Hard cider, with a shot of sugar

October 31, 2018, American Chemical Society
Hard cider, with a shot of sugar
Credit: American Chemical Society

Autumn is the season for falling leaves, pumpkin-spice-flavored everything and apple cider. Yet new research indicates that, in addition to alcohol, some hard ciders may contain a hefty dose of added sugar, which may not be disclosed on the label. The researchers report their results in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Hard cider, made by fermenting apples or apple juice concentrate, is growing in popularity in the U.S. Apples contain plenty of , so adding sweeteners to cider is usually unnecessary. However, cider makers could add sugar to further sweeten the beverage or speed fermentation. Although manufacturers are required to list the amount of sugars per serving on the nutrition facts panel, they don't have to discriminate between those that naturally occur in the product in those that are put in later. Consuming excessive amounts of added sugars can increase the risk of developing conditions, such as diabetes and . In light of the World Health Organization's 2015 recommendation to limit added sugars to 25 grams per day, Sheryl Singerling and colleagues wanted to find out if several popular brands of hard ciders contain not disclosed in the ingredients list.

Sugars from apples have different ratios of carbon-12 and carbon-13 isotopes than sugars from cane or because the plants use different photosynthetic pathways. So Singerling (then at the University of New Mexico) and coworkers used mass spectrometry to analyze the carbon isotope compositions of 23 ciders sold in the U.S. Six of the ciders were imported from Europe, while the rest were made domestically. They found that 60 percent of domestic ciders contained added sugars from cane or corn syrup, compared with 20 percent of imported ciders. However, beet sugar is the most common sweetener in Europe, and the method couldn't distinguish between apple and beet sugars or honey. Because of widespread discrepancies between isotope ratios expected from ingredients lists and the observed values, the researchers concluded that labels are not a reliable way to determine whether a cider has added .

Explore further: What is fake honey and why didn't the official tests pick it up?

More information: Sheryl A. Singerling et al. Measurement of Adjuncts in Hard Ciders Obtainable in the United States Using Carbon Isotopes, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (2018). DOI: 10.1021/acs.jafc.8b05415

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rrwillsj
not rated yet Oct 31, 2018
American's "love" three flavors. Sugar, salt and the inside of a refrigerator.

I mean we have fought wars to feed our insatiable appetite for sugar and salt. An important cause of America's population growth since the 1940's has been entrapping immature women into drinking sweeten bourbons such as Southern Comfort. And salted lite-beers.

I'm sure other countries have similar appetites for self-destruction. The British for example, gave up fighting the American revolutionaries in exchange for getting to keep the Sugar Islands. And salted fish from Newfoundland.

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