Nutrition food

Scientist redefines nutrition, food waste and food safety with recycled fiber-rich sugar

The Supplant company is rethinking sugar.

The oft-seen culprit of many of the world’s nutritional problems has been given a makeover by recycling a fiber-rich “prebiotic” serving of cultures typically discarded to sweeten cookies and chocolate, created in collaboration with chef Thomas Keller, the first and only The American-born chef will hold three Michelin stars for his Californian restaurant The French Laundry.

Not only is Supplant Sugar designed to break consumers’ addiction to cane sugar – the average American consumes about 17 teaspoons of added sugar per day – but it also solves a problem that is easily overcome.

Up to 40% of all food in America ends up wasted, which is over $400 billion every year. Although much of this takes place in the kitchen, “a big chunk happens before that,” said Dr. Simmonds.

The food system trilemma

“What we call the food system trilemma is how we think about the big problems in the food system right now… [1] in terms of nutrition, which of course sugar is a major issue and has been an issue for some time… [2] sustainability, more and more people recognize the impact of the farming system… and [3] food security or food equity: at the macro scale, we need 50% more food to feed the population of 2050 but we do not have 50% more land, while at the micro scale, it is the existence of “nutritious desserts” – places where it is quite difficult to obtain good quality food”,said Dr. Simmonds.

“These things are all interconnected and you really can’t define the address in a way that’s abstract from others; for example, if you have an innovation to make more nutritious food, but you do so at the expense of the total production of the agricultural industry.

“So if you’re going to address these issues, you really have to think system-wide holistically about all of these issues.”

He added, “I think what we’re doing is really one of the few ways we can try to have innovation that’s unambiguously good, in that it addresses nutrition, sustainability and food security as a whole. consistent.”

The mission is to make ingredients that can make food products more sustainable, healthier and more abundant: all in one fell swoop: Dr Tom Simmons

New category of food ingredient

Matt Hoover Photo Dried Corncob
Image: Getty Images

The Cambridge, UK-based team of scientists are defining a new category of feed ingredients by harnessing the fibrous part of crops – the stems, stems, husks and cobs typically made into animal feed, left to decompose in the field, burned or stored – to create a better sugar for you.

The process of extracting natural sugars from fibrous plants uses fungal enzymes and is proprietary to Supplant, but the result is a fiber-rich sugar that behaves like traditional sugar, while retaining the nutritional properties of fiber, being lower in calories, less glycemic response, good for gut health and rich in prebiotics.

“The mission is to make ingredients that can make food products more sustainable, healthier and more abundant: all in one fell swoop,” said Dr. Simmons.

“What’s distinctive about us is that we make ingredients from the streams of agricultural science…what’s produced on farms but isn’t currently widely used – the structural parts of plants that house the popular parts (starch, sugar, grains, beans, oil, etc.) that are actually the most abundant part of a plant part.

“By introducing our fiber-derived ingredients into our food system, we are adding the benefits of fiber and reducing the negative impacts of refined sugar, carbohydrates and excess calories. More importantly, we only do this by preparing delicious dishes,” said Dr. Simmons.

“Sugars from fiber look, taste and feel like sugar; but it is also nutritious. It’s half the calories and doesn’t spike insulin like refined sugar. And because we make it from otherwise unused agricultural plant fibers, it’s also good for the planet, especially for biodiversity.

Increase its footprint and impact

Replace shortbread

The vindication, no doubt, comes in the form of the endorsement of American culinary superstar Chef Thomas Keller, who established a collection of restaurants that established a new paradigm within the profession, including The French Laundry in Napa Valley and Per Se in New York, among others.

Dr. Simmons tells us how a handwritten letter caught the celebrity chef’s attention and a partnership was forged in the spring of 2021 to officially launch Supplant Sugars from Fiber in ice cream, cookies and chocolate. Since then, the partnership has launched several new products – including a chocolate bar and shortbread – available both online and in limited retail, but the plan is to go much further.

“As we evolve our offering to better serve our business partners, we have found that the production and distribution of premium confectionery inclusions such as chocolate chips created with Supplant sugars from fiber increases our footprint and our impact”,said Dr. Simmons.

“Expanding our offering beyond a raw ingredient to inclusions and CPG products continues our mission to create an entirely new category of ‘fiber-derived sugars’ and ultimately reduce demand for cane sugar while offering a solution to agricultural food waste.”

Listen to the podcast to learn how The Supplant Company continues to move towards direct wholesale buying business partners, including foodservice and CPG brands, with diverse applications ranging from bakery to cereals and snacks.