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Sweets with the taste of health

by Narges Mohammadi

Stratford business woman injects health into sweets and other sugary products

According to Jahanbanou, Louise Carr-Smith, who spent 15 years in the food manufacturing industry, spotted a gap in the candy industry. Using her expertise, she came up with a recipe for sugar-free lollipops that also contain no artificial sweeteners.

Thanks to her invention, the Stratford-based entrepreneur’s company Clever Sweets has won a £50,000 grant from government-backed body Innovate UK as part of its Women in Innovation scheme. Louise plans to use the cash to act upon her invention.

The result of her invention isLou’s Lou’s sweets which contain real fruit and come in two flavours – strawberry and watermelon. The driving force behind Louise’s efforts is what she describes as the “dire situation” of tooth decay among youngsters.

According to statistics from Public Health England, almost a quarter (23 per cent) of five-year-olds have had dental decay. She said: “I know how it feels to have a queue of people behind you and have your kids nagging you for sugary lollipops at the till. As a parent, you don’t want them to have them because they’re bad for their teeth but at the same time you feel trapped and just end up giving in.”

She added: I strongly feel responsible when children, who are very young are having to go under general anesthetic to have several rotten teeth extracted and removed. And so, I really wanted to try and make a difference and solve what is a huge problem.”

The sugar-free confectionery market is already worth more than £1bn a year and is expected to receive a boost after new rules come into force in October. These will ban shops from running promotions such as buy-on-get-one-free on high fat, sugar and salt foods and drinks and stop them showcasing these items at key areas such as checkouts, store entrances and aisle ends.

44113212 – happy little girl eating lollipop over multicolored

After graduating with a degree in food science and technology, Louise joined food giant Unilever. There, she was part of a team that helped develop and produce Magnum and Solero ice lollies and Viennetta ice-cream desert..

She said: “I would describe myself as having a foot in both camps – I am a scientist, but I also enjoy project management and I’m leveraging all that time and experience from Unilever.” Louise, whose children are now 19 and 17, believes the timing is perfect to launch healthier, low-sugar treats for everyone’s use.

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