In 2015, food and beverage manufacturing companies gained another sweetener choice for lower calorie formulations: allulose. Because it is a low-calorie sugar, allulose offers the taste and texture of sugar but with 90 percent fewer calories than full caloric sugar.
As a substance that exists in nature, allulose is found in small quantities injackfruit, figs, raisins and wheat and is naturally present in small quantities in foods including caramel sauce, maple syrup and brown sugar. Allulose (also known as psicose and D-psicose) is Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use as a food ingredient and in conjunction with other sweeteners under two separate notifications (400 and 498).
The applications for allulose allowed by the FDA include carbonated and non-carbonated beverages; rolls, cake, pie, pastries, biscuits and frostings; yogurt, both regular and frozen; frozen dairy desserts, including regular ice cream, soft serve, sorbet; salad dressings; jams and jellies; chewing gum; hard and soft candies; sweet sauces and syrups; gelatins, puddings and fillings; fat-based cream used in modified fat/calorie cookies, cakes and pastries; medical foods; and coffee mix.
In addition to the variety of use applications, allulose has several beneficial health characteristics. When people consume products with allulose, the body absorbs the allulose, but does not metabolize it. Allulose is therefore not converted to glucose, so its calories are not available to the body, making it practically calorie-free. Unlike other caloric sugars, allulose has no impact on blood glucose or insulin levels. Researchers have also found allulose to be well tolerated.
While allulose is available as a sweetening ingredient for food and beverage manufacturers, allulose is not yet available as a table top sweetener.