Health benefits and natural ingredients key to promoting sweet protein alternatives over sugar


In a latest research printed within the journal Food Research International, researchers explored the position of message framing in selling the consumption of different sweeteners, particularly candy proteins, to cut back sugar consumption. Their findings point out that people usually tend to be influenced by messaging highlighting sugar substitutes’ well being advantages, although specializing in their lack of synthetic components can be helpful.

Examine: Beyond sugar: Exploring the influence of health and naturalness framing on attitudes towards products with sweet proteins in Europe


Estimates recommend that European Union residents eat a mean of 34 kg of sugar every year, greater than thrice the quantity really useful by the World Well being Group. The rise in sugar consumption has a deleterious impact on public well being and has been related to rising weight problems charges. Methods equivalent to taxing sugary meals and drinks, strengthening dietary labeling rules, and lowering the advertising and marketing of those meals to youngsters haven’t had the specified impact of lowering their consumption.

Nevertheless, breakthroughs in precision fermentation have allowed scientists to develop ‘candy proteins’ equivalent to thaumatin, which is well digestible and non-allergenic. Notably, they’re created utilizing yeast to precise and isolate proteins occurring naturally in some fruit. They’re a promising different to synthetic sweeteners equivalent to sucralose and aspartame with out the related well being dangers.

It’s important to market the novel candy proteins in a means that influences shopper attitudes and perceptions and interprets to decreased sugar consumption. Earlier analysis has indicated that perceptions of well being and naturalness have a job to play and could also be moderated by physique mass index (BMI) and feelings related to sugar consumption, like anticipatory guilt.

Concerning the research

Within the current research, researchers investigated how well being and naturalness perceptions influenced attitudes towards merchandise containing candy proteins. A subsequent research additionally assessed the components that average this relationship, equivalent to BMI and anticipatory guilt for well being messaging, earlier consumption of different sweeteners, and anticipatory pleasure for naturalness messaging.

The researchers examined these influences experimentally by presenting comparable messages that solely differed in how they described candy proteins. The well being body centered on their well being advantages as a sugar different, whereas the naturalness body highlighted their variations from at present accessible synthetic sweeteners. To be eligible for the research, members wanted to be between 20 and 70 years previous and both be decision-makers for his or her households or share accountability for meals purchases.

Researchers assessed perceptions of the proteins by asking members to price the gadgets on Likert scales the place increased values indicated increased settlement with statements associated to their advantages. Different questions elicited the diploma of accountability, accountability, and guilt members really feel when consuming sugary meals. Participant BMI was calculated from self-reported info. Sociodemographic traits have been additionally included. The info was analyzed utilizing strategies equivalent to evaluation of covariance and regression-based path evaluation, with nation of residence as a covariate.


For the primary experiment on the position of product messaging (well being vs. naturalness), knowledge have been collected from 296 members in Denmark, of whom 147 obtained naturalness messages and 149 obtained well being messages. Half of the members have been male, and the typical age was 27 years.

The evaluation indicated a big distinction in attitudes in the direction of candy proteins between the 2 teams. Members who obtained the health-related messaging reported a mean favorability of 5.07 out of a most of seven, as in comparison with 4.34 for individuals who obtained naturalness messaging. Gender and age didn’t present vital correlations with attitudes to the merchandise.

Within the subsequent research, researchers centered on three international locations whose residents have proven curiosity in lowering sugar consumption – Poland, Germany, and Denmark. There have been roughly 1,000 members from every nation, of whom half obtained messages associated to every experimental situation (well being and naturalness). They have been 45.59 years previous on common, and 48% have been male.

Just like the primary research, members throughout all three international locations as soon as once more reported extra constructive attitudes when uncovered to the well being framing. There was a slight however vital detrimental impact of BMI on well being perceptions with a slope of -0.008. Bootstrapping strategies confirmed this notion was notably vital for these with medium to excessive BMI ranges. The implication is that well being message framing will increase well being perceptions for these at excessive BMI ranges. Equally, anticipatory guilt translated to extra favorable product attitudes for individuals who obtained well being messages.

Researchers discovered a touch vital end result for the naturalness messaging, indicating that members who eat extra sweeteners could understand candy proteins extra positively. In addition they established that anticipatory pleasure moderates the impact of the naturalness messaging, implying that those that already eat sweeteners could also be extra receptive to this message as a result of they anticipate the enjoyment of consuming them.


The research generated novel insights into how candy proteins could be promoted to customers to cut back sugar consumption and enhance well being outcomes. Nevertheless, the authors acknowledge that whereas attitudes are essential, they could not all the time translate to habits and consumption. Additional research ought to strengthen these findings by way of behavioral knowledge.

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