Tuesday 30 May 2023 - 6:48:06 pm

Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology concludes region’s first Sugar Reduction Programme

DUBAI, 9th June, 2022 (WAM) -- Representatives from the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT), in collaboration with the UAE F&B Manufacturers Business Group, today joined Emirati graduates and young F&B professionals at the final session of the region's first-ever Sugar & Calorie Reduction Knowledge Building Programme hosted at Tate & Lyle's R&D lab in Dubai.

The eight-week programme, which concluded Thursday, is part of a joint initiative by the MoIAT and UAE F&B Manufacturers Business Group to educate young professionals and support F&B manufacturers in the region to cut calories and sugar from products and pivot to increased demand among consumers for healthier food.

Speaking at the event, Farah Al Zarooni, Acting Assistant Under-Secretary for Standards and Regulations at the Ministry, said, "In line with the UAE's national industrial strategy to enhance the competitiveness of domestic manufacturers, the ministry is committed to supporting the WHO's recommendations to cut sugar and calories in F&B products and support industrial companies in the UAE with the knowledge and capabilities to adapt to market trends and maintain international standards.

"This platform will raise awareness and provide expertise about the opportunities for F&B manufacturers around healthier products, provide the necessary technical and business expertise and direction to help companies capitalise on opportunities in the F&B sector. It also highlights the ministry's efforts to update its rules and regulations to support the country's sustainable development and improve the quality of F&B products."

Saleh Lootah, Chairman of UAE Food and Beverage Manufacturers Group, stated, "UAE food manufacturing companies are investing in new product development innovations, and this programme will help them access a faster route to market and maintain global standards. Tate & Lyle's state-of-art R&D facilities are key to strengthening the sector in the region and crucial for nurturing local talent."

The programme's six sessions hosted more than 350 delegates from the MENA region in-person and virtually. Representatives from the entire F&B manufacturing value chain attended, including legislative and food safety authorities such as Dubai Municipality, Saudi Food and Drug Authority, Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority, and Sharjah City Municipality and Ministry of Health and Prevention.

Emirati students and young F&B professionals attending the programme represented Zayed University, Canadian University Dubai, Al Ain University, United Arab Emirates University (UAEU), Manipal Academy of Higher Education, and others.

The programme aimed to increase awareness of the latest in sugar and calorie reduction technologies, offering practical experience from demonstrations at Tate & Lyle's new Customer Innovation and Collaboration Centre and providing ongoing support for F&B manufacturers.

Dominique Floch, General Manager, Middle East, Africa and Turkey at Tate & Lyle, said, "As a result of increased consumer demand for food and beverage options with reduced calories, fat and sugar, manufacturers are now increasingly looking to create products that fit within this healthier lifestyle ethos.

"The challenge faced, however, has always been how to keep the great taste consumers have come to expect while also promoting a balanced diet. Our new Customer Innovation and Collaboration Centre brings together Tate & Lyle's cutting-edge science and technology, world-leading ingredients and unrivalled formulation expertise to make healthy food tastier and tasty food healthier."