A 'world first in sugar substitutes' launched in UK

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Zùsto is a 1:1 sugar substitute that adds functional benefits to baked goods. Pic: Zùsto
Zùsto is a 1:1 sugar substitute that adds functional benefits to baked goods. Pic: Zùsto

Related tags Sugar Sugar substitute Zusto Prebiotic Dietary fibre Fda

Zùsto is a ‘revolutionary’ sugar substitute, the result of a joint-development over 14 years by the universities of Ghent and Brussels (Belgium).

Zùsto is a novel blend of naturally derived fibres – mainly from corn and chicory – that deliver the sweet taste and make-up of traditional sugar, approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

It contains 75% less calories than sugar and has a low glycaemic index (22), meaning it is suitable for diabetics, as well as for weight control. Its prebiotic dietary fibres also restore and ensure the equilibrium of the gut flora.

It is perfectly poised to tackle Public Health England's 20% sugar reduction aim, which according to the latest figures, fell by just 3% overall between 2015 and 2019.

However, according to the Belgium-based producers, what makes Zùsto really stand out is how it can be used as a part or full replacement of sugar on a 1:1 weight basis while staying as close as possible to the original application, including baked goods, cereals, desserts, confectionery, ice creams and preserves.

‘Problem solver’

Ross Sneddon, member of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts and Association of Pastry Chefs, and executive pastry chef for the icon Balmoral hotel in Edinburgh, Scotland, has been trialling the innovative ingredient.

“Zùsto has been a real problem solver for us. I can now have one offering across several individual dietary requirements as it’s perfect for diabetics and is allergy free,”​ he said.

“Afternoon tea, plated desserts, petit fours and Viennoiserie were particularly difficult to manage but Zùsto has changed all that for us. I have used it for cakes, tarts, scones, pastry, croissants, ganache, bread, Anglaise, butter cream, jams and syrups, etc., and it performs brilliantly. 

“We now use it for all kids’ desserts and treats as it has 75% less calories than sugar.”

He added Zùsto caramelises easily and doesn’t leave a strange taste or sensation in the mouth.

Zùsto is available in 1kg bags in over 800 independent stores across the UK and Ireland for an RRP of £9.75. Commercial-sized 25kg bags are also available.

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