New low-cost sweetener developed to help diabetics

Wed, 01 Sep 2010
Alkem Laboratories, based in Mumbai, India, has developed a cheap sweetener that can be used as a food ingredient, and which should help diabetics combat high glucose levels .

It is reported that the new sweetener, called 'Nano Sugar', has seven times the sweetness of ordinary sugar, meaning it also reduces calorie intake proportionately. Nano Sugar is made from sugarcane, but the cane juice is concentrated to raise the sweetness of the product several times.

The company hope to sell the sweetener at about the same price as sugar, and a lot cheaper than premium sweeteners. With India having the highest number of diabetes patients in the world, around 50 million, and consuming about 25 million tonne sugar each year, this could be a significant breakthrough.

In clinical studies, the new sweetener didn't increase glucose levels in diabetes patients. Alkem are currently filing patents for the product in many markets, and the company plans to promote the low-cost sweetener to chemists and health centres, before distributing it through retail chains and smaller stores.

However, there are still concerns that the high-end nanotechnology needed to develop the product will be more challenging than first thought.
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