Health Articles - Artificial Sweeteners


  Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners are low calorie substances used as sweeteners to replace sugar and other caloric sweeteners. Many kinds of artificial sweeteners are available saccharin, cyclamate, aspartame, alitame, neotame, acesulfame-K, sucralose and Stevia.

Saccharin is a synthetic, white crystalline powder; benzoic sulfinide has effectively no food energy and is much sweeter than sucrose. It is 350 times sweeter than sugar, but has an unpleasant bitter aftertaste. It is not easily digested by the body. Trade name is symcal. Used in soft drinks, chewing gums, jams, jellies, sauces, gelatin and salad dressings. Commercially available in three forms as a sodium salt, as a calcium salt and in the acid form.

Cyclamate is the sodium or calcium salt of cyclamic acid. It is 30–50 times sweeter than sugar. Available in three forms cyclamic acid, calcium cyclamate and sodium cyclamate. It is not suitable for diabetes. Used in caramels, chewing gums and hard candies.

Aspartame is the methyl ester of a phenylalanine/aspartic acid dipeptide. It is 200 times sweeter than sugar and 70 percent of all aspartame is used in sodas. It has flavour enhancing properties. When taken in less it is metabolized. Trade name is neutral sweet. Used for carbonated beverages, puddings, frozen fruit, juice, RTE products.

Alitame is similar to Aspartame in that it is made from amino acids, namely L-aspartic acid and D-alanine. It is 2000 times sweeter than sucrose.

Neotame is a white crystalline powder manufactured from two amino acids, phenylalanine and aspartic acid. It is 7,000 to 13,000 times sweeter than sugar, so very little of it is needed to sweeten foods.

Acesulfame-K is 200 times sweeter than sugar and the body can't break it down, so it's excreted from the body unchanged. It is freely soluble in water. It is not metabolized in the body. Used for imitation dairy products, pickles, beverages, marinated fish etc.

Sucralose is similar in structure to regular sugar and contains maltodextrin and it is 600 times sweeter than sugar. Your body absorbs very little of this artificial sweetener.  No after taste. It can be used in all products.

Stevia is made from rebaudioside A, one of the components of the Stevia rebaudiana. It is 250 times sweeter than sugar. Many people who want to avoid sugar and calories use stevia in the form of a non-nutritive sweetener or as an extract.

Aspartin It provides same number of calories as sugar but the quantity is small, so calories added are less by giving less quantity.

Sugar alcohols

Manitol: Manitol is converted into fructose. It is not metabolized and provides 2 kcals / Gm. It has laxative effect, when consumed in large quantity. It is less desirable in diabetic patients. Used in hard candies, cough drops chewing gums, jams and jellies.

Sorbitol:  It is a common sweetener. In liver it is converted into fructose, it is metabolized independently of insulin. Used in chewing gums, cough drops, jellies, baked products, baking mixes, frozen dairy desserts.

Xylitol:  Present in many fruits and vegetables. Metabolized directly in liver or indirectly by fermentation of bacteria in intestine. It is as sweet as sucrose.

Maltitol: Produced by hydrogenation of maltose. Enzymatic hydrolysis of corn starch.

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