Food Labeling: Ingredient Splitting


What is “ingredient splitting”? Ingredient splitting is the practice of subdividing a more abundant ingredient into smaller portions for the purpose of hiding its true amounts.

For example, added sugars. People have become more conscious of how bad added sugars are for our health, and are beginning to look for where it ranks on an ingredients list. So, by dividing the total amount of added sugars into three or four different sugar names instead of using just one type of sugar, companies are able drop their added sugars further down the list (the less the weight, the lower the rank on the ingredient list). Sugar might even be the number one ingredient in a product, but when sub-divided like this, it will show up as very low down the list.

If you see a few different sugar names in the list, you can bet that it is actually one of the main ingredients in the product!

Here are some common other names for added sugars: corn sweetener, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, fruit juice concentrates, glucose, high-fructose corn syrup, invert sugar, lactose, maltose, malt syrup, raw sugar, sucrose, sugar syrup, cane crystals, cane sugar, crystalline fructose, evaporated cane juice, corn syrup solids, malt syrup.

How to avoid these pitfalls? Read labels carefully, and EAT WHOLE FOODS! Always choose fresh, non-processed foods as often as possible. You may also consider taking a grocery store tour with a Nutritionist!