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Cambridge Glycoscience receives Agri-Tech grant to disrupt the sugar industry

last modified May 24, 2018 04:05 PM
Cambridge Glycoscience has been awarded an Eastern Agri-Tech Research, Development and Prototyping Fund grant to develop their natural sugar alternative.

Founded in 2017 by Dr Tom Simmons and Professor Paul Dupree from our Department, Cambridge Glycoscience’s mission is to develop functional food ingredients for a low-sugar, high-fibre, all-around healthy food system. It is commonly known that sugar is frequently used in our manufactured foods and drinks as it adds sweetness, modulates texture and provides structure. But sugar is also cheap to produce and utilise, which contributes significantly to its prevalence in our food. The widespread use of sugar, and its overconsumption, is now one of the world’s leading public health crises, causing heart disease, obesity and diabetes, with around one in five deaths worldwide linked to poor diet in 2016.

The most impactful method to tackle this global issue is simply through reformulating our manufactured food and drinks to improve their nutritional quality. In order to replace sugar in the food industry, however, we need a natural sugar-free substitute that can be obtained at the same cost.

Cambridge Glycoscience’s proprietary technology aims to disrupt the sugar industry by offering an economic incentive for sugar reduction by food and drink manufacturers in addition to the substantial public health benefit.

The Eastern Agri-Tech Grants Initiative have awarded Cambridge Glycoscience a £60,000 grant to invest in the development of their sugar substitute technology. This will enable them to move their product from the laboratory, where it is currently undergoing scientific analysis and validation, to the commercial environment.

Speaking about the grant, Cambridge Glycoscience CEO, Dr Tom Simmons, said: “This timely grant support will help us take our technology to the next level so that we can address market demand and make an impact on global public health. The support of Eastern Agri-Tech is a great endorsement of the potential of our technology and also provides a great platform from which to launch our product.

Martin Lutman, Eastern Agri-Tech Programme Manager, added: “We are delighted to support such a pioneering project that is helping to tackle some of the biggest problems facing public health at present. The investment will enable the company to reformulate in an innovative and cost-effective way, prioritising the need for accessible health food products that will ultimately help change public attitudes relating to food choices.


The Eastern Agri-Tech Grants Initiative supports development of new and innovative ideas within the agriculture-technology sector. Their Research, Development and Prototyping Fund helps support the research and development of new products and processes.


Magnification of grains of refined sucrose, the most common free sugar.

Credit: Wikipedia/Lauri Andler(Phantom)


Rhys Grant

Publication Date

23 May 2018