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Daintee launches sugar free products

Confectioner Daintee Ltd, recently launched a range of sugar free products. Chairman Daintee Group, Dr. Ayal Jayatilaka spoke to the Sunday Observer about the products and their benefits.

Q: Why did you decide to launch a new sugar free range of products?

A: Local newspapers have been highlighting a rise in the numbers of persons who wish to reduce their intake of sugar in their normal diet. These people crave to enjoy the 'sweet' taste without having to actually consume any sugar (sucrose). We wish to satisfy this need.

Our sugar free Longlive products range includes chewing gum, sweets, wafers, peppermint lozenges, cocoa products and packs of 100% Xylitol for general use in tea, coffee and puddings.

Q: What made you decide on the sweetener, Xylitol?

A: We carried out research on sweeteners used worldwide and found that. Xylitol, is a naturally occurring carbohydrate unlike most other sweeteners. It is found in many animals and plants, including those that are a part of our diet such as sweet corn, mushrooms, cauliflower and berries. Up to about 15g is made in our own body everyday as an intermediate in normal metabolism.

The sweetener has been approved by the Sri Lankan Food Authority as well as the US FDA. In addition, it has many dental and other health benefits.

Q: Could you elaborate on the dental benefits?

A: Several international journals have shown that Xylitol helps reduce the risk of tooth decay (dental caries). It has been endorsed by dentists around the world and even in Sri Lanka. Dental Association of Finland in 1988, Sweden in 1989, Norway in 1990 and Britain in 1992 have endorsed Xylitol.

The American Academy of Paediatric Dentistry and the Australian Ministry for Health have also endorsed the preventive effect on dental caries. Dentists in Sri Lanka have also written about the benefits of Xylitol, for example Prof. Wijeweera in the Sri Lanka Dental Journal (April 2010) and Dr. Vasantha Sivaguru in The Sunday Times (May 2010)

Q: How does Xylitol help prevent tooth decay?

A: When we consume sugar, bacteria in the mouth converts it into acid, which leads to tooth decay.

On the other hand, Xylitol cannot be converted to acid. Secondly, Xylitol decreases the ability of bacteria in the mouth to adhere to teeth so that they can be brushed away more easily.

Thirdly, it reduces the growth of one type of bacteria which is responsible for tooth decay, Streptococcus mutans.

Q:What are the other health benefits?

A: Xylitol shows a very low glycaemic index (13) compared to glucose (100) and sugar (60). This means that when Xylitol is digested, it does not cause a sharp increase in blood sugar levels unlike glucose and sugar.

Q: Do you mean it is beneficial to diabetics?

A: Yes, because of its low glycaemic index it is beneficial to diabetics. However, it is not a cure for diabetes.

Q: Is Xylitol just as sweet as sugar?

A: Yes. Xylitol has the same sweetness as sugar. One teaspoon of Xylitol is equivalent to one teaspoon of sugar. Unlike some sweeteners, Xylitol tastes just like sugar, has no bitter after taste and gives a very refreshing cooling sensation.

It also looks just like sugar. I need to add that as with many other polyol sweeteners, excessive consumption of Xylitol may cause mild temporary laxative effects in certain people. Unlike other sweeteners where governments have imposed maximum levels and acceptable daily intake limits, there are no restrictions for Xylitol.

Q: Is Xylitol used by other companies?

A: Daintee Ltd is the first Sri Lankan company to make Xylitol available to all. In foreign countries Xylitol is extremely popular.

For example is it used by the world famous brand, Wrigley's. Some of these imported products are found in Sri Lanka from time to time.

 

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