Facts About Low-Calorie and Low-Glycemic Sweeteners
Everyday, millions of Americans choose low-calorie and low-glycemic sweeteners and products made with low-calorie and low-glycemic sweeteners. Among the many benefits they offer, low-cal and low-glycemic sweeteners allow your clients to enjoy sweet foods and beverages while cutting calories, managing carbohydrate intake and reducing added sugars.
With the introduction of stevia, monk fruit and agave sweeteners to grocery shelves and coffee shops in recent years, Americans have reason to celebrate: The benefits of low-calorie or low-gylcemic sweeteners can now be enjoyed at home or on the go.
History & Safety
Extensive testing is required before any ingredient to commercial foods and beverages is deemed safe and allowed in the U.S. food supply. Safety, per the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is assessed as “a reasonable certainty in the minds of competent scientists that the substance is not harmful under the intended conditions of use.”
According to the FDA
Food and color additives are strictly studied, regulated and monitored. Federal regulations require evidence that each substance is safe at its intended level of use before it may be added to foods. Furthermore, all additives are subject to ongoing safety review as scientific understanding and methods of testing continue to improve. Consumers should feel safe about the foods they eat.
All low-calorie sweeteners currently available in the U.S. have been approved for use in commercial foods. The two regulatory paths for approved use include:
FDA approval for use as a Food Additive
This process is detailed in the “Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act” and requires premarket approval.
FDA review of additives generally recognized as safe (GRAS)
According to FDA, foods included in this category are generally recognized by experts as safe, “based on their extensive history of use in food before 1958 or based on published scientific evidence.” This process does not require premarket FDA approval. Among the many GRAS substances are common ingredients that we use every day like salt and sugar, and the low-calorie sweeteners Stevia/Rebaudioside A and Luo Han fruit concentrate, or monk fruit.
For more information on the regulatory process for approving food ingredients, please visit FDA.