What does “fructose-free“ mean?

To date, there has been no legal regulation for which foods can be labeled fructose-free and which cannot.

For sugar in general there is such a rule: EU regulation No. 1924 from 2006 states that a product may be called "sugar-free" if it contains no more than 0.5 g sugar (mono- and disaccharides).

For its definition of the term "fructose-free", Frusano follows this EU regulation:

  • A product that contains at most 0.5 gram of fructose per 100 grams is called fructose-free (for example, Frusano Elderflower Syrup, Frusano Chocolate, Frusano Corn Sugar)
  • Products with more than 0.5 gram, but less than 3 grams of fructose per 100g are defined as low-fructose and the packaging of the corresponding products is labeled with the words "low in fructose" (for example Frusano fruit spreads, Frusano Organic Ketchup).

The Frusano fruit spreads and the Frusano Bio Ketchup are an example of how difficult it is not only to correctly, but also meaningfully describe the fructose content: 100 grams of the Frusano Bio Ketchup have less than 3 grams of fructose - but 100 grams is not a realistic portion. As a condiment for a meal, a person consumes closer to 20 grams. Thus the fructose content per portion is less than 0.6 gram. For fruit spreads the same is true: hardly anyone actually eats 100 grams of jam for breakfast. With bread, it would be something else entirely: Here a similar fructose content would fall drastically, since usually much more bread than spread is consumed. Sometimes the higher fructose content of a product is relative, since the consumed portion is smaller.

In addition to the quantity of food consumed, the individual plays a decisive role in the topic of "fructose-free". Fructose Intolerance is not the same as Fructose Intolerance: the personal tolerance thresholds can vary greatly.

Even the personal tolerance threshold is not an absolute value: How much fructose a human being tolerates also depends on how long he or she distributes a large dose of fructose - and with which other foods it is consumed.

As if the calculation "What is fructose-free / What do I tolerate?" didn’t already have enough variables with the portion size and individual tolerance threshold, we need to add another: Nature does not standardize her products. Of the domestic fruits, for example, apples have a medium to high fructose content. In the appropriate tables, it is usually listed with 5.7 grams of fruit sugar per 100 grams of apple. However, these tables have pitfalls: every apple is not the same. Depending on the type of apple and its maturity, the fructose content varies. Even two apples of the same kind could in fact have a different amount of fructose per 100 grams. Nature is not a clean room with a controlled experimental set-up. The results are correspondingly variable. Tables on the fructose content of unprocessed foods provide guideline values at best.

The amounts given on the Frusano products such as "<0.2g" are the maximum of the natural distribution - we give the maximum measured value plus a safety buffer.

Tables help

On all products, Frusano gives a detailed table of the sugar content. Details on the declarations can be found here.