Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology Concludes Region’s First Sugar Reduction Program

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  • Region’s first sugar reduction program is part of the Nationals Development Pathway, which was launched in partnership with the UAE Food and Beverage Manufacturing Group in February to boost the local food manufacturing ecosystem and promote food security
  • Knowledge sharing and training sessions took place during an eight-week program concluding with a practical session at Tate & Lyle’s state-of-the-art lab

Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Representatives from the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT), in collaboration with the UAE F&B Manufacturers Business Group, today joined Emirati graduates and young F&B professionals at the final session of the region’s first-ever Sugar & Calorie Reduction Knowledge Building Program hosted at Tate & Lyle’s R&D lab in Dubai.

The eight-week program, which concluded today, is part of a joint initiative by the MoIAT and UAE F&B Manufacturers Business Group to educate young professionals and support F&B manufacturers in the region to cut calories and sugar from products and pivot to an increased demand among consumers for healthier food.

Speaking at the event, Her Excellency Farah Al Zarooni, Acting Assistant Undersecretary for Standards and Regulations, Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT), UAE, said: “In line with the UAE’s national industrial strategy to enhance the competitiveness of domestic manufacturers, the Ministry is committed to supporting the World Health Organization’s recommendations to cut sugar and calories in F&B products as well as supporting industrial companies in the UAE with the knowledge and capabilities to adapt to market trends and maintain international standards.

“In partnership with the UAE F&B Manufacturers Business Group and with support from Tate & Lyle we have created a platform to raise awareness and provide necessary expertise about the opportunities for F&B manufacturers around healthier products. The platform provides the necessary technical and business expertise and direction to help companies capitalise on opportunities in the F&B sector. It also highlights the Ministry’s efforts to update its rules and regulations to support the country’s sustainable development and improve the quality of F&B products.”

Saleh Lootah, Chairman, UAE Food and Beverage Manufacturers Group welcomed attendees at today’s session: “UAE food manufacturing companies are investing in new product development innovations, and this program will help them access a faster route to market and maintain global standards. Tate & Lyle’s state-of-art R&D facilities are key to strengthening the sector in the region and crucial for nurturing local talent.”

The program is aligned with MoIAT’s efforts to bring together private, public, and academic sector stakeholders from across the region to engage in knowledge and experience exchanges in order to enhance the UAE’s industrial ecosystem’s position as a global hub for best practices.

The program’s six sessions hosted more than 350 delegates from the MENA region both in-person and virtually. Representatives from the entire F&B manufacturing value chain attended, including legislative and food safety authorities such as Dubai Municipality, Saudi Food and Drug Authority, Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority, and Sharjah City Municipality and Ministry of Health and Prevention.

Emirati students and young F&B professionals attending the program represented Zayed University, Canadian University Dubai, Al Ain University, United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) and Manipal Academy of Higher Education and others.

The program aimed to increase awareness of the latest technologies in sugar and calorie reduction, offering practical experience from demonstrations at Tate & Lyle’s new Customer Innovation and Collaboration Centre and providing ongoing support for F&B manufacturers.

Dominique Floch, General Manager, Middle East, Africa and Turkey at Tate & Lyle, said: “As a result of increased consumer demand for food and beverage options with reduced calories, fat and sugar, manufacturers are now increasingly looking to create products that fit within this healthier lifestyle ethos.

“The challenge faced, however, has always been how to keep the great taste consumers have come to expect while also promoting a balanced diet. Our new Customer Innovation and Collaboration Centre brings together Tate & Lyle’s cutting-edge science and technology, world-leading ingredients and unrivalled formulation expertise to make healthy food tastier and tasty food healthier.”

The program addressed key concerns for regional manufacturers including making indulgent products healthier, the importance of taste, overcoming cost challenges, nutritional data, and the regulatory challenges around reducing sugar and calories.

All sessions were designed to provide future F&B leaders and the extended industry value chain with the necessary tools and insights to reduce sugar and calories in food products for a healthier society and more competitive industrial sector.

About the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology

The UAE’s Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT), established in July 2020, is mandated with strengthening the UAE’s industrial sector, specifically by accelerating the adoption of advanced technologies and Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) solutions across the value chain.

MoIAT has three overarching goals: Strengthening the UAE’s industrial base, ensuring in country value, and raising the competitiveness of local industries. By enhancing the contribution of advanced technology, the Ministry will support the country’s sustainable economic growth, and ensure GDP contribution from the industry sector.

The Ministry will draft policies, laws and programs to create a world-class industrial development framework for the nation that will help attract foreign direct investment, boost In-Country Value creation, support national entrepreneurship, drive job creation, and boost exports of ‘Made in UAE’ products.

From encouraging the establishment of industrial complexes to raising local capacity in advanced technology, the Ministry will accelerate industrial development in a bid to drive economic growth, diversification, value retention and national self-reliance.