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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 75-90

Health Benefits of Substituting Added Sugars with Fruits in Developing Value-Added Food Products: A Review

1 College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, Al-Khoud, Oman
2 School of Engineering, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Date of Submission04-May-2020
Date of Decision08-May-2020
Date of Acceptance10-May-2020
Date of Web Publication20-Aug-2020

Correspondence Address:
Annamalai Manickavasagan
50 Stone Road East, Guelph, Ontario N1G 2W1
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijnpnd.ijnpnd_34_20

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Increased intake of added sugar is associated with nutrient deficiencies and higher risk of several non-communicable diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart diseases, dental caries, and certain type of cancers. The current consumption of added sugar is much higher than the dietary recommendations in many parts of the world. To minimize the intake of added sugar, and enjoy the delicious sweet taste, the natural sugars from fruits can provide an excellent transition to replace white sugar in everyday diet. Fruits, in its various forms, have the potential to blend with ingredients of many food products and add sweet taste along with several healthy bioactive compounds. This article provides the health consequences of increased intake of added sugars and the health benefits of fruit-based value-added products. The scope of using fruit extracts, concentrates, dried fruits, and fruit powders in the preparation of various food products to replace the added sugar has been discussed.

Keywords: Added sugar, dried fruits, fruit concentrate, fruit powder

How to cite this article:
Kumar CS, Ali A, Manickavasagan A. Health Benefits of Substituting Added Sugars with Fruits in Developing Value-Added Food Products: A Review. Int J Nutr Pharmacol Neurol Dis 2020;10:75-90

How to cite this URL:
Kumar CS, Ali A, Manickavasagan A. Health Benefits of Substituting Added Sugars with Fruits in Developing Value-Added Food Products: A Review. Int J Nutr Pharmacol Neurol Dis [serial online] 2020 [cited 2022 Jun 30];10:75-90. Available from:

   Introduction Top

All mono- and di-saccharides are considered as sugars however, the term is commonly used for table-sugar or sucrose that is a disaccharide composed of glucose and fructose linked chemically. The term added sugar is used for the caloric sweetener, which are added to foods or beverages during the processing or preparation to increase the sweet taste of food product.[1] The added sugars not only lower the nutrient density of the product but have been linked to many health issues.[2] The sugar production has increased over the past 10 years from 153.4 million metric tonnes in 2009–2010 to 178.9 million metric tonnes in 2018–2019.[3] According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 2018 report, the average per capita consumption of sugar in 2013 was 18.6 kg/year globally, whereas per capita consumption in 2018 was 22.4 kg/year with considerable variability between the world regions and countries.[4] Currently the United States of America (USA) is globally on the top of the list of countries with an estimated per capita intake of total sugar 126.4 g/day or 46.1 kg/year, whereas Canada is at number 10 position with an estimated intake of 89.1 g/person/day or 46.1 kg/person/year.[5] The added sugars on the average contribute 11%–13% of total energy intake in Canadian diet.[6] The data on the consumption of sugar among populations in various countries is shown in [Table 1].[7],[8],[9] The main sources of white sugar are sugar cane and sugar beet. White sugar is used as a sweetener in industry and domestically for preparing traditional sweets, baking products, drinks, confectionary, jams, jellies, and preserves. White sugar has a clean sweet taste, hydrolyses quickly and is used as a bulking agent, texture and mouthfeel modifier, flavour enhancer, gelling and discolouration agent and to prevent the spoilage of food products.[1] The dietary guidelines do not restrict the intrinsic sugars such as fruit sugar (fructose) and milk sugar (lactose), however, limit the added sugars, also referred to as free sugar or refined sugar or sucrose. The consumption of added sugar varies from person to person and region to region based on their dietary behaviour.[2] In some regions, the intake of added sugar becomes remarkably high during the festival seasons and on special occasions. The dietary guidelines from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommend the consumption of added sugars from 6 to 10% of total daily energy intake and WHO is likely to recommend no more than 5% of total energy. Although there is no generally accepted standard for daily sugar intake, several government agencies and non-governmental health organisations around the world have issued dietary guidelines to limit the intake of sugars.[10],[11] These guidelines vary considerably and include both qualitative and quantitative recommendations,[1] which have been summarized in [Table 2].[1],[12],[13],[14],[15],[16],[17],[18],[19],[20]
Table 1 Sugar consumption in various countries

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Table 2 International recommendation for sugar consumption by various organizations

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   Health effects of added sugar consumption Top

Over the past 30 years, the nutritionists and other health-care professionals are trying to figure out health problems related to white sugar. Sugar provides calories but no nutrients. The health effects of excessive sugar intake in diet are listed in [Table 3].[7],[21],[22],[23],[24],[25],[26],[27],[28],[29],[30],[31],[32],[33],[34],[35],[36],[37],[38],[39],[40],[41],[42],[43],[44],[45],[46],[47],[48],[49],[50],[51],[52],[53],[54],[55],[56],[57],[58] The increasing rate in global obesity is attributed to excessive intake of added sugars.[59] There is ample scientific evidence to validate that added sugars can increase the risk of overweight, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, dyslipidemia, high blood pressure, tooth decay, nutrient deficiencies, and may cause hypoglycaemia and hyperactivity in children and in sensitive people.[60],[61],[62] The processes of globalization and obesogenic environment has increased the global rate of obesity.[63] The long-term health implications of high sugar intake are the global prevalence of obesity in adults and children. It has been estimated that consumption of every additional 150 calories/day from sugar, can 11-fold increase the risk of developing type-2 diabetes. The data from a European study concluded that daily consumption of just one sugar sweetened drink increased the risk of type 2 diabetes by 22%.[1],[64] Consumption of sugar can produce similar metabolic toxic effects on liver as alcohol, leading to metabolic dysfunction, obesity and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease as well as increased risk of non-communicable diseases (NCDs).[28],[65] In the current obesogenic environment, the sugar is added to almost all processed foods and therefore the consumers have no or little choice to avoid it and, in some places, the people consume > 500 kcal/day from added sugars. Sugar affects the normal transport and signalling of leptin supressing the feeling of satiety and persuades the consumers to eat more as a result of reduction in dopamine signalling in the brain’s reward centre that may be linked to sugar addiction.[66]
Table 3 Health effects of excessive sugar consumption

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In the refining process of sugar cane juice, all of its nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, trace elements, enzymes, fatty acids, and amino acids are lost and the body has to use its own mineral stores to metabolize sugar leading to nutritional deficiencies at higher consumption rate.[67] Studies has shown that there is a direct association between added sugar intake in early childhood and BMI in all age and weight groups in both genders.[62] Intake of added sugar in the US has shown an association with increased risk of cardiovascular diseases in adults and children.[23] Thornley et al.[17] reported that high sugar consumption during the perinatal period was related to the subsequent risk of asthma in six and seven-year-old children. Growing evidence indicates that sugar-rich diets are associated with increased risk of colon cancer.[68],[69]

According to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, the daily intake of calories will rise from 2803 kcal/capita/day in late 1990s to 3050 kcal/capita/day by 2030. The government and health professionals and retailers are recognizing the need that food manufactures should reduce the energy value of sugar rich processed foods. Public awareness on health risks related to over consumption of sugar and sugar rich products has generated a demand for low sugar or sugar-free products. Therefore, in recent decades, the use of artificial sweeteners has been widely suggested as substitutes for sugar. Although these compounds add little or no calories to everyday diet, yet a variety of safety concerns has been raised with respect to their use related to human health such as diabetes, carcinogenicity, teratogenicity and interference with some metabolic or vascular diseases.[70],[71],[72] Natural sweetening substances are gaining popularity because of their lower caloric and glycemic index value.[73] High-intensity sweeteners only add sweetness to the product and practically have no other physical and metabolic functions.[74],[75] Low sugar and low glycemic index foods together with exercise are the key to a healthy lifestyle. Studies are currently focusing on introducing the nutrient-dense low energy food products as healthier alternatives to energy-dense foods rich in sugar and fats. It is therefore suggested that to compensate sweetness in food products, more fruits should be used in place of sugars for food preparation.[76] The present review focuses on the possibility of utilizing fruits as substitute for sugars in developing various food products and their health benefits.

Fruits as a sweetener in food products

Fruits are one of the important constituents of human diet, which supply several essential nutrients to the body. The nutrient composition of some common dried and fresh fruits is given in [Table 4].[77],[78],[79] Over the years, many physiological and therapeutic properties have been attributed to fruits and value-added specific diets have been built around them.[80] Antioxidant activity of various fruits is generally high, and some examples are given in [Table 5].[81],[82] The functionality and metabolism of fruit sugar is different from that of added sugar in human health. Fructose is assimilated in a different pathway than glucose. Sugars coming from whole fruits are generally not associated with weight gain, because of accompanying fibre. Fruit sugars provide an excellent transition to replace refined white sugar as they are rich in flavour and sweetness and may help to reduce the intake total amount of refined sugar. Fruit sweeteners contain many micronutrients, minerals, and vitamins necessary for their assimilation and body metabolism. Restricting the use of simple sugars and increasing the intake of natural sweeteners, particularly from fruits can have positive impact on body weight and metabolism.[83]
Table 4 Nutrient composition (per 100 g) of common fresh and dried fruits

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Table 5 Antioxidant values of some common fruits

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Use of dried fruits as sweeteners

Raisins, figs, dates, prunes, and apricots are the most common dried fruits in the marketplace. They are rich source of essential nutrients and health promoting bioactive phenolic compounds.[84],[85] Dried fruits are rich in carbohydrates (61.33–79.18 g/100g) and low in fat (0.32–0.93 g/100g). The most calorie rich fruits are raisins (299 kcal/100g), followed by dates (282 kcal/100g). Both are excellent sources of sugar ranging from 38.13 g/100g in prunes to 63.35 g/100g in dates. The level of sugar content may vary with respect to the drying process, regional and varietal differences. Dried fruits are high in dietary fibre (3.7–9.8 g/100g) and are reasonable source of many essential minerals including copper, iron, magnesium, manganese phosphorus, and potassium.[86] Dried fruits promote digestive health, in particular the prunes play a role in supporting bone health, raisins promote healthy teeth and gums, contribute to healthy body weight, and promote satiety.[87],[88],[89] The data shows that dried fruits have low (< 55) to moderate (56–69) glycemic and insulinemic index[90],[91] and their consumption together with nuts can lower the risk chronic diseases.[91],[92],[93],[94] Fruits are dried as whole e.g., grapes, apricots and plums, or in halves, as slices or diced e.g., mangoes, papayas, kiwis.[95] Alternatively, they can be chopped after drying such as dates or made into pastes or concentrated juices. Fruits can also be dried in puree form, as leathers, or as a powder, by spray drying. Some fruits can be freeze dried e.g., strawberries, raspberries, cherries, apples, mangoes. The freeze-dried fruits become very light and crispy and retain much of their original flavour and phytochemicals.[96] Dried fruits are widely used as ingredients in packaged snacks, confectionary products, baked goods, cereals, energy and nutritional bars, ready-to-eat salads and sweet industry and other speciality foods.[97]

Low sugar raisin cakes (LSR) have reduced added sugar, possess good sensory characteristics and could be considered as competitive products compared to similar products already on the market.[98] Alija and Talens[99] used various techniques such as vacuum cooking, hot infusion, filtration, vacuum impregnation, smoking, gelling, aerating, and freezing to enhance the natural sweetness of fruits like pears, grapes and figs. They improved the product’s sensory qualities using novel culinary concept for creating desserts without the addition of fat and sugar. Dried peaches, apricots, and plums are suitable for manufacturing instant dehydrated fruit-based powder, chutney mix, ready-to-serve drink mix and dried pickles.[100] Raisins and raisin water can be used to prepare the fruit sweetened jams as a replacement of white sugar. The raisins and other dried fruits may be important in the prevention of cancers of the digestive system.[101] There are only few studies related to the use of fruits as a sweetener in food products. The consumers are demanding for healthier dairy products with reduced sugar content. García-Segovia et al.[102] examined the feasibility of producing a new type of non-fat roasted apple ice cream by incorporating “Fruit-Up®” as a substitute of sugar in its formulation, comparing two cooking processes to increase the natural apple sweetness and to evaluate the consumer acceptance of this product. The results indicated that the use of a natural fruit sweetener extracted entirely from fruits (Fruit-Up®) appeared to be a good substitute of sugar.[102] Fruit-Up® is a new food ingredient exclusively compounded by soluble carbohydrates from fruits and has a low glycemic index and low insulinemic index values.[103] It is applied in many food matrices, either liquids or solids, wherein it produces a significant reduction of their glycemic load, and relative improvement in their nutrition profiles. Fruit-Up® has 70–80% of dry matter and a medium viscosity. Its flavour is sweet, and its sweetness is similar to sugar (in the same dry matter conditions). [Table 6] summarizes data from various studies, which used fruits have as sweetener in food products.[98],[102],[104],[105],[106],[107],[108],[109],[110],[111],[112]
Table 6 Substitution of added sugar with fruits in the development of value-added food products

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Date, the fruit of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.), is an important fruit from the Arab world is considered as an ideal food that contains many essential nutrients including dietary fibre, minerals, vitamins, with potent phenolic and antioxidant compounds having antimutagenic activities.[113] The glycemic index (GI) of several date varieties has been in the range of low to medium GI category. For Omani date varieties (Khalas, Khasab, and Fard), the GI ranged from 48 to 58,[91] whereas the GI values of UAE dates (Fard, Lulu, Bomaan, Dabbas, and Khalas) ranged between 46 and 55.[114] Khalas dates, when eaten alone or in mixed meals with plain yogurt, showed low GI value.[115] Alizadeh et al.[108] formulated and developed a low caloric and low glycemic index (GI) soft ice cream by using mixture of sugar and date fruit with no impeding effect on physicochemical and sensory properties. Substitution of sucrose with date fruit in ice cream significantly lowered the caloric value (143.0 to 113.5 kcal) and GI value (72.5 to 79.0) of the date ice cream. Substitution of sugar with date palm pulp meal in bread making not only increased the nutritional value of bread but also showed no adverse effect on its overall acceptability.[109]

Date syrup

Date syrup has been widely studied for its suitability and acceptability as a sweetener in food products.[116],[117] The uses of date syrup can be used as potential substitute of free sugar in various food products such as fruit juices, biscuits, cakes, muffins, desserts, and confectionery as they produced comparable physicochemical and sensory attributes in these product.[118],[119] Substitution of free sugar with date syrup in ice cream increased the viscosity but decreased the freezing point of ice cream. The sensory properties of modified ice cream were not affected up to 50% of replacement but the samples prepared with 100% date syrup were rejected by panellists.[105] Yogurt enriched with 10% date syrup had the highest rating for sweetness, taste, total phenolic contents, antioxidant value, acid soluble minerals, and folate concentrations. Sidhu et al.[120] used date syrup from two different Kuwaiti date varieties (Birhi and Safari) to replace sugar in pan bread formulations. Five types of pan breads were prepared in which sugar was replaced at 0 (control), 50 and 100% with Birhi date-syrup and 50 and 100% replacement with Safari date-syrup. They observed that the use of concentrated date syrup in pan bread formulations did not adversely affect the baking loss, but rather gave a significantly higher specific loaf volume (4.32–4.35 cm3/g) for 100% replacement level compared with the control (4.09 cm3/g). The lower compression force (358.8-368.5 g) at 100% replacement of free sugar with date syrup also indicated a softer texture of test bread samples than the control (479.6 g). Even though the crumb colour of date syrup pan bread scored lower in sensory evaluation, there were no significant differences in texture, flavour, and overall acceptability of control and date-syrup pan breads.[120]

Other uses of dates

The advantages of using date fruit over other fruits in replacing added sugar is because of its higher sugar content. Date sugar can be prepared by grinding dried dates into coarse powder. Since it is the product of whole fruit, it contains considerable amount of fibre, minerals, and vitamins. However, the utilization of date sugar might be limited to specific baking application as it contains 30–50% of non-sugar compounds, which will not provide the desired physical properties needed in many food products and dissolve in liquids.[121] The recent dietary recommendations promote to increase the intake of antioxidant-rich foods rather than to supplement with specific nutrients.[122] The antioxidant capacity of date sugar ranged from 2.24 to 4.59 mmol/100 g FRAP (ferric-reducing ability of plasma), whereas the granulated white sugar contained only 0.004–0.017 mmol/100 g FRAP.[123] The jams produced from different varieties of hard dates (Deglet Nour, Allig and Kentichi) showed overall higher acceptability.[112]

The date flour prepared from its showed reasonably good nutritional, organoleptic, and storage qualities. The sensory evaluation demonstrated its suitability to blend and enrich various food products such as biscuits, cakes, infant foods, and other similar products. Although people across the world use dates as sweetener for many traditional and modern food products, most of the details are not documented. Ready-to-eat cereals are popular breakfast globally and dried date slices with good rehydration properties could be a great choice to sweeten these cereals. Manickavasagan et al.[124] added date paste, syrup and chopped dates as a substitute to sugar in “Idli” (a traditional fermented Indian food made from rice and pulses). The authors demonstrated that Idli could be prepared more easily by adding chopped dates in the fermented batter just before cooking. Nitrified Idli with chopped dates was mostly preferred by all panelists because of its higher sweetness and aroma. In addition to health benefits, Idli preparation with dates improved the convenience of handling of Idli in public places, food outlets without any separate accompaniments. Martin-Sanchez et al.[111] evaluated the liver pork pate incorporated with date paste (0, 10, and 15%) and studied the physicochemical properties, pigment and lipid oxidation residual nitrite level, texture, sensory analysis. Date paste not only added moisture, fibre and phenolic compounds to the product but also the myoglobin and heme iron stability were not affected. Addition of 10% date paste prevented lipid oxidation and increased the shelf-life and the overall acceptability of patties by panellists. Manickavasagan et al.[125] studied the effects of replacing white sugar with date-paste and date-syrup on the fermentation quality of appam batter and sensory properties of the cooked product. They observed that the sensory properties of cooked appam batter were similar to control. The dates blanching water has also been used for reconstituting skim milk powder to produce low fat yogurt.[126] Banana and date pudding, cinnamon date soufflé, date ice cream, date and walnut ice cream, date pan cake, rhubarb and date fool, baked apples with dates, date muffin, date balls, oat-date nut cookies, date cake, sugar-free fruit cake, and wholemeal date and caramel cake are some of the recipes in which dates can be used as sweetener to substitute the added sugar.[127]


Grapes are a highly nutritious and valuable fruit that is eaten in many different forms. Grapes contain many essentials minerals such as calcium (20 mg/100 g), potassium (196 mg/100 g) phosphorus (23–30 mg/100 g) and iron (0.5 mg/100 g), vitamins and bioactive phenolic compounds.[128] Black grapes are higher in vitamin C (1 mg/100 g) and in reducing sugars (15–17%). Grapes are easily digested, good thirst quenchers, stimulant for kidneys and mildly laxative. Epidemiological evidence has linked the consumption of grapes with reduced risk of chronic diseases, including certain types of cancer and cardiovascular diseases. In vitro and vivo studies have shown that grapes have strong antioxidant capacity, inhibiting cancer proliferation, suppressing platelet aggregation and lowering cholesterol.[128],[129] Mildner-Szkudlarz et al.[130] studied the nutritional composition of white grape pomace (WGP) and indicated that it contains high levels of fibre and phenolic compounds with powerful antioxidant activity. WGP when incorporated up to 10% level in biscuits was acceptable and showed considerable higher antioxidant activities because of its phenolic contents. Soukoulis and Tzia[131] used grape juice concentrate and sugar cane molasses as partial substitutes of sugar in chocolate ice cream. The sugar substitution at 10, 20, and 30% levels revealed that ice cream with grape juice concentrate gave the most acceptable product in terms of sensory properties. GJC could be a healthy alternate to sweetening agents as it is characterized by high antioxidant contents and other nutrients. It has high sweetening power, which is almost equal to that of sugar and it is lower in caloric content (240–290 kcal/100g) and can be used in dairy desserts. Strawberry pulp could be successfully used for the preparation of low-sugar strawberry gels and its acceptability was judged on its fruit and hydrocolloid contents.[132]


Bananas are good source of natural antioxidants and contain many physiologically important organic acids and enzymes.[133] Bananas have mild laxative property and are helpful to combat diarrhoea, dysentery and heal intestinal lesions. Bananas are used as a food as well as a substitute for sugar in infant feeding and have shown improvements in digestion and weight gain in infants. Bananas are used in the preparation of many conventional products such as wafers, puree and jam.[134] Surendranathan[135] developed a process for extracting juice from ripe banana by inactivating the pectin forming enzymes without any external additive to increase the extractability. The process for producing ripe banana powder was also developed. After the extraction of juice, the leftover pulp was dehydrated under vacuum and ground to obtain a fine powder. The other products, which could be developed from banana juice, are banana nectar and carbonated banana drink. The nectar prepared with 40% juice and carbonated drink with 30% juice showed excellent sensory qualities and could be used as a commercially viable drink. Raw and ripe banana powders have been used as additives in confectionaries, biscuits and cakes as well as in chocolates and milkshakes.[135].


Apple powder and pomace are good sources of carbohydrates, pectin, malic acid, minerals and natural antioxidants.[136],[137],[138] Apple powder is considered good for diarrhoea and peptic ulcer, is stimulant for heart and relieves mental strain. Apple can be processed into sweet preserves, juice, concentrate, powder, puree and apple butter.[139] Apple powder can be utilized in many ways such as extending the freshness and flavour of bread and preparation of instant chutney powder mix. It has been suggested that a palatable preparation containing apple powder might be a valuable adjunct to hyper-cholesterolemic therapy.[140] Freeze dried apples have been used to increase the concentration of yoghurt. Apple pomace could be used as a good source of dietary fibre in the preparation of baked products such as muffins. Apple pomace powder can be successfully incorporated in extruded and baked products and at 20% level in extruded snacks and at 30% addition in baked scones, it helped not only to reduce the use of sugar but also the products possessed higher antioxidant activity compared to those with no apple pomace.[141]

Jack fruit

Jack fruit provides appreciable amounts of carotene, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B3, vitamin C and fibre, calcium, iron, potassium and sodium. The phytonutrients found in jackfruit may prevent the formation of cancer cells in the body, lower blood pressure, fight against stomach ulcers, and slow down the degeneration of skin cells.[142] Dehydrated jackfruit is a nutritious snack made from ripe jackfruit pulp and jackfruit leather (dried sheets of fruit pulp with a soft, rubbery texture, and sweet taste). It can be eaten as such and can also be used as an ingredient in the manufacture of cookies, cakes, and ice cream, and jams. The stability of jackfruit powder in aluminium laminated polyethylene packing was good at 28°C and RH 75%.[143]


Mango is one of the most appreciated fruit, because of its aromatic flavour, taste and nutritional properties. Mango is a rich source of Vitamin A and its antioxidant potential may help to scavenge free radicals in the body.[144] Ripe mangoes are processed into canned and frozen slices, pulp, concentrates, juices, nectar, jam, leather, puree, mango cereal fakes, mango toffee and various dried products. Mango jams can be prepared with less added sugar, because of high fruit sugar content of mango pulp. The bioavailability and antioxidant capacity of mango phenolics is preserved and may be increased when the flesh is processed into juice.[145] Mango pulp and its concentrates are used as base material in the beverage industry, as a flavouring ingredient in the dairy industry and in baby food formulations.[146] Chinma and Gernah[147] incorporated mango fruit powder with soybean and cassava flour to develop acceptable and nutritious cookies. Mango has the property to cover the unpleasant taste of whey. Sakhale et al.[148] prepared whey based nutritious ready-to-serve beverages based on mangoes with various combinations of whey and mangoes (70:30, 75:25 and 80:20). Beverage prepared with 70% whey and 30% mango had high ascorbic content (9.80 mg/100g) and was most acceptable. Alternate drying and grinding techniques have been developed to produce mango powder[149] and foam mat dried mango juice powder for their utility in developing new food products.[150] Bajwa and Mittal[151] prepared ready-to- drink milk supplemented with 10% mango pulp, where the addition of thickener was not required to attain a desired consistency and mouth feel. The storage stability of mango-soy fortified yoghurt was better with aluminium laminated polyethylene packaging material. Gum Arabic, maltodextrin, and waxy starch when used as carriers showed independent effects on the microstructure and functional properties of dehydrated mango powder obtained by spray drying.[152] Beverages prepared by blending fruit juice/pulp from apples, bananas, guavas, litchis and mangoes with separated and reconstituted milk at four different concentrations (100, 200, 300 and 400 g/L) indicated that apple juice and guava pulp when blended up to 300 and 100 g/L in milk products produced best blend with acceptable organoleptic properties.[153]

Sea buckthorn (Hippophaë rhamnoides L.) fruit

Sea buckthorn plant is primarily valued for its golden-orange fruits, which are rich source of phytochemical, anthocyanins. Its products such as fruits pulp and juices are considered to have therapeutic and chemopreventive benefits. Although the anticancer activity of sea buckthorn has been confirmed by many in vitro and animal in vivo studies, the prophylactic and treatment doses for humans are still unknown.[154] Selvamuthukumaran and Khanum[155] developed spiced sea buckthorn mixed fruit squashes with pineapple and grapes, which can be stored for 6 months under ambient temperature conditions. Sea buckthorn antioxidant rich jam showed good shelf stability and were stable for 8 months at room temperature.[156]


Pineapple is a good source of thiamine and vitamin C. The enzyme bromelain present in pineapple aids in digestion and is diuretic and purgative. Pineapple is canned and made into syrup, juice and nectar. The syrup has great demand for the preparation of fruit jams as it blends very well with all other fruits. Kamble et al.[157] prepared a sweet called “Burfi”, which is a popular milk-based confectionary with different levels of pineapple (5, 10, 15, 20 and 25% by weight of milk concentrate). Burfi with 15% pineapple achieved the highest sensory score. Processing of pineapple produces around 60% (w/w) peels, stem, trimmings, and crown, and from these by-products various phenolic compounds bioactive molecules can be extracted for value added product development.[158]


Pomegranate finds wide application in traditional Asian medicine. The pomegranate fruit peel and juice are rich sources of polyphenol and contains bioactive compounds, which have antioxidant properties and can protect the body against enteropathogenic bacteria as well as against the diabetic-induced histological and functional alterations in liver.[159],[160] Clinical in-vivo and in-vitro assays have shown that pomegranate juice, flower and fruit extracts have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities and can produce positive effects on glycemia, insulin, dyslipidemia, blood pressure.[161] Pomegranate is processed into juice, concentrates, beverages, syrups, jams, jellies as well as fruit yoghurts. Pomegranate peel extract can effectively suppress the lipid and protein oxidations in meatballs when added at 0.5 or 1% PE in meatballs and improved their sensory scores.[162]


Papaya (Carica papaya L.) is a wholesome delicious fruit, which is low in calories, rich in nutrients and have a musky aroma, aids in digestion and helps to prevents night blindness.[163] The commonly prepared products from papaya are jams, jellies, marmalades, beverages, spreads, and squashes. The fruit can also easily be blended into fruit salads and ice cream. Sharoba et al.[164] studied the flow behaviour of the papaya-apricot nectar and characterized it as non-Newtonian (pseudoplastic with yield stress). Boghani et al.[165] studied the feasibility of blending papaya and aloe vera juice in different ratios for the preparation of blended ready-to-serve beverages and assessed their storage life at ambient temperature. Samples with 5 and 10 % of aloe vera juice were most preferred. The beverages could be stored at refrigerated temperature for a period of 3 months. Similarly, ready to serve beverages based on guava and papaya can be prepared with high sensory scores and could be stored for 4 months at room temperature.

Berries and Kiwi

Berries are rich in vitamins, dietary fibre and phenolic compounds. Numerous biological studies have shown that these phenolic compounds from berries have anticancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-neurodegenerative properties.[166] Berries are also processed into juices, jams, jellies and canned fruits. Wilson et al.[167] studied the glycemic responses to dried and raw cranberries in humans with type-2 diabetes and showed that development of palatable cranberry preparations had lower glycemic responses and can help in glycemic control among diabetics. Berries are widely consumed both in fresh and frozen forms and are also processed into products such as jams, jellies, juices, and canned fruits. Free flowing dehydrated fruit powder from blueberry, cranberry, concord grape, raspberry could be mixed with cornmeal for making breakfast cereals.[168] Sun-Waterhouse et al.[169] used the aqueous extract of green kiwi fruit for making gluten-free bread that was softer and smoother in texture, produced a strong fruity flavour and had additional antioxidants in bread as compared to traditional gluten free bread. There are various patents available for the use of fruits in food preparation in order to substitute the added sugar partially or completely [Table 7].[170–189]
Table 7 Patents related to production of low sugar and sugar free products using fruits[170],[171],[172],[173],[174],[175],[176],[177],[178],[179],[180],[181],[182],[183],[184],[185],[186],[187],[188],[189]

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   Conclusion Top

There is ample evidence that increased intake of added sugar can cause various diseases. To minimize the intake of added sugar, and enjoy the delicious sweet taste, the natural sugar from the fruits could be an ideal solution. Fruits in its various forms have the potential to blend with the ingredients of many products both at home-preparation and industry level. There are ample opportunities to use fruit concentrates, dried fruits, and fruit powder in various food preparations to replace the added sugar, which not only add sweet taste but also contribute to several healthy bioactive compounds. Intensive research must be carried out on the development of various forms of fruit to improve their bendability in commercial food production. Similarly, industries should investigate the potential of developing new products with fruits as sweetener. It may not be possible to replace 100% of added sugar in certain products; however, it is still healthier and advantageous to proceed with partial replacements. As sugar industry is well established, and sugar is readily available at a low price, fruit-based products will certainly be more expensive. In this case, Government might support to promote these products by providing subsidies to the companies or through any other means in order to reduce the added sugar intake by the people. Also, the shelf life of the products prepared from fruit-based sweeteners must be studied further. Finally, it is important to create awareness among people to include the fruit-based products in their diet for their health benefits.


Start-up grant, School of Engineering, University of Guelph.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.[188]

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  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5], [Table 6], [Table 7]


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