While the oil industry is intensively seeking alternative energy sources that are healthier to the environment, the food industry is in search of alternatives to good ol’ sugar that are healthier for the body. The newest to join the select group of sugar-substitutes are Stevia and Xylitol.
Stevia is a plant, also known as sugarleaf, and it is the extract of this leaf that packs sweetness 300 times that of sugar. Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that can be produced from the fibers of almost any ‘sweet’ fruit or vegetable. Both of these have been around really for over a hundred years, but it is only recently that they have hit the shelves of the major supermarkets and have become available to the kosher consumer. You can buy these sweeteners in a store near you; however, you should know that different brands of these products may have slight variations in taste and aftertaste. You may find that even if you didn’t hit it off with one Stevia product that you may very well like another.
We find that a growing number of companies are making products using the new sweeteners. Here are just some that we spotted recently.
Natrazyle Sugar Free Ketchup with Xylitol
Under the Hashgachah of the OU and Hisachdus, this healthier ketchup option uses no sugar and apple cider vinegar for its vinegar. Ingredients are: Tomato puree, apple cider vinegar, xylitol, spices, salt, arrowroot. 2 grams of ‘Imapact Carbs’ (this is what the company calls its non-xylitol carbs) per serving.
Hateva Soy, Almond, and Rice Puddings
Available in a few flavors like chocolate, vanilla, caramel, these puddings are lactose free and sugar free and require no refrigeration. Kashrus by the OU and Rabbi Nasan Naftali Horowitz, Beis Hamedrash Ohr Yechezkel.