Wednesday, April 11, 2007

At Random: Sugar Free

It's a slow news day, as they say in the newspaper business, so let's indulge in an old-fashioned LexisNexis search. Today's search term: "sugar free." And here are the top results:

--"GROWING DEMAND FOR SUGAR-FREE PRODUCTS DRIVES GROWTH IN EUROPEAN POLYOLS MARKET." Polyols--including the evil maltitol--are being used in record amounts in the candy, pharmaceutical and oral-care products areas. Sure wish they'd find other alternatives.

--"WRIGLEY TO LAUNCH NEW LINE OF SUGAR-FREE GUM, WILL RAISE PRICES 10 PERCENT." The gum line is called "5"--for the five senses--and is designed "to give chewers a brief, but intense, oral sensation." It will launch in the USA in June in three flavors: Rain, Cobalt and Flare. Okay, "brief but intense" means it'll last about 10 seconds before losing flavor, and then you have to pay more to get more. No mention of what fake sweetener they'll use. Ah, who cares. I don't chew gum anyway.

--"GUJARAT FARMERS GROW SUGAR-FREE POTATOES." Well, now. This is interesting. Asian farmers have figured out a way to grow potatoes greatly reduced in sugar. "Farmers in Gujarat have come to the aid of health-conscious and diabetics, who can savour their favourite potato, without fear of adding to the calorie or increasing sugar levels in blood," according to the Hindustan Times.

--"ENVIGA THIRST-QUENCHING, BUBBLES OVERHWELMING." Apparently, some Spokane, Wash., folks decided to taste-test Coke's new Enviga drink and were underwhelmed. Other observations: "flavor washed out, hard to distinguish, finished with a sugar-free aftertaste." Personally, I've only tried the Green Tea flavor but didn't think it was bad at all. It's been hard to find around here, though.

And, besides, I'm holding out for the sugar-free potatoes.

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