Story at a glance
- U.S. chef Thomas Keller is touting a new and potentially revolutionary sustainable sugar.
- The sugar is made from the pulp of plant straws and husks, which are normally burned or dug into soil to increase its nutrients.
- The new sugar is half the calories of normal cane sugar.
Chef Thomas Keller, owner of the three-Michelin-star restaurant Per Se in New York and The French Laundry in California, is helping to spread the word about a new low-calorie, eco-friendly sugar substitute called Supplant.
Keller partnered with the manufacturers of the fake sweetener, The Supplant Company, last month to launch their first direct-to-consumer offering — a set of premium milk and dark chocolate bars, according to a press release from the company.
“Supplant allows us to make chocolate bars that are just as delicious as the chocolate we make at The French Laundry, but with the added benefits of improved human and environmental health,” Keller said in a statement.
In addition, Keller is opting to use the newly launched artificial sweetener in some of his dishes at Per Se that traditionally call for large helpings of sugar, such as ketchup and baked beans, according to Fast Company.
The sweetener is made from fibers extracted from the straw of grains like wheat and rice or from corn husks, which are then ground up into a pulp. Once the pulp has been made, enzymes are added to break down the fiber sugar molecules from long and complex chains to shorter ones.
Supplant tastes like traditional cane sugar but with half the calories and a lower glycemic response, according to The Supplant Company’s website.
The new sugar substitute is also prebiotic, meaning it promotes the growth of good bacteria in the gut, according to a press release from the company.
Supplant sugars could be revolutionary in terms of sustainability, the company claims, since stalks, husks and hulls of many plants are burned to make room for new crops resulting in air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, according to Green Matters.
Also, traditional cane sugar manufacturing requires a huge amount of water. According to the World Wide Fund for Nature, sugar mills create wastewater and emit air pollutants like flue gases, soot, ash and ammonia.
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