With cane sugar getting a bad rap more than ever, the food industry is continually innovating to produce new alternatives. More and more sugar replacements are making their appearance: monk fruit, coconut sugar, rice syrup and mesquite pod powder, to name but a few! Some call themselves ‘sugar alternatives’ or ‘natural sweeteners’. But can you claim they are ‘sugar free’, ‘natural sugar’, ‘natural sweetener’ or ‘non-artificial’ within the parameters of the law? Are these sweeteners even permitted for use in foodstuffs in South Africa?