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EVENTS

CIFTI-FICCI to hold seminar on sweeteners in Hyderabad on February 26
Saturday, 08 February, 2020, 13 : 00 PM [IST]
Our Bureau, Bengaluru
The Confederation of Indian Food Trade and Industry (CIFTI), which is a food regulatory wing of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), will organise a daylong seminar titled Sweeteners- Innovative Ingredients for a Better Health in Hyderabad on February 26, 2020.

Highlighting the relevance of the seminar, the organisers noted that consumers are concerned about the consumption of the sugar. Sugar has overtaken fat as the latest food villain, and brands are taking consumers’ growing concerns about sugar very seriously.

Notwithstanding from consumer pressure, the government and health departments continue to drive the food industry into playing their part in encouraging consumers towards healthier eating habits.

With the growing rate of obesity and diabetes reaching epidemic proportions, low-calorie sweeteners can be a useful solution and provide important health benefits, while allowing people to enjoy sweetness with practically no calories.

Also, the approaching policy pressures to address the overconsumption of sugar, linking with the rising epidemic of obesity and non-communicable diseases (NCDs); the food industry has been working to deliver solutions through healthier product innovation and reformulation particularly around reducing the sugar content in food and beverage products. The reduction in the level of sugar is going beyond just taking the sugar out as it contributes to other functional roles besides influencing taste.

To address this, Low Nutritive Calorie Sweeteners (LNCS) are playing vital role by contributing to sweet taste with few or no calories. Being amongst the most thoroughly researched ingredients worldwide, with scientific studies and food safety authorities consistently confirming their safety, low calorie sweeteners can be used in place of sugar as part of a balanced diet.

However, the reputation of low-/non-calorie sweeteners (LNCS) has been constantly challenged with alleged associations for causing weight gain and cancers, in spite of current scientific findings suggesting otherwise. This negative narrative is mainly influenced by misinformation and pseudo-science.

This seminar will focus on creating awareness among the stakeholders about the LNCS; debunking the myths associated with it and its impact on diet and health and the way forward from public health perspective in curbing NCDs.

Abhinav Singh, head, food processing and CIFTI, FICCI; Matthew Kovac; executive director, Food Industry Asia, Singapore, and Siraj Hussain, former secretary, ministry of food processing industries (MoFPI), Government of India, and advisor, FICCI, will be present.

Phani Kumar, head of quality and regulatory, Zydus Wellness, will deliberate on World of Sweeteners - Understanding Low/Non-Calorie Sweeteners. Steven Bartholomeusz, policy director, Food Industry Asia, will speak on Reformulating with Low-/Non-Calorie Sweeteners – Debunking the Bad Science.

Following this is a panel discussion on Substitution of sugar with Low/Non-Calorie Sweeteners: Way Forward from Public Health Perspective in curbing NCDs. The panellists are Dr V Sudarshan Rao, chairperson, FSSAI, Scientific Panel on Food Additives, Flavourings, Processing aids and Materials; Dr Jagmeet Madan, president, Indian Dietetic Association, Shaminder Pal Singh, director of R&D, Scientific and Regulatory Affairs, South Asia, PepsiCo, among others.
 
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