How does a product with “No added sugar” become sweet?
February 28, 2013

We received a gift box of dark chocolates and the label said ‘no added sugar, made with organic jaggery’.  I was happy to try this new product till I read the ingredients list.  At the top of the list was maltitol (a sugar alcohol) which is a sugar substitute.  Maltitol has about half the calories of white sugar and not as sweet as sugar.  Large quantities of maltitol can have a laxative effect.  The second ingredient listed was hydrogenated vegetable oil.  Hydrogenated oils contain trans fat which are not heart-friendly.  So, the 2 ingredients used in highest quantities in this new chocolate were not condusive to health!  Then came the better ingredients like cocoa solids and organic jaggery!  They seemed more like a consolation to health!!  So the sweetness in this chocolate was from maltitol and jaggery, and hence the claim ‘no added sugar’.

‘No added sugar’ does not necessarily mean that there’s no other sweetening agent in a product.  Sorbitol, maltitol, mannitol, honey, jaggery, high fructose corn syrup are some of the ingredients that taste sweet but are not sucrose (white sugar).  So, beware of food products that make claims on labels.