What does Sugarwise certification mean?
The Sugarwise marque on a food or drink product means it is low in free sugars. There is a legal distinction between “free sugars” and “added sugars”. Free sugars are sugars that are added to food as well as sugars naturally present in honey, fruit juice and syrups.
Public health guidelines recommend that free sugars make up no more than 5% of an individual’s daily calorie intake. As public health guidelines concern free sugars and not total or added sugars it is helpful for people to have a sign that guides them to the options that are low in the kind of sugars (“free sugars”) they need to limit.
The Sugarwise marque highlights products that are low in free sugars. This means that no more than 5% of the calories of the product can come from free sugars. In food that has no added sugar, no more than 5% of the calories in that food can come from free sugars.
In drinks the Sugarwise marque is only given to drinks that are low in total sugars because in drinks, all sugars are “free”.
We test all the products certified ourselves and assess their free sugars values with Cambridge University scientists. The labs used by Sugarwise are UKAS or equivalently accredited, and we have developed the world’s first (patent pending) free sugars assessments referencing World Health Organisation guidelines.
Products certified as Sugarwise must fit into one of our certification categories. On packaging, the claim that a product is certified as will feature in a cube next to the main Sugarwise marque.
|Claim||Requirement||Legal Claim (authorised related EU or FDA claim)|
|Sugar free or free from sugar/sugars||This product contains a maximum of 0.5g of total sugar per 100ml for a drink or 0.5g of total sugar per 100g for a food product.||Sugar free|
Free from added sugars
|This product contains no added sugars, or any food used for its sweetening properties (excluding polyols).
If the product contains more than half a gram of sugars per 100g or 100ml then the following statement must be specified: contains naturally occurring sugar.
|No added sugar|
|Low sugar||This product contains a maximum of 2.5g of overall sugars per 100ml (for a drink) or 5g of overall sugars per 100g (for a food product).||Low sugar|
|Reduced sugar||This product contains 30% less sugar than a typical product of its type and no more than 5% of its calorie content from free sugars. It also must have a similar or lower calorie value than the product used for comparison.||Reduced sugar|
|Naturally free from added sugars||This claim is the equivalent of the no added sugar claim for products which normally do not have added sugar, such as whole fruit and vegetables.
If the product contains more than half a gram of sugars per 100g or 100ml then it must be specified that it contains naturally occurring sugar.
|(Naturally) no added sugar|
|Low calorie or
|This claim applies to sweeteners only.
Certified Low Calorie products must have a maximum portion of 4 kcal with the equivalent sweetening properties to 6g of sucrose.Certified Calorie Free products must have a maximum portion of 0.4 kcal with the equivalent sweetening properties of 6g of sucrose.
|Low energy or
Products that are not suitable for the Sugarwise certification
Certification is only for multiple ingredient and/or processed products. Products cannot be certified if they are composed of a single ingredient or are unprocessed in nature. For example, fresh fruit and vegetables cannot be certified as they are naturally free from free sugars, but fruit bars can be certified as they have undergone a production process.
Other products that are not suitable include:
- Drinks that are over 1.2% alcohol strength by volume (ABV)
- Products that are over 1% alcohol by weight
- Products that contain added nicotine
- Products containing trans-fats
- Products containing any other harmful additives*
*Sugarwise maintains and continually updates an evidence-based list of guidelines regarding harmful additives