In my last issue of the New Yorker (not THE last issue, since they get to me in Ireland about a month late), there as an article about sugar and sugar substitutes. I’ve written briefly here and here about our difficulties of trying to find a way to make a natural ice cream without sugar.
The writer of the article in the New Yorker pointed out some interesting facts:
1. That sugar is remarkably hard to substitute – its properties in adding bulk, behaving consistently at different temperatures, and just the good taste of it has befuddled scientists for a hundred years. It even seems that scientists will not be looking for the next generation of sweetener like Aspartame or Sucralose but rather will be looking for ways of finding additives that will increase the effect of sugar to enable people to use less.
2. That even with the huge increase of artificial sweeteners, the per capita intake of sugar has increase markedly over the last decades. People are eating artificial sweeteners by the ton AND eating more sugar.
We have looked at all sorts of options to try to make a product suitable for diabetics, including stevia, fructose, tapioca and other natural thickeners, and still we haven’t found anything that tastes good enough for us to consider.
In addition, the various diabetic associations including Diabetes Ireland seem to be against the idea of diabetic products and are much more interested in a balanced, low-fat diet. I can see why – in Dublin I came across a “Diabetic” chocolate bar that neglected to list the ingredients. I can understand how such products could lull people into a false sense of security.
This still leaves us coming up blank. I suppose one way would be to try to find a recipe for a gelato, which is naturally low in fat, and one that has reduced sugar as well. However, what do you add instead? Fruits contain sugar, chocolate adds bulk but contains fat, nuts do the same, andÂ soon we are back at square one!
If anyone has any ideas…