Araya RojjanawanicharkornMinistry of Public Health, Thailand
Title: The Situation of Using Artificial Sweetener Instead of Sugar in Instant Beverage Powder
Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) have a tendency to increase among Thai people every year. One major cause of this issue is overconsumption of sugar, which is commonly found in instant beverage powder that contained a lot of sugar per serving. The purpose of this research is to obtain total sugar and artificial sweetener content in instant beverage powder available in Thailand. A survey was conducted in eight department stores, collecting 243 food and nutrition facts labelled of instant beverage powder. The average total sugar content was 9.92 ± 6.45 grams per serving. There were 69 products (28.39 percent) using sweeteners instead of sugar, which mostly found in coffee and tea instant beverage powder. A survey of 800 consumers by using online questionnaires found that 21 percent of consumers agreed with the use of artificial sweetener in order to reduce sugar content. Interviewing with 5 entrepreneurs found that most of the food producers had developed products using artificial sweeteners in the instant beverage powder products; however, aftertaste and limited number of artificial sweeteners added to the products were reported. The tendency of using artificial sweeteners as sugar substitution had continuously increased. Therefore, consumer should be educated to gain insight on how to consume artificial sweeteners safely. Moreover, the Thai-FDA should support and drive the policy to reduce the sugar in the instant beverage powder.
Mr.Araya hold a MSc. in Food and Nutrition for Development from Mahidol University. In 2011, he graduated from the Thammasart University, Faculty of Economic with a Master of Business Economy. He has been working with Thai Food and Drug Administration for 12 years as a researcher. In his current roles, Mr.Araya is one of the key people to drive the food and nutrition policy in Thailand. Moreover, he is also a member of National Food Committee and Thai Health Fund