Determination of glycaemic response of a novel cane sugar product incorporated with phyllanthus emblica and zingiber officinale extracts
Malaysian Journal of Nutrition
Nutrition Society of Malaysia
School of Medical and Health Sciences
© 2019, Malaysian Journal of Nutrition. Introduction: The use of natural plant extracts to reduce blood glucose response has been practised from ancient times, although their industrial applications are rare. For the convenience of typical cane sugar consumers, selected tropical plant extracts were incorporated with cane sugar to make a low glycaemic sugar product. Methods: This study compared the glycaemic responses of a commercially available product (Product 1) containing seven herbal extracts; fenugreek (Trigonella foenumgraecum), turmeric (Curcuma longa), black pepper (Piper nigrum), ginger (Zingiber officinale), cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum), gooseberry (Phyllanthus emblica) and pomegranate (Punica granatum) against a novel product (Product 2) that was made by incorporating only two plant extracts that were cheaper and readily available in the local market-gooseberry (Phyllanthus emblica) and ginger (Zingiber officinale). Extracts were incorporated with cane sugar to make a series of crystallised solid sugar products and the formulae with the best sensory attributes was selected (Product 2). The glycaemic indices of both products were determined by standardised methodology using 12 healthy volunteers in a randomised crossover study. Results: The mean glycaemic index (GI) value for sugar in Product 1 was 49±9 and in Product 2 was 38±9. Both results elicited significantly (p < 0.05) lower GI values than normal cane sugar (GI=65). The novel cane sugar product (Product 2) was far more superior compared to the commercially available product (Product 1) in reducing blood glucose response. Conclusion: Incorporation of suitable herbal extracts to cane sugar and foods like rice and wheat flour may be a suitable option to reduce their glycaemic impact.