The initiative by the global food solutions provider to help address rising rates of obesity and diabetes
Tate & Lyle, the global provider of food and beverage solutions and ingredients, is hosting customers from across the Middle East at a nutrition seminar at which the company’s technical, nutrition and marketing experts will explain how manufacturers can adapt their products to support healthier consumer diets.
Technical, marketing, and business development representatives from multinational and regional food and beverage businesses will come together in Dubai this week to learn how to reduce sugar and calories in their products. Public health officials will also attend the event to learn about the ingredients and solutions that producers in the region can use to help tackle obesity.
Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and the UAE are among nine Middle Eastern countries with some of the world’s highest levels of adult obesity, with between 27% and 40% of the population affected. Although there is no simple solution, experts agree that tackling obesity means addressing excess calorie intakes. Increasing the availability of low-calorie foods and beverages can help people to take in fewer calories over the course of their day when consumed as part of a balanced diet.
Dominique Floch, Technical Director, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Tate & Lyle, said: “Today’s food industry has a greater sense of urgency around sugar and calorie reduction, as obesity levels continue to rise at a worrying pace, and health authorities turn to taxes, new on-pack labelling schemes, and other levers to try and halt its progression. At Tate & Lyle we are passionate about contributing to healthier and tastier food and beverages choices. Sugar does so much more than just adding taste in a recipe - it can add texture, bulk, colour and shelf life - and by using the right blend of ingredients, brands can replace these functions to offer products with fewer calories that will still satisfy a sweet tooth. Using a blend or our soluble fibres and low-calorie sweeteners, we recently helped a major juice brand lower sugar by 55%.”
Dr Ieva Laurie, Principal Scientist, Europe Middle East and Africa, Tate & Lyle, said: “Obesity is complex and when it comes to finding solutions to tackle it, there is no simple solution.
"We need a whole societal approach that includes individuals and parents, Governments, health professionals, the food industry, and ingredient producers such as Tate & Lyle. Our purpose is to improve lives for generations by providing ingredients and solutions that allow people to make healthier and tastier choices when they eat and drink, and to lead a more balanced lifestyle. Food and beverage businesses have the necessary tools to step up and help tackle obesity and diabetes, and, with other partners, to deliver a much-needed step-change in diets and lifestyles.”