An Australian biotech firm has developed a technique for producing cane sugar with lower glycaemic index (GI) that it says may help prevent diabetes.
GI is a ranking system for carbohydrates based on their immediate effect on blood glucose levels. High-GI foods are thought to increase the risk of diabetes because they trigger rapid increases in blood glucose, stressing the pancreas as it produces insulin in response.
The sugar, developed by firm 'Horizon Science of Melbourne', is a little darker than white sugar but tastes the same. What's more, because it has the same bulk and texture as normal sugar it can replace normal sugar in recipes, says David Kannar, chief scientific officer at Horizon.
Artificial sweeteners can't, because they are used in much smaller quantities, reports the online edition of New Scientist.
The low-GI sugar could also help prevent diabetes because it contains polyphenols, chemicals usually lauded for their antioxidant properties.