Allulose syrup is a low-calorie sweetener derived from natural sources, such as fruits and grains. It has the same taste and texture as regular sugar, but with only 10% of the calories and no impact on blood glucose levels. Allulose syrup is considered a rare sugar, meaning it is found in nature in very small quantities.
The history of allulose syrup dates back to the 1940s, when scientists first discovered allulose as a component of wheat. Later, they found that allulose was also present in some fruits, such as figs, raisins, jackfruit, and molasses. However, the extraction of allulose from these sources was very expensive and inefficient, making it impractical for commercial use.
The breakthrough came in 1994, when a Japanese researcher named Ken Izumori discovered the enzyme that can convert fructose, the most abundant sugar in fruits, into allulose. This enzyme, called D-tagatose 3-epimerase, catalyzes the epimerization of fructose, changing the orientation of one hydroxyl group on the sugar molecule. This subtle change results in a different sugar with a different metabolic fate.
Using this enzyme, food scientists were able to produce allulose syrup from fructose-rich sources, such as corn, in a more cost-effective and scalable way. The resulting allulose syrup has a similar sweetness and viscosity as high-fructose corn syrup, but with much lower calories and glycemic index. Allulose syrup can be used as a one-to-one replacement for regular sugar in various food and beverage products, such as baked goods, dairy products, candies, and soft drinks.
Allulose syrup has been approved as a safe and novel food ingredient by several countries, including the United States, Japan, Mexico, Singapore, and South Korea. In 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) exempted allulose from being counted as a sugar or an added sugar on the Nutrition Facts label, recognizing its minimal contribution to calories and carbohydrates. The FDA also allows allulose syrup to be labeled as “organic” if it meets the criteria for organic production and processing.
Allulose syrup is a promising alternative to regular sugar, as it offers the same sensory appeal and functionality, but with fewer calories and health risks. Allulose syrup can help consumers reduce their sugar intake and manage their weight, without compromising their taste preferences and enjoyment. Allulose syrup is also beneficial for people with diabetes, as it does not affect blood glucose or insulin levels. Allulose syrup is a rare sugar that can make a sweet difference in the food industry and public health.