Sugar substitute allulose seen contributing to weight loss

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Sugar substitute allulose seen contributing to weight loss

The natural sweetener allulose is not only low in calories, but it’s also effective for weight loss, according to a report released by Kyungpook National University researchers Thursday.

Allulose is a “rare sugar” that naturally exists in fruits such as jackfruit, figs and raisins. It is rising in popularity as a sugar substitute for its sweetness and low calories of 0.2 kilocalories per gram. Sugar, on the other hand, contains 4 kilocalories per gram.

Professor Choi Myung-sook’s team in Kyungpook’s Food Science and Nutrition Department conducted an experiment on 121 adults for 12 weeks on a commission from local food company CJ CheilJedang.

A group of people that consumed 14 grams of allulose every day lost an average of 1.3 kilograms and 1.1 kilograms (2.4 pounds) of body fat, without additional efforts such as improving their eating habits or exercising.

Scientific research purposed to prove the weight-loss effect of allulose has been conducted in many countries, but this is the first time results have been released from an experiment on people. The market for sugar substitutes, or sweeteners, is growing along with concerns over the effects of sugar. Last year, Korea’s sweetener market was worth 10.5 billion won ($9.19 million), jumping 80 percent from 5.9 billion won in 2013.

CJ CheilJedang accounts for 97 percent of the domestic market for artificial sweeteners. The company received the “Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS)” approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2012 and currently has allulose products released in syrup and powder form. Samyang Corporation and Daesang Group are said to be preparing to release allulose products.


BY SONG KYOUNG-SON [song.kyoungson@joongang.co.kr]

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