Diabetic Fruit Product Development
These have been designed with the diabetic diet very much in mind, although their low calorie value (approximately one quarter of that of regular jams) will also appeal greatly to people who are seeking low energy jam substitutes for weight control or for other reasons.
Sucrose (sugar) has been replaced in these products by a combination of polydextrose, fructose and sucralose. Sucralose is an artificial sweetener derived from sugar. Fructose has a relatively low glycemic index value so is absorbed slowly into the bloodstream, and polydextrose and sucralose have virtually no effect on blood glucose levels.
A priority during product design has been to give these jam spreads an attractive appearance and spreadable texture, while maintaining a clean fresh fruit taste.
Just enough preservative has been added to give the products good keeping qualities once opened, as they do not possess the inherent resistance to yeasts and moulds which is imparted by high sugar levels.
The glycemic index is a relative scale classifying foods according to the blood sugar response that they cause. It measures how fast the carbohydrate of a particular food is converted to glucose and enters the blood, so is especially useful for diabetics who want to plan their diets to minimise the incidence of high blood sugar.
Fructose is a natural fruit sugar and has a glycemic index figure of 31 compared to sucrose (white sugar) which is 89. This means that fructose is absorbed into the blood only one third as fast as sugar, so is far more acceptable in a diabetic diet.
This is derived from dextrose (a carbohydrate) but has only one calorie per gram compared to four calories per gram in sugar. It is not sweet, but is used as a substitute for sugar in reduced calorie foods as it gives body and a similar texture and mouthfeel to that of sugar.
Sucralose is an artificial sweetener created from sugar to taste like sugar, but is 600 times as sweet. Sucralose is extremely stable at high temperatures and foods made with it will store for extended periods without losing their sugar-like taste. It contains no calories, does not promote tooth decay, and has no unpleasant aftertaste.