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Tate & Lyle, a leading global provider of food and beverage ingredients and solutions, welcomed the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology to its USD 2 million Customer Innovation and Collaboration Centre in Dubai, as part of an initiative to reduce sugar and calories in food and drink products in the UAE and the wider Middle East region.

The Ministry, in collaboration with the UAE F&B Manufacturers Business Group, has developed the Middle East’s first Sugar & Calorie Reduction Knowledge Building Programme. Tate & Lyle, utilising its extensive expertise and technical capabilities, developed the eight-week programme which focuses on supporting food and beverage manufacturers in the region to reduce the sugar and calories in their products.

The programme has been designed to increase awareness of the latest technologies available in sugar and calorie reduction, offer practical experience working on specific prototypes in Tate & Lyle’s newly opened Customer Innovation and Collaboration Centre and provide ongoing support for F&B manufacturers.

A series of sessions have taken place, hosting more than 390 delegates from the Middle East and North Africa region with representatives from the F&B manufacturing value chain. Key government attendees joined from Dubai Municipality, Saudi Food and Drug Authority, Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority, Sharjah City Municipality and Ministry of Health and Prevention, and key universities officials participated from Canadian University Dubai, Al Ain University and United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) and Manipal Academy of Higher Education.

The six-week programme concluded with a focus on reformulation in practice, with insight from Tate & Lyle’s specialist team. Other sessions addressed various topics, including how to make indulgent products healthier, the importance of taste, overcoming cost challenges, nutritional data and the regulatory challenges in sugar and calorie reduction.