What is Allulose

First of all, what is sugar? The Meriam Webster Dictionary definition of sugar is:

1 : a sweet material that consists essentially of sucrose obtained from sugarcane or sugar beets, is typically colorless or white when pure, and is commonly used to sweeten foods and beverages.

2 : any of numerous soluble and usually sweet carbohydrates (as glucose or sucrose) that occur naturally especially in plants.

Allulose is a rare sugar that was originally discovered in figs and raisins. It shares the same chemical structure as sucrose C6H12O6 which forms the basic sugar that we are all familiar with. There are two main forms of sugar. Simple sugars, called monosaccharides and disaccharides which are basically two simple sugars bonded together. If you are like us, flashbacks of high school chemistry class begin flooding into mind. Common monosaccharides include glucose and fructose. Typical disaccharides include sucrose, maltose and lactose (yes, lactose is a sugar molecule).

Allulose is classified as a monosaccharide with an identical chemical formula of C6H12O6 compared to glucose. However, it contains 90% fewer calories than sucrose and there is a variation of how the molecules are bonded that cause our bodies to not absorb Allulose the same way as traditional sugar resulting in zero grams of sugar absorbed and zero net carbs. Most importantly, since the molecular structure is identical to sugar, it has the same flavor and taste profile curve as glucose and sucrose. This is what makes allulose such a great alternative to sugar. Other sweeteners differ chemically from real sugar and as a result all have different flavor and taste profiles that creates a distinct flavor and after taste that most people can recognize.

With an identical taste profile, the only difference is that allulose is about 70% as sweet as regular sugar. You could simply add more allulose to obtain the same sweetness. Subjectively speaking, we feel that most sugared drinks and snacks tend to be a bit too sweet so we tend to not fully match the sweetness of standard drinks to improve overall taste.

There is no other sugar substitute that does not metabolize that has an identical taste profile as regular sugar. Some of the latest trends with alternative sweeteners like, Stevia, Erythritol, Xylitol, and Monk Fruit improve upon the older sweeteners but have very different taste profiles. We have detailed comparisons showing how Allulose compares to some of the most popular sweeteners today. [link to comparison page]

With most sugar alternatives, because of the chemical differences, they are not suitable for cooking, baking or even freezing. They do not melt in the same way and create the same texture. This is another advantage of allulose which allows you to truly use it as a sugar substitute in the kitchen. You can find granulated allulose in many health food stores or online today.

Traditional sugar is also well known to cause tooth decay and enamel erosion. Because allulose does not metabolize, it does not contribute to tooth decay and also does not promote the growth of oral bacteria that cause cavities.

Allulose is not a new discovery. In fact, it has been recognized by the FDA as safe since 2012. Like traditional sugar, Allulose is classified as GRAS = Generally Recognized As Safe and numerous studies have shown the safety of Allulose. It was known that Allulose was not metabolized by our bodies and did not cause sugar spikes in blood sugar or insulin response and was safe for diabetics but more research needed to be done. By 2019, the FDA came out with guidelines allowing companies to list zero grams of sugar on nutritional labels since Allulose truly is not metabolized. In terms of nutritional science, this is very recent and other countries will likely follow.

The biggest disadvantage of Allulose today is that it is a relatively rare sugar substitute with limited manufacturing. This results in a significantly higher ingredient cost than alternatives. We expect that as time passes and Allulose gains in popularity, production and competition will increase resulting in lower costs.

Another disadvantage is that with excessive consumption of allulose, some people may experience slight gastrointestinal discomfort. This is also common with sugar alcohols such as ???. [find study to show it is less than other sugar alcohols]. While sensitivity to allulose tends to be less severe than many of the sugar alcohols such as ??, we still recommend those new to the ingredient to start with small amounts to see if they have sensitivities. For everyone, we always recommend moderation in general with any ingredient. Finding an ingredient that has tastes great, has zero grams of sugar and is not metabolized does not mean that you should drink gallons of allulose sweetened soda daily!


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