US agribusiness giant Cargill has agreed to sell a sugar substitute developed in Japan by Hayashibara Co.

The deal gives Cargill exclusive rights to manufacture and distribute trehalose, a corn-based sweetener, in the Western hemisphere.

Trehalose, which is being marketed to makers of sports drinks and nutrition bars, induces a lower insulin response than other sugar- and corn-based sweeteners, Cargill said. Elevated insulin levels have been linked to obesity and high blood pressure.