Published by: North Queensland Register
What is regarded as the worlds first all-natural low glycemic index (GI) can sugar was revealed in Canberra this week, but it has a distinctly North Queensland connection.
The product, known as LoGiCane, was officially launched by Tony Burke, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry on Monday.
According to the manufacturers, LoGiCane is a wholly Australian product developed by scientists Dr Barry Kitchen and Dr David Kannar from Melbourne-based Company Horizon Science.
Sugar for the product is produced in Mossman and milled at Mossman Central Mill.
The sugar has the same tasted and texture as regular white sugar, but a significantly lower GI.
Mossman Central Mill is currently the only mill with the processing facility able to successfully create the new low-GI sugar, and as part of its vision to increase the productions and distribution of LoGiCane, Horizon Science is keen to export to international markets. MR Burke said for as long as anyone can remember, low GI has meant limited sugar.
“Now all that has changed. This product is another example of the opportunities available to growers when we look for innovative ways to boost productivity and diversify right along the production chain.” He said.
“At a time when Australian sugar growers are under pressure from rising input costs and more recently the floods, this will be a welcome breakthrough.”
The new low-GI sugar is the product of three years’ research and development by Dr Kitchen and Dr Kannar, provided by the Federal Government, grants from the Queensland Government, and additional investment from venture capitalists Inventages LLC and BioPacific Ventures.
Ashok Dhanrajgir, CEO, Horizon Science, said the interest from the food industry has been positive, with trial by a number of major global manufactures under way.
“With diabetes and obesity on the rise worldwide, being able to create a low-GI version of one of the world’s widely used food ingredients is a major breakthrough.” He said.
“We are currently exploring opportunities to collaborate internationally.
“As a break through innovation, LoGiCane has the potential of transforming the entire sugar industry by providing tangible health benefits to improving lifestyle.”
Dr Kitchen said LoGiCane has a low GI of 50, compared to white sugar which has a medium GI of 65 (average),
“Low-GI foods, such as LoGiCane, by virtue of their slow digestion, absorption and/or metabolism, produce a less pronounced rise in blood glucose and insulin levels, and have proven benefits for health.” Dr Kitchen said. “Low GI diets have been shown to reduce blood glucose levels in people with diabetes and they also have benefits for weight management.”
LoGiCane is now in supermarkets, available through Sugar Australia, as part of CSR’s Better for You range.