute. In 2006, the consumption of Stevia in Japan ranked first in the world, accounting for about 40% of its sweetener market.
The advantages of stevioside include high safety, good solubility, high acid and heat resistance stability, but the problem is that the taste of natural stevioside is different from sucrose, and there are many bad details, which hinder its application in the field of food and beverage. Therefore, it was gradually applied after the continuous discovery of enzymatic or fermentation methods to improve its taste.
China is the world’s largest exporter of Stevia, accounting for 80% of the world’s output, but at present, stevia is not widely used in food and beverage in China. The United States is the main export destination of Stevia in China, accounting for 1/3 of the total exports. In 2018, the retail sales of Stevia in the United States was second only to white sugar and brown sugar, becoming the third largest sugar product in the U.S. sugar and sweetener market, surpassing sucralose, saccharin, aspartame and other artificial sweeteners.
Stevia is the natural sugar substitute with the largest share in the international market
At present, the representative brands and products using Stevia glycosides include Truvia’s compound sugar, merisant’s sweetener, Bai’s fruit juice, and 0-calorie sugar of domestic brands such as love sweet and enjoy sugar. Truvia, the second in the American sugar substitute market, as a Stevia brand jointly developed by Coca Cola and Cargill, surpasses the traditional equal and sweet’n low mainly by relying on the massive use of Stevia. At present, stevia in the raw and pure via are also actively deployed in the field of Stevia.
The natural extraction of stevioside is limited by production capacity. The research of Swiss companies has pointed to the way of recombinant genes, which are engineered to express recombinant genes encoding UDP glycosyltransferase (UGT) by recombinant microorganisms, plants and plant cells, so as to produce stevioside, such as REB A and REB D.
Mogroside
Mogroside is another natural sweetener with infinite potential, which has also maintained a 15-20% growth trend in recent years. In 21 years, the number of products in the U.S. beverage market increased by 1.3%, while the sales increased by 20%, which was very popular.
It also has the characteristics of high sweetness, low heat, good solubility, good stability and high safety. Good taste is the biggest advantage of Momordica grosvenorii sweetener. It is the closest natural sweetener to sucrose flavor that can be found at present, and it has the fragrance of Momordica grosvenorii, and the heat is only 2% of sucrose. At present, there are more than 1000 retail products using Momordica grosvenorii sweetener.
In foreign countries, Momordica grosvenorii can be directly labeled as raw materials rather than additives in the label. Therefore, Momordica grosvenorii is considered to be a very healthy and clean sugar substitute, which is not limited by the amount of additives.
At present, North America is the largest market of Siraitia grosvenorii, 90% of which are from Guangxi, China. China is also the largest producer and exporter of Siraitia grosvenorii glycosides in the world. In the Chinese market, Momordica grosvenorii sweet glycoside has more special properties. It is not only a Chinese specialty sweetener, but also a unique medicinal and edible homologous plant in China. Although the application of sugar substitutes in China is not wide at present, and the production is mainly export-oriented, its future is worth looking forward to. At present, its main problem is the production capacity limitation caused by the extremely stringent climate requirements of planting.
The characteristics of Siraitia grosvenorii are relatively natural and safe, because the planting and production are mainly in China, and there are also great opportunities in China in the future.
At present, there are more than 1000 kinds of products using Momordica grosvenorii sweetener, including sugar free coffee from Starbucks and Nestle, sugar free Cola from Coca Cola and Pepsi, compound sugar from Saraya and lakanto in Japan, compound sugar from equal, domestic brands ITO, green fruit sweet 0-calorie sugar, etc.
Rare sugar
Recently, rare sugars represented by alodonose have sprung up at home and abroad. They are monosaccharides like glucose, but they have very low calories and can play the role of sugar substitutes, which is a very exciting new direction.
Alodonose is extremely rare in nature, and a small amount of it exists in wheat, Rhabdomys, beet molasses, sugarcane molasses and other substances. Because it is originally a carbohydrate in the chemical sense, its baking heat and liquid solubility are very similar to that of sucrose, and Maillard reaction can occur, producing aroma and color that bring appetite, and improving food texture, flavor, color and taste. This completely solves the problem that other sugar substitutes are difficult to use in the baking field. It can also reduce oxidation loss and prolong shelf life in the process of food processing and storage. Its energy supply is only 0.3% of sucrose. It will not cause diarrhea and has no effect on metabolism and blood glucose levels. Alodonose is another milestone on the way to enjoy sweetness without burden.
Alodonose is sugar, but in 2019, FDA announced exemption from sugar tax
Although alodonose is a sugar, in 2019, FDA announced that alodonose would be excluded from the scope of sugar tax. After the announcement of this policy, the number of new products containing alodonose in North America tripled year-on-year in 2020. Global demand tripled last year from 19 years ago. In August 2021, the Chinese Health Commission accepted its application as a food raw material, and it is expected that the domestic application may be approved in recent years. The EU is also expected to be approved next year.
Rare sugar gets its name because it belongs to sugar and naturally exists in plants; And because it is extremely rare, it is difficult to extract. At present, there are few products, which are mainly sold in developed countries such as the United States, South Korea and Japan. At present, 13 countries have recognized their safe use.
The plant-based yogurt popsicles of foreign brands rev, the fruit juice of fuzemeyer, and the vegetarian nutrition bars of zenobars all use alodonose. Splenda, the leader of the American sugar substitute market, has also recently launched a diabetes care shake based on alodonose. The hot Greek yogurt brand chobani launched the chobani Zero sugar sugar sugar free yogurt series, using Momordica grosvenorii and alodonose as sweeteners. The 21 foreign products using alodonose are often used in combination with sweeteners extracted from plants such as Stevia and Momordica grosvenorii.
Alodonose has more years of research and application experience in South Korea and Japan, and is more suitable for Asian tastes. It has a great prospect in China in the future. The core scene of sugar substitutes directly added by consumers at the table is to add drinks, salads and baking, which are generally Western-style, and Chinese dishes are rarely used at present. The gradual and wide application of allodonose abroad is a good direction, which can realize the high-temperature operation of “frying sugar color” of sugars. There will be more opportunities in China in the future. Interestingly, the chemical formula of alodonose is the same as that of fructose (C6H12O6), but the arrangement is different (epimer of fructose), but the impact on human health is indeed very different.
Arabinose is also a rare sugar. It is soluble in water and has a sweet taste similar to sucrose. Its sweetness is 0.5 times that of sucrose. It is acid and heat resistant. It widely exists in a variety of plants, grains, fruits and vegetables, such as beets, potatoes, apples, tomatoes, corncobs, corn husks.
Adding 3% arabinose can inhibit 60% sucrose absorption
The most representative role of arabinose is to selectively affect sucrase in the small intestine. Usually, after the human body ingests sucrose into the small intestine, it is decomposed into glucose and fructose under the action of small intestinal sucrase. However, arabinose has an inhibitory effect on disaccharide hydrolase, which will reduce the absorption of sucrose. For example, adding 3% arabinose to the daily diet can inhibit the absorption of 60% sucrose, inhibit the synthesis of fat in the liver, and improve insulin resistance. This blocking effect on sucrose metabolism can effectively control the occurrence of obesity, diabetes and other diseases.
Its safety and functionality have been verified in the field of medicine and health products, but limited by its production method, it is currently expensive and the market is small. Some health food brands are also trying to use it. Foreign brands such as Advocare’s multi vitamin products and Nestle’s opti milk powder. In addition to the common sugar alcohol substitutes, arabinose is also added to the European bread series products of shark fit in China to adjust the taste and inhibit the absorption of sucrose. Yilijin infant formula also uses arabinose.
Tagatose is also a rare sugar, with good solubility, good acid resistance, low hygroscopicity and easy Maillard reaction, which makes it suitable for adding in solid beverage powder and cereal products. Its sweetness is 0.9 times that of sucrose, and the synergistic effect is very good. A small amount of artificial high-power sweetener can significantly improve the taste of the beverage. Its function is similar to arabinose, and its safety has been verified in many countries.
More possibilities
In addition to the existing sugar substitutes, what other methods can make human beings obtain sweet happiness, but escape the harm of sugar? Reflecting on the human system of obtaining sweetness and digesting sugar, we can look forward to the progress of science and technology in these directions:
Cutting edge food technology and even biotechnology research have been constantly deepening and broadening various possibilities to complete the erasure of the dark and painful side in the history of sweet pursuit. Is it to work hard on the food structure or to extract the special ingredients carefully; Is it affecting digestion and absorption, or is it about the neural transmission mechanism behind sweetness. The best plan is unknown, but we have always tried hard on different technical routes, constantly breaking through the imaginary boundary of history.
Don’t eat sugar but feel sweet
From this sweet “technology tree”, we can see that the existing sugar substitutes are only a small branch of various solutions. For natural sugar sweeteners, calories are usually positively related to sweetness. After the accidental discovery of saccharin, the sweeteners used so far have covered many kinds of compounds in the chemical sense. At the beginning of the 21st century, human beings completed a major breakthrough in the understanding of sweetness modality in the identification of receptors responsible for sweetness perception. It opens a new angle for the development of new sweet compounds.
Let’s talk about the sweet mechanism in more detail. Taste buds are clusters of cells under the surface of the tongue that are exposed inside the mouth through small openings called “taste pores”. Different subtype cells in taste buds respond to specific taste quality, which is sour, salty, bitter, sweet and fresh. The reaction mode is that these subtype cells produce corresponding receptor proteins. When food passes through the mouth, the receptor proteins can sense the chemical composition of food. The receptor protein produced by the subtype cells responsible for detecting sweetness is called tas1r2/3, which is used to detect sugar. After successful detection, it will send nerve signals to the brain, and you will feel sweet. A pair of genes encoding tas1r2/3 receptor protein are Tas1r2 and Tas1r3, which have existed in humans and most vertebrates for hundreds of millions of years, such as monkeys, cattle, dogs, bats, lizards, pandas, fish, etc. In natural selection, this pair of genes did not decline. It is certainly not easy to give up sweetness today.
The sweet gene has existed in vertebrates for hundreds of millions of years
Studies have shown that the structure of tas1r2/3 receptor is a cell surface receptor domain (a) containing positive binding sites and a seven helix transmembrane protein domain (b), which are connected by a cysteine rich surface domain (c) structurally bound by intramolecular disulfide bonds, as shown in the figure. The mechanism of sweet receptor activation is that N-ligand binding involves the closure and rotation of Tas1r2 and Tas1r3 extracellular domains, and then chemical stimulation is transmitted to the transmembrane domain bound by downstream signal effectors through cysteine rich domains. The transmembrane domain has an allosteric binding site, and the cysteine rich domain can bind sweet proteins.
Simply put, because of the existence of ABC, sweet receptors can interact with sweet compounds in six different ways. Most monosaccharides (such as glucose) and disaccharides (such as sucrose) can stimulate a, and then we found that many other substances can also achieve sweetness. For example, sugar alcohols (such as erythritol) can also be used, and some terpene glycosides, polysaccharides, amino acids and polyphenols can also be used. The above diagram gives us theoretical support and the possibility of finding more sweeteners.
Dietary fiber, which is essentially a kind of polysaccharide, is called the “seventh largest nutrient” of the human body alongside protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and water. According to the 2021 survey of the International Food Information Commission (ific), as an ingredient, consumers have the highest health perception of dietary fiber, and 56% of the respondents are actively eating dietary fiber. Sweeteners with dietary fiber as the main component are also an important research direction in the future.
Cambya launched by BT sweet has the same flavor as sugar, and is made of soluble fiber, Siraitia grosvenorii, stevia, horned beans, etc. The sugar substitute from fiber launched by supplant is made from straw, stems and cores of corn, wheat and rice, and the hypoglycemic effect is close to 60%.
Resugarkit, launched by resugar, an Israeli food technology start-up, uses a proprietary enzymatic process to convert fiber raw materials, which can reduce sugar content by nearly 80% and calories by 50%, while its sweetness curve is almost identical with that of sucrose.
Oligosaccharides such as fructooligosaccharides, galactooligosaccharides, xylooligosaccharides, inulin, Isomaltooligosaccharides, etc. also have the characteristics of dietary fiber. At the same time, they are also called prebiotics because of their regulatory effect on the intestinal system. This kind of sugar is also far less harmful to human body than sucrose. Domestic chocolate brands such as Heiqiao daily are using inulin to replace white granulated sugar to achieve sweetness. Inulin, as a plant reserve polysaccharide, has a good effect on the control of blood glucose and blood lipids.
Sweet proteins are naturally produced by tropical plants. Eight kinds of proteins with strong sweet taste have been identified. Miraculously, some also have taste regulation function, which can make other tastes, such as sour taste, turn into sweet taste, such as Kiwi protein.
Kiwi protein is not sweet, but it can turn sour taste into sweet taste
Compared with traditional sugar substitutes, sweet protein has many unique advantages. Based on the properties of protein, safety, no blood glucose reaction and no dental caries are the basis, and there is also a very high sweetness, up to 3000 times of sucrose, and there is no bad bitterness and aftertaste. However, sweet protein pure plant extraction cost is high and its stability is poor, so it has not been effectively developed for a long time. However, with the continuous progress of science and technology, more and more ingredient enterprises have begun to research and launch new sweet protein products since the beginning of this year. The improvement of large-scale mass production technology and the combination with other natural sweeteners make it expected that sweet protein will enter the mainstream in the future.
The difficulty in the study of sweeteners mainly lies in the purification of molecules from complex matrices and the elucidation of their chemical structures. When a sweetener is identified, structural analogues with similar characteristics, such as isomers and derivatives, are usually searched, or slightly chemically modified to find new sweetener molecules.
In addition to ingesting a single substance to achieve sweet stimulation, there is a research direction that specializes in the treatment of additives for taste, so as to realize the further taste restoration of sucrose by current sugar substitutes, and solve the problem that the taste of a single sugar substitute is not good enough, such as bitterness, astringency, metal taste, and sense of fluid generation. For example, there is a patent that sugar alcohols can be reduced by adding corresponding sodium chloride, lemon peel extract, L-asparagine, etc. under different circumstances.
Douxmatok’s first direct to consumer product uses incredo sugar, a new sugar reduction solution that can reduce sugar by 30% to 50%. This kind of writing is made of organic hazelnut with added fiber and is free of gluten and artificial flavors, colors and preservatives. Based on the sugar reducing solution made of real sucrose, it enhances the perception of sweetness by improving the efficiency of transferring sugar to sweet receptors, so as to significantly reduce sugar without affecting taste, taste or texture.
Because the sweet receptor eventually sends neural signals to the brain to realize the feeling of sweet taste, it can be expected that after further research in the field of brain science, the part of receptor perception can be directly skipped to realize the perception of sweet taste.
Ingest sugar but control hazards
Continue to eat sugar and feel sweet, but slowing down and hindering the absorption of sugar is also a way. The hot white kidney bean extract in recent years is an attempt. Many domestic brands have begun to try to use, such as buffx’s white kidney bean jelly, intous’s white kidney bean coffee slices, etc.
Pililer can inhibit the enzyme that converts disaccharides into monosaccharides, thus preventing sugar from being absorbed. In recent years, Japan has declared dozens of relevant functional foods, such as enzyme products under the brand of pillbox love.
Biolumen of the United States has launched a natural fiber with super expansive structure, which can capture sugar in the stomach and prevent their absorption in the small intestine, helping to reduce calorie intake. This fiber structure with a diameter of 0.1mm will disperse in the stomach, absorb the sugar in the stomach, and increase the sense of satiety through self expansion. After being wrapped, sugar will directly bypass the small intestine and reach the colon, where it is released to provide food for the microbial flora. 1g of biolumen can eliminate 5g of sugar.
The control of sugar initially comes from the vigilance against diabetes. At the drug level, the core approach is to promote insulin secretion, reduce insulin resistance, and achieve the normal regulation of blood glucose. Using the scientific research ideas of medicine for reference, it is also an attempt to find ingredients that have low toxic and side effects and can be used as food grade ingredients, and regulate the absorption of sugar by the human body with a similar sugar control mechanism. Mulberry leaf extract was found to have a similar effect in the experiment.
When sugar intake is excessive, the body mechanism will choose to convert it into fat and store it in the human body for future supplement when energy intake is insufficient. Obesity brought about by this is also one of the important hazards of sugar. It is possible to interfere with the steps of sugar to fat conversion, such as promoting the utilization of glucose in peripheral tissues and enhancing the content of liver glycogen.
Ending – sweet to the end is sad
Human beings need “sweet”. As Schrodinger said, life feeds on negative entropy. Absorbing energy to maintain the stability of life tissue is the top priority written in our genes. We have evolved a “sweet” taste perception, which leads us to discover and cherish those high-density energy sources, and gradually build a modern sugar industry with sucrose as the core. The main application is the familiar white granulated sugar.
The emergence of sugar substitutes has led human beings to pursue sweetness in a new direction: looking for sweeteners with less burden on the body. We hope to set off a revolution to overthrow the tyranny of various diseases caused by excessive sugar intake, but the revolution is far from successful. At present, the three sugar substitutes, erythritol, stevioside and alodonose, which are the most popular, also represent three completely different “sweet substitution” technical routes. The in-depth study of the mechanism of sweetness makes us see the possibility of finding more kinds of sweeteners. Although at present, most of them cannot be widely used because of insufficient security and supply.
There will be more and more ingredients that can achieve sweetness, and there will be more and more ways to control the digestion and absorption of sugar. Although the progress of technology is very fast, the human effort of 200 years, compared with the drive of sweet genes that have survived in natural selection for hundreds of millions of years, is quite profitable, just like David facing Goliath. The evolution of the characteristics of life is recorded in thousands of years, while the industrial revolution and the improvement of production efficiency brought about by capitalism have enabled mankind to obtain a great supply of sugar in a very short time. The original stimulation mechanism of sweetness, coupled with the addiction of sugar, has not yet had time to adapt to the rapid development of the modern food industry. Human beings walk too fast, too fast for the body to adapt, and can not keep up with our pace. Sweet to the end, the rest is sad and tangled.
Most vertebrates have sweet genes, except cats. The desire of tigers and cheetahs to hunt, and even the preference of meow people for carbon water and fresh meat all come from a genetic mutation of their ancestors. Every move of life for tens of thousands of years is the product of strict implementation under the genetic code.
For human beings, the problems brought by development should be solved by development. The pursuit of sweetness and the beginning of sugar are just examples. How to get along with genes that can’t keep up with the changes of the times, and how to make the primitive people in our bodies who have been living for millions of years get used to today’s world, are also issues that technology must consider.
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