Glycemic Index Testing & Research

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Sydney University Glycemic Index Research Service (SUGiRS)

The Sydney University GI Research Service (shortened to SUGiRS) was established in 1995 to provide a reliable commercial GI testing laboratory. Food samples are tested in healthy volunteers according to standardised methods that have been validated against overseas laboratories. Testing of foods for their glycemic index, insulin index, satiety response, and other metabolic parameters can be assessed simultaneously.  Other analyses such as in vitro starch digestion assays are available. SUGiRS has an established reputation for quality, speed and flexibility.

SUGIRS can work with your company to develop new low GI products or help lower the GI of existing ones. Foods that meet nutrition guidelines and have been GI tested can carry the GI symbol (For more go to or make a low GI nutrition content claim in Australia. Your results are strictly confidential and are your property. Data are released for publication only with your written approval.

Principal researchers/consultants:
•    Professor Jennie Brand-Miller
•    SUGiRS Manager Fiona Atkinson, PhD.

How much does it cost to measure GI values of foods?

Please email us for the current prices.

For 6 products or more
A 10% discount will be given when the GI values of 6 or more products are measured in the one study.

Two payment options are available: payment of the total fee at the beginning of the study or up-front payment of 30% of the total fee at the beginning of the study and then the remainder on completion of the research. Payment details must be arranged before the research commences and will be confirmed in a formal research agreement. Payments can be made by cheque (addressed to the University of Sydney) or by electronic transfer of funds.

How much food is required to measure GI values?

SUGiRS requires enough of each product to feed 10 people each a portion of the product containing 50 grams of digestible carbohydrate. An additional 15% is also required to cover any potential wastage or repeated test sessions. If you provide us with the nutrient composition of your products, we can tell you exactly how much we would require for GI testing. For liquid foods and beverages, we also need to know how many grams = 100 mL of the product. For many products, the total carbohydrate content listed on the product’s label includes both the digestible carbohydrate and the dietary fibre content of the product. If this is the case, the digestible carbohydrate content of the product can be estimated by deducting the dietary fibre content from the total carbohydrate content.

How long does it take to measure GI values of foods?

On average, it takes approximately one week to recruit 10 healthy people to participate in a study and then one week to test each product and up to another week to complete a detailed report of the study. However, as soon as GI values are finalised, they can be emailed or faxed to clients. For larger studies and those involving the measurement of insulin values, an additional one or two weeks may be required to complete all of the biochemical analyses. However, we try to complete each project at the fastest rate possible and usually complete a study earlier than expected. Determining the GI values of foods involves the collection of blood samples from the study participants, so we have to allow time for the participants to recover from the sampling between sessions.

Delivery of products

Products should be sent to:

Attention: Dr Fiona Atkinson (contact phone number: +61 (02) 9351 6018)
Charles Perkins Centre, Building D17,
Orphans School Creek Lane,
The University of Sydney, NSW, 2006, AUSTRALIA .

Couriers can deliver the products on week days between 8.30 am – 3.30 pm. If being sent internationally, boxes containing drinks or foods should be labelled with a sign in large letters stating that the box ‘contains a small non-commercial consignment of packaged processed foods/drinks for research purposes only.’ (If applicable, also state that the products do not contain milk proteins or live organisms). This sign is essential to prevent the foods being held up by the Australian quarantine or customs departments.

Research contract and confidentiality

Before commencing any research project to measure the GI values of foods, SUGiRS requires each company to sign a formal research agreement to confirm the conditions under which the research will be carried out and the ownership and use of the data produced. This agreement confirms that the research will be conducted in a totally confidential manner to protect the company’s commercial interests. In addition, the payment details and time-line of the research will be specified.

Contact details

For more information about GI testing at Sydney University, please contact:

Dr Fiona Atkinson: or
Professor Jennie Brand-Miller:

Sydney University’s Glycemic Index Research Service (SUGiRS)
Charles Perkins Centre, D17

The University of Sydney

NSW 2006

Fiona Atkinson
Ph: (+612) 9351 6018