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
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
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
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
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.