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An Israeli company has developed a sweet protein that can replace sugar in food and won’t raise your blood sugar or insulin levels.

New sweet protein holds out hope for diabetics


By —— Bio and Archives--August 1, 2018

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New sweet protein holds out hope for diabetics
Ninety-nine percent of all fruits in the world derive their sweetness from sugar. But there are a dozen or so fruits that grow along the equatorial belt that contain a sweet protein, rather than a sugar.

What if that protein could be turned into a commercial product? Proteins used as a sweetener would have significant advantage over added sugar: they’re digested by the body just like any other protein in the GI tract, they don’t raise your blood sugar or insulin levels, they steer clear of your liver, don’t burden your kidneys, nor do they affect the microbiome in the same way as sugar.

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That means a protein-sweetened candy bar would not contribute to diabetes or obesity as would its sugary cousin.

That’s what Ilan Samish was thinking when he first learned about thaumatin, the sweet protein in katemfe, a plant which grows primarily in Nigeria.

“The world is spending huge amounts of money to cure disease,” he tells ISRAEL21c, pointing to how obesity has been classified by the World Health Organization as a global epidemic. “But we’re not focusing on curing the food that’s causing the disease. We need to cure the food rather than cure the disease.”

Telling people to cut down on their sweets doesn’t work, Samish says. “Sweetness makes people happy. So we need to find a way to allow people to enjoy themselves, but in a healthy way. Now we have a way to do just that.”

Samish wasn’t the first entrepreneur to think about harvesting sweet protein-containing fruits, but other companies have run into obstacles: the costs of picking and shipping the fruits to a lab (from Africa to somewhere in the west, as is usually the case) and then extracting and processing the protein into a powder can be prohibitive.—More…

 


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ISRAEL21c -- Bio and Archives | Comments

ISRAEL21c was founded in 2001, in the wake of the Second Intifada, to broaden public understanding of Israel beyond typical portrayals in the mainstream media.

The organization’s founders – Israeli-American technology executives – understood the great power of the Internet and developed a first-of-its kind online product with global appeal and reach.


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