New Lawsuit Targets “No Artificial Sweeteners” Claim

“A class action lawsuit was filed on January 5, 2023, against Glanbia Performance Nutrition, Inc. (d/b/a THINK!), alleging that the company deceived consumers by claiming that their protein bars contained no artificial sweeteners despite being sweetened by maltitol syrup.*” (source)

According to the lawsuit, “maltitol” is a sugar alcohol, and the complaint describes how maltitol is produced to demonstrate that maltitol is artificial; namely, maltose is hydrogenated in the presence of hydrogen gas and a metal catalyst…”The complaint alleges that the hydrogenation reaction chemically changes the natural starting material (maltose), is not a naturally occurring chemical reaction, and therefore renders the maltitol product artificial.”

maltitol syrup

Again we have another lawsuit that may not be a slam dunk because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate this industrialized ingredient (a natural ingredient altered with synthetic ingredients in a laboratory) and food manufacturers have been playing loosey-goosey with semantics on their labels for decades. In fact, attorneys note that “while there is no GRAS or food additive regulation for maltitol, it is marketed on the basis of a self-affirmed GRAS position and is referenced in FDA’s regulations as one of the sugar alcohols which qualifies as a noncariogenic carbohydrate sweetener, for which certain health claims can be made.” (source)