Here at Norkem, we are proud to be a leading supplier of chemicals, nutrients and supplements to ensure that no matter what your industry needs, we can provide. One particular sector which has seen a great deal of change in recent years is the nutritional sector: as the focus shifts towards a greater degree of health and nutrition in foodstuffs and additives and a lesser degree of sugars and salts in food and drink.
One recent study in the UK has resulted in a proposal for a ‘Sugar and Salt Tax’, designed to tackle current high rates of obesity in the country, which would (if successful) result in a tax and therefore an increase in price for both manufacturer and purchaser. Norkem’s range of sugar alternatives allows manufacturers everywhere the opportunity to keep sugar and calorie content low whilst retaining the taste of their products, as well as extending the shelf-life.
The proposed ‘sugar and salt tax’ would tackle foodstuffs with a high rate of sugar and salt, to improve national health and to ensure that accountability is taken for the manufacturing, sale and consumption of goods which are high in sugar and salt. The latest report on nutrition in the UK, as a result of an investigation led by businessman Henry Dimbleby, found that raising such taxes could extend free school meal provision, as well as supporting better diets among those living on or below the poverty line.
The recommendation for the new tax rates sits at £3/kg for sugar and £6/kg for salt, when the products are sold wholesale for use in processed foods, or for use in commercial restaurants and catering businesses. Of course, for those who buy wholesale (as well as the end user), this proposed tax increase would represent a very dramatic increase in the cost of these two important ingredients.
The outcomes of this proposal could see as much as £3.4bn raised a year, as calculated by the team leading the review, as well as providing an overall reduction in individual calorie consumption by between 15 and 38 kcal a day.
Psychologist and government advisor David Halpern explained that a tax on salt and sugar could act as a "double nudge" on behaviour, both practically and subconsciously impacting the manufacturing and purchase of sugary or salty foods. Indeed, the comparison lends itself to the April 2018 sugar levy on soft drinks, which subsequently saw many manufacturers remove sugar from products by reformulating the product’s composition. This reformulation led to the maintenance of industry and product sales, while the sugar consumption in soft drinks fell by 30%. So, could this be a likely result of the proposed sugar and salt tax? How can manufacturers lower the sugar content of foods without impacting the taste?
This is where Norkem’s range of sweeteners comes in! Products such as GOFOS, Sucralose and Ace K allow food manufacturers to maintain the sweet taste of their products (and therefore sales) but reduce the overall sugar content and calorific content of their products.
GOFOS, for instance, is the name given to short-chain fructo-oligosaccharides and is Norkem’s range of beet-based soluble sweetener, which improves a product’s nutritional qualities (such as fibre) and extends its shelf-life, while reducing the overall sugar content and calorific value. Norkem additionally has a further range of sweeteners including Sucralose, Ace K, Aspartame and Sodium Saccharin, all of which provide the same alternative sweet taste without boosting a food’s sugar content.
By using these alternatives to sugar, food and drink manufacturers can reformulate products with the same great taste but less sugar content - which may ultimately mean a positive boost in both the company’s financials and their consumers’ health.