The Fake Sugar Rush

Can ingesting so many sugar wannabes be a good thing? Remember that saccharin and aspartame were once touted as safe and calorie free before they were found to be totally toxic. Anne Marie Chaker reports for the Wall Street Journal:

At the Whole Foods Market in Silver Spring, Md., the self-serve coffee counter offers four types of milk and nearly every imaginable alternative to granulated sugar. There’s unrefined sugar, evaporated cane juice, agave nectar—and a no-calorie sugar substitute called Truvia.

The green packets are tucked behind the cash register; if you want it, you have to ask. That’s because they have a way of disappearing. “People take a lot more than they need,” says Liz Burkhart, a Whole Foods spokeswoman.

Truvia’s maker, agricultural giant Cargill Inc., of Minneapolis, is aware that consumers often stock up on Truvia packets at coffee bars and in restaurants. Zanna McFerson, vice president and business director for Cargill Health and Nutrition, says Cargill is developing a dispenser that would limit the number of packets a consumer can take at once.

One reason Truvia is so appealing is its position as a “natural” alternative to aspartame, saccharin and other chemically derived sugar substitutes. Fans say they think Truvia’s taste and texture are closer to sugar than those of older entries. It’s true that Truvia pours out of the packet in convincing crystal-like granules, not in a powder. And when sprinkled on top of foods such as cereal, Truvia crunches.

Some detractors, though, complain of a Truvia aftertaste, especially when it is used in coffee. And many customers blanch at the price. A 40-count box of Truvia packets retails for $4.29 at the Giant Foods supermarket in Silver Spring, compared with $2.99 for a 50-count box of Splenda.

Few consumer products have been a greater marketing challenge than no-calorie sweeteners. Companies have devoted teams of scientists to trying to develop better-tasting sugar-substitutes. “I don’t think anyone’s cracked the code,” says Allen Adamson, managing director of the New York office of brand-consulting firm Landor Associates. Consumers resist, whether complaining about taste or worrying about safety.

Taste “used to be the only thing [marketers] had to worry about,” Mr. Adamson says. “Does it taste good? Is there an aftertaste?” Now, he says, “the new challenge is to alleviate the lingering concerns . . . . Did they really test it on enough rats over a long enough period of time?”…

[continues in the Wall Street Journal]

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  • justagirl

    NO!  evaporated cane juice is the goods…  (facepalm)  

  • justagirl

    NO!  evaporated cane juice is the goods…  (facepalm)  

  • Malk

    I tend to use brown sugar if anything? probably just lying to myself to feel better though. wasn’t sweet n low proven to cause cancer in mice or something? and like… splenda and every other lab made totally unfit for consumption horrible idea from America….? …. I was gonna say eat an apple for crying out loud! but you can’t even hardly eat fruit in some places in America they’re so void of goodness >_<

  • Malk

    I tend to use brown sugar if anything? probably just lying to myself to feel better though. wasn’t sweet n low proven to cause cancer in mice or something? and like… splenda and every other lab made totally unfit for consumption horrible idea from America….? …. I was gonna say eat an apple for crying out loud! but you can’t even hardly eat fruit in some places in America they’re so void of goodness >_<

  • http://www.nickmeador.org/ ndmeador

    Stevia (such as Truvia brand) is the only natural non-caloric sweentener!

  • http://www.nickmeador.org/ ndmeador

    Stevia (such as Truvia brand) is the only natural non-caloric sweentener!

  • http://www.nickmeador.org/ ndmeador

    Stevia (such as Truvia brand) is the only natural non-caloric sweentener!

  • CaseyLee

    Even Truvia gives me a headache, as all these fake sugars do.

  • CaseyLee

    Even Truvia gives me a headache, as all these fake sugars do.

  • Mark Shilling

    What the hell is wrong with REAL sugar? Why even have these other choices, unless it’s necessary because of your health condition. I just can’t understand why anyone would take fake over real. 

    • Calypso_1

      Consider the exploding implant industry.

    • Malk
    • rtb61

      I prefer raw sugar cane granules it doesn’t take long to adapt to the flavour difference and once you do, you can never go back to to acrid bland taste of refined sugar, the complexities and subtleties of flavour raw sugar cane granules add to tea and coffee are worth drinking a little less tea of coffee and really enjoying the cups you do still drink.

  • Mark Shilling

    What the hell is wrong with REAL sugar? Why even have these other choices, unless it’s necessary because of your health condition. I just can’t understand why anyone would take fake over real. 

  • Anonymous

    Consider the exploding implant industry.

  • Rex Vestri

    KAL brand Stevia kicks ass. It doesn’t have any bitter aftertaste at all. It is pricey, but it is worth it.

    Another thing… A lot of people don’t realize it, but Splenda kills off your healthy gut flora.

  • Rex Vestri

    KAL brand Stevia kicks ass. It doesn’t have any bitter aftertaste at all. It is pricey, but it is worth it.

    Another thing… A lot of people don’t realize it, but Splenda kills off your healthy gut flora.

  • wheredidiparkmyspaceship?

    Stevia, (Stevia rebaudiana) one of three ingredients in Truvia, is an herb in the sunflower family that is 300 times sweeter than sugar & yet it is safe for diabetics and calorie free. It has been used for centuries by indigenous peoples in South America as a sweetener for Yerba Mate & other traditional teas. Refined sugars & these lab-created sugar substitutes wreak havoc on the human body, & have been linked in numerous studies to all sorts of adverse health conditions & diseases, even cancer.

    What a crap article to give us none of this pertinent information, it doesn’t even mention the difference between natural Stevia & toxic fake-sugars. This author took the time to tell us that people are stealing extra Truvia packets, but never mentions Stevia or the fact that Truvia is not the only Stevia-based sweetener on the market. He also fails to mention the health risks associated with many artificial sweeteners. Whoever the fuck wrote this please pull your head out of your ass by your ears & wipe the shit off your eyes so you can see what the fuck you are doing.

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stevia

  • wheredidiparkmyspaceship?

    Stevia, (Stevia rebaudiana) one of three ingredients in Truvia, is an herb in the sunflower family that is 300 times sweeter than sugar & yet it is safe for diabetics and calorie free. It has been used for centuries by indigenous peoples in South America as a sweetener for Yerba Mate & other traditional teas. Refined sugars & these lab-created sugar substitutes wreak havoc on the human body, & have been linked in numerous studies to all sorts of adverse health conditions & diseases, even cancer.

    What a crap article to give us none of this pertinent information, it doesn’t even mention the difference between natural Stevia & toxic fake-sugars. This author took the time to tell us that people are stealing extra Truvia packets, but never mentions Stevia or the fact that Truvia is not the only Stevia-based sweetener on the market. He also fails to mention the health risks associated with many artificial sweeteners. Whoever the fuck wrote this please pull your head out of your ass by your ears & wipe the shit off your eyes so you can see what the fuck you are doing.

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stevia

    • Doofant

      if you’re referring to the sugar-alcohol in truvia then you’re full of it. im pretty sure its erythritol in truvia or xylotol, but the only havoc wreaking effects of these are laxative effects.

  • Malk
  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    anything made by Big Food & Big Chemical
    is good for getting high
    and also good for making your body ready for the parasites known as
    Big Pharma and Big Hellcare

  • BuzzCoastin

    anything made by Big Food & Big Chemical
    is good for getting high
    and also good for making your body ready for the parasites known as
    Big Pharma and Big Hellcare

  • Doofant

    if you’re referring to the sugar-alcohol in truvia then you’re full of it. im pretty sure its erythritol in truvia or xylotol, but the only havoc wreaking effects of these are laxative effects.

  • Doofant

    if you’re referring to the sugar-alcohol in truvia then you’re full of it. im pretty sure its erythritol in truvia or xylotol, but the only havoc wreaking effects of these are laxative effects.

  • Doofant

    if you’re referring to the sugar-alcohol in truvia then you’re full of it. im pretty sure its erythritol in truvia or xylotol, but the only havoc wreaking effects of these are laxative effects.

  • Anonymous

    I prefer raw sugar cane granules it doesn’t take long to adapt to the flavour difference and once you do, you can never go back to to acrid bland taste of refined sugar, the complexities and subtleties of flavour raw sugar cane granules add to tea and coffee are worth drinking a little less tea of coffee and really enjoying the cups you do still drink.

  • Rayden54

    @8a42a2719e4d848845fd552e97f1dbbc:disqus  Just because something has been used “for centuries by indigenous peoples” does not mean it’s safe. Tobacco’s been around for thousands of years and look at it now. Moreover, while Stevia might be an herb, Truvia is not. The use of the word “natural” isn’t regulated. The High Fructose Corn Syrup people call that natural too. Hell, Hemlock’s “all natural.”