Hide and sweet: help highlight added sugar

‘Fructose’, ‘dextrose’, ‘panela’ – these are just some of the confusing words food companies use for added sugar, making it difficult to know how much of it is hiding in what we eat and drink.

Can you send us photos of the food and drinks you buy, highlighting where the added sugar is hiding on the label? If we can show Ministers just how widespread this problem really is ahead of their big June meeting, we can convince them to introduce added sugar labelling.

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Find a packaged product in your fridge or pantry*.
  2. Look for the added sugar hiding in the ingredients list – you can use our guide at the bottom of this email.
  3. Grab a highlighter or pen and circle or underline the name for addedsugar . You can also do this using the highlight function on your smartphone.
  4. Take a photo of your highlighted ingredients list.
  5. Send your photo to addedsugar@choice.com.au along with the name of the product. Here’s an example of what it might look like:

Here are the words used to describe added sugar in ingredients lists:

  • Agave nectar/syrup
  • Barley malt
  • Beet sugar
  • Blackstrap molasses
  • Brown sugar
  • Cane sugar
  • Carob syrup
  • Caster sugar
  • Coconut sugar
  • Coffee sugar crystals
  • Confectioner’s sugar
  • Corn syrup
  • Date sugar/syrup
  • Demerara
  • Dextrose
  • Evaporated cane juice
  • Fructose
  • Fruit juice
  • Fruit juice concentrate
  • Glucose
  • Golden syrup * Grape sugar/syrup
  • High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
  • Honey
  • Icing sugar
  • Invert sugar
  • Lactose
  • Malt
  • Maltrose
  • Maple syrup
  • Molasses
  • Palm sugar
  • Panela
  • Powdered sugar
  • Rapadura
  • Raw sugar
  • Rice syrup
  • Sucrose
  • Sugar
  • Treacle
  • Turbinado
  • White sugar

Click here to see the list in an image you can save and print.

​This is a creative way to get ministers to listen – and to make this work, we’d love your help getting as many photos as possible. Remember to send your photos to addedsugar@choice.com.au (and highlight the added sugar).


Check out these other examples!



Perhaps what we need is a competition to see who can find the product with the most differently named sugars?


I looked in our pantry and fridge at more than a dozen items and drew a blank.

None of the processed products listed any of the other sugars. They simply listed one. Sugars!

The next observation is that for a product that may have naturally occurring sugar and added sugar/s there is no way of knowing the gap between the two or the source of the added sugars. The latter is possibly a real concern, however it appears that once again the producers have made sure there is a wide open door to avoid telling the whole truth.

Another observation, inferred is that the majority of the Choice community may be more health aware than average and are far less likely to have a pantry full of dodgy food products.


And some are more sugar than anything else. For example, most drinking chocolate powder has more sugar than cocoa.

Vittoria Chocochino Dark Drinking Chocolate 375g (https://www.woolworths.com.au/shop/productdetails/305908/vittoria-chocochino-dark-drinking-chocolate) is 63% sugar and only 35% cocoa.


While having breakfast this morning, this one caught my attention. …

The ingredients include sugar, malt barley extract, caramelised sugar and malt barley flour. These additional ingredients have been added and contribute to the total sugar content…and are in addition to those naturally present in wheat bran, which incidentially has a low sugar content of <1gm/100gms. The added sugars therefore make up about 14% of the product.


Great spotting!! Really impressed with you being able to find some of these tricky added sugar ingredients.


A slideshow listing how much sugar is in various Aussie ice cream bars.


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