Australian Functional Ingredients – by Vic Cherikoff

Is table sugar an artificial sweetener?

Interesting discussion on the Sweetener Research Group of LinkedIn. It led me to suggest that perhaps sucrose and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) should be classed as artificial sweeteners too.

Research into wild foods in Australia shows that sucrose is rare to absent as a sugar and it appears that it is more a function of agricultural selection and the use of NPK fertilizers and irrigation that pushes plants to shift their percentage of sugar content to the disaccharide. Consider that across the whole planet only sugar cane, sugar beet and sugar palm are used commercially for sucrose production. These three species are easily persuaded to crank out good volumes of sucrose although in Australia, sugar cane needs the fertile soils of lowland, coastal, tropical rainforests where we criminally wipe out 600 species per acre to grow a monoculture for this toxic sugar.

Now after the last century and a bit of testing in the wider population sucrose is showing its true color as a contributory factor in metabolic syndrome and perhaps all of the diseases of nutrition (DON). Here is a list of 145 conditions that are triggered or exacerbated by sucrose.

We have selected and bred mangoes with 3% more sugar than Coke or that other brand; falling levels of fiber and antioxidants; and pumped up with water and nutritionally dilute in comparison to the wild mango. Sweet potato, once a low GI vegetable has lost its milky latex (and much of its antioxidant levels) and has been pumped up with sucrose and water while losing its stringy texture of old. I can go on. See my previous rant on the food lies we are being fed by those who control our food supply.

Most of the fresh produce we used to regard as healthy foods are these days so far from their ancestral nutritional quality that a niche has appeared for antioxidant supplementation to band-aid up the problem. We can show Australian wild foods as protective against a raft of the DON. We are even effectively treating many conditions with wild food admixtures primarily providing multiple antioxidants, anti-inflammatories and micro-sugars. The latter, incidentally, assisting the cellular absorption of other nutrients and recently discovered as important in over-coming many cancer cells’ multi-drug resistance to chemotherapy.

Sweetener research may need to be ramped up significantly if sucrose ever gets the red light and finds its true classification as an artificial sweetener.



Vic Cherikoff