While reading ingredients on a package, I wondered why it had so many different sweeteners. I mockingly read the label aloud, "Look, hun, this has sugar, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, and molasses." Gasp.
Of course since I avoid sweets, that product went back on the grocer's shelf. Still, I scratched my head, "Why so many sweeteners?"
I assumed it gave the product a distinct flavor by combining different sugars, but I recently learned the truth… by naming multiple sweeteners, it keeps "sugar" from being first on the list of ingredients.
I learned this while reading The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite by David A. Kessler, MD. He submits that food product developers are willing to exploit the lack of consumer awareness.
"If a food contains more sugar than any other ingredient, federal regulations dictate that sugar be listed first on the label. But if a food contains several different kinds of sweeteners, they can be listed separately, which pushes each one farther down the list."
Breakfast cereals are notorious for "hiding" the sugar. "Cereals often include some combination of sugar, brown sugar, fructose, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, and molasses."
He goes on to state, "Whatever the true motive, ingredient labeling still does not fully convey the amount of sugar and fat being added to food, certainly not in a language that's easy for consumers to understand. The Kellogg's Frosted Flakes label, for example, indicates that the cereal has 11 grams of sugar per serving. But nowhere does it tell consumers that more than one-third of the box contains added sugar."
Thanks to David Kessler, I am wiser to packaging's wily ways.
(Above quotes are all found in The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite by David A. Kessler, MD, p. 103.)