The scientist redefining nutrition, food waste and food security with an upcycled fiber-rich sugar

The Supplant Company is rethinking sugar.

The oft-viewed culprit of many of the world population’s nutritional issues has been given a makeover, by upcycling fiber-rich, ‘prebiotic’ portion of crops typically discarded to sweeten cookies and chocolate created in collaboration with Chef Thomas Keller, the first and only American-born chef to hold three Michelin stars for his California restaurant The French Laundry.

Not only is Supplant sugar designed to break consumers’ reliance on cane sugar – the average American consumes around 17 teaspoons of added sugar a day – it is also addressing an issue that is easily overcome.

As much as 40% of all food in America ends up wasted, worth more than $400bn each year. While much of that happens in the kitchen, “a big chunk happens before that,” ​said Dr Simmonds.

The food system trilemma

“What we call the food system trilemma is the way we think about the broad problems in the food system right now… [1] in terms of nutrition, which, of course, sugar is a major issue and has been an issue for a while… [2] sustainability, the people are recognising impact of the agricultural system … and [3] Food security or food equity: on a macro scale, we need 50% more food to feed the population of 2050 but we don’t have 50% more land, while on a micro scale, it’s the existence of ‘nutrient desserts’ – places where it’s quite hard to get good quality food,”​ said Dr Simmonds.

“These things are all interconnected and you really can’t set address one in a way that’s abstracted from the others; For example, if you have an innovation to make more nutritious food, but you do so at the expense of the total output of the agricultural industry.


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