National Sugar Institute, Kanpur after years of experiments got success in developing technique for production of Low Glycemic Index (Low GI) Sugar and Low Glycemic Index (Low GI) Fortified Sugar having shelf life of one year under standard storage conditions. Foods are classified as being High GI (70 or above), Mid GI (56-69) or Low GI (55 or less) according to their effects on blood glucose (sugar) levels over time. Lower is the GI of a specific food, the less it may effect one’s blood sugar level. Hence, foods having Low Glycemic Index provide lesser spike in blood sugar levels and are helpful in diabetes management besides helping in managing total cholesterol level, blood pressure and reducing liver fat in non-alcoholic patients etc.
Although sugar may not be sole responsible for diabetes but looking to the growing concerns, we decided to work on developing such natural product about four years back and a team comprising Ms. Shruti Shukla and Ms. Svechha Singh started research work under the supervision of Ms. Anushka Kanodia, Senior Research Fellow to develop such sugar in the Sugar Technology division of the Institute, informed Prof. Narendra Mohan, Director, National Sugar Institute, Kanpur.
Low GI liquid sugar so produced is going to be one of its own kind wherein firstly impurities from the sugarcane juice are removed using minimum amount of chemicals. The process then includes adding micronutrients such as stevia, monk fruit etc., in the processing sugar melt in specified quantities under controlled conditions to make it low GI one, which helps in neutralizing the sudden rise in blood sugar levels while ingesting the sugar. As per the requirement, either liquid or crystal sugar may be produced by adopting additional steps of crystallization and centrifugation etc. Addition of Vitamin A, further takes care of deficiency in common masses, said Ms. Anushka Kanodia, Senior Research Fellow. Under National Food Security Act 2013, apart from Vitamin A, micronutrients such as Mg, Fe, Zn, I, and Vitamin B12 have been identified which may be used in future to fortify sugar also, she said.
The Low GI Sugars so produced has got a GI value less than 55 and vitamin A content about 18-19 IU/gm. It is going to prove its worth in times to come and shall be an answer for artificial sweeteners which are not considered safe, informed Director. The technology which we have developed is cost effective and we expect the cost of such sugar not to increase beyond 20% of the normal cost, he said.