Added sugars in foods: can you guess which products they occur in?

Added sugars in foods: can you guess which products they occur in?

Less sugar than before, even though there is still it (almost) everywhere. The share of sweeteners, such as white sugar or sweeteners, in products sold in France has decreased over the past ten years, according to a study by the National Agency for Food and Environmental Safety and Labor (Anses), which was made public on Tuesday, March 19 was created. However, this does not mean that the sugar content of foods has generally decreased or that sugar no longer occurs in sometimes unexpectedly processed products.

From 2008 to 2020, ANSES studied the composition of more than 50,000 processed foods, both sweet and savory, to assess the frequency with which they contained sweeteners (sucrose, sweeteners such as aspartame, syrups, fruit juices, honey, etc.).

The agency concludes that in 2020, the majority of foods (77%) still contained at least one sweetener, even though its use had declined in recent years. So if “sugar syrups or synthetic sweeteners are used much less”, “The compositions have been revised to give preference to very common ingredients, such as white sugar (…) or that are perceived as more “natural”, such as fruit juices. »

Do fewer sweeteners generally mean less sugar for consumers? The study only looked at the nature and frequency of the ingredients used, and not at the quantities used. “rarely indicated on packaging” –it is not possible to draw conclusions about public health.

Only in non-alcoholic drinks has the sugar content really fallen, according to another study by Anses. “This result can be explained by the implementation of measures aimed at reducing the sugar content in drinks”including the introduction in 2012 of a tax on drinks with added sugars or sweeteners.

Where are the most added sugars in processed products? Which salty products are most affected? To see it more clearly, answer the eight questions in our quiz.

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