This New Sugar Substitute Is Made Entirely from Food Waste

updated Feb 6, 2020
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Leave it to the Dutch to invent a game-changing sugar substitute, one that’s devoid of chemicals and a bitter aftertaste — and even good for the environment! Enter Fooditive, a Netherlands-based company that’s developed a sweetener made entirely of fruit scraps, namely apples and pears, that couldn’t be sold in supermarkets and would otherwise be left to rot. 

Calorie-free and 100% natural, Fooditive could be the answer to health concerns over consuming artificial sweeteners containing sucralose and aspartame that are harmful when consumed in large quantities and over long periods of time. And, because it’s comprised entirely of plants in the form of fruit, it’s completely sustainable, unlike its artificial counterparts, which can’t be completely removed by wastewater treatment plants. The artificial sweeteners can wind up in our rivers and oceans, potentially harming wildlife and our water sources. 

But what makes it different than Stevia, you may ask, a sweetener that’s also sustainable and plant-based? Though it’s all natural, the common complaint with Stevia is that it’s up to 300 times sweeter than cane sugar, meaning that it’s often combined with other artificial sweeteners and other additives. For anyone that’s tried it, you might agree that it leaves a bitter aftertaste when consumed. Unlike Stevia, Fooditive sweetener apparently leaves no aftertaste at all because it’s made of pleasant-tasting pectin-based fruit. 

Founded by Moayad Abushokhedim, Fooditive sweetener gets its fruit scraps from local Dutch farmers, making it an upcycling solution for food that would otherwise go to waste. Through a fermentation process, the natural fructose is extracted and turned into a sweetener, which currently comes in powder form. Fooditive is another example of a progressive food company seeking to contribute to a circular economy, by helping to support farmers. 

While not yet available in the United States, Fooditive hopes to bring its products stateside eventually once it gets the green light from the country’s food regulators, but it’s currently available in Sweden, and in the process of expanding to other Nordic countries, the United Kingdom, and Jordan.