Sweeteners: Artificial or Natural – Which is Sweetest & Lowest in Calorie

1 year ago
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High-intensity sweeteners are commonly used as alternatives to sugar because they are many times sweeter than sugar but contribute only a few to no calories when added to foods. High-intensity sweeteners, like all other ingredients added to are found to be safe for consumption by UD FDA or EFSA.

Saccharin
Saccharin is a non-nutritive sweetener, which means that it has zero calories. It is 200 to 700 times sweeter than table sugar which is sucrose.

It is heat stable, so it can be used in baking and cooking.

Saccharin is currently approved for use, in beverages, fruit juice drinks, and bases or mixes, as a sugar substitute for cooking or table use, and in processed foods.

In the early 1970s, saccharin was linked with the development of bladder cancer in laboratory rats, but more than 30 human studies demonstrated that the results found in rats were not relevant to humans, and that saccharin is safe for human consumption.

Aspartame
Aspartame is a nutritive sweetener. It does contain calories, but because it is about 200 times sweeter than table sugar, consumers are likely to use much less of it. Aspartame, is the only approved nutritive high-intensity sweetener, and contains more than two percent of the calories in an equivalent amount of sugar

FDA approved aspartame for uses, as a tabletop sweetener, in chewing gum, cold breakfast cereals, dry bases for certain foods (i.e., beverages, instant coffee and tea, gelatins, puddings, and fillings, and dairy products and toppings), carbonated beverages and as a “general purpose sweetener.”

It is not heat stable and loses its sweetness when heated, so it typically isn’t used in baked goods.

People with a rare hereditary disease known as phenylketonuria (PKU) have a difficult time metabolizing phenylalanine, which is a component of aspartame, and should control their intake of phenylalanine from aspartame.

Acesulfame potassium (Ace-K)
Acesulfame potassium has zero calories. It is about 200 times sweeter than sugar and is often combined with other sweeteners.

It is heat stable, meaning that it stays sweet even when used at high temperatures during baking, making it suitable as a sugar substitute in baked goods.

FDA approved acesulfame potassium for use as a general-purpose sweetener and flavour enhancer in food and it is typically used in frozen desserts, candies, beverages, and baked goods.

Sucralose
Sucralose has zero calories and it is about 600 times sweeter than sugar.

FDA approved sucralose for use as a general purpose sweetener for foods in a variety of foods including baked goods, beverages, chewing gum, gelatins, and frozen dairy desserts. It is heat stable, so it can be used for baking.

Neotame
Neotame has zero calories. It is approximately 7,000 to 13,000 times sweeter than table sugar.

FDA has approved neotame for use as a general purpose sweetener and flavour enhancer in foods. It is heat stable.

Advantame
Advantame has zero calories. It is approximately 20,000 times sweeter than table sugar. So it is the sweetest artificial sweeteners approved by FDA and EFSA.

FDA has approved advantame for use as a general-purpose sweetener and flavour enhancer in foods. It is heat stable.

Steviol glycosides

Steviol glycosides are natural content of the leaves of Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni, a plant which is native to parts of South America and commonly known as Stevia. They are non-nutritive sweeteners and are reported to be 200 to 400 times sweeter than table sugar.

Only high purity steviol componenents are generally regarded as safe for use by US FDA.

The use of stevia leaf and crude stevia extracts is not Generally recognized as safe and their import into the United States is not permitted for use as sweeteners.

Luo Han Guo fruit extracts
Siraitia grosvenorii Swingle, commonly known as Luo Han Guo or monk fruit, is a plant native to Southern China. Its fruit extract contains varying levels of mogrosides, which are the non-nutritive contents  of the fruit primarily responsible for its characteristic sweetness. SGFE, and depending on the mogroside content, is reported to be 100 to 250 times sweeter than sugar.

FDA has received Generally recognized as safe Notices for Siraitia grosvenorii Swingle fruit extract.

Xylitol

Xylitol is a low-calorie sweetener obtained from a variety of plants. It looks and feels like table sugar and is just as sweet, but contains 2.4kcal/g compared to 4kcal/g for sugar which means that it has 40% fewer calories. When eaten, it has a mouth-cooling effect, with virtually no aftertaste.

It is added to a range of foods, medications and oral health products, such as toothpaste and chewing gum.

Chewing gum sweetened with xylitol promotes dental health by helping to neutralise plaque acidity on teeth and repairing tooth enamel.

Xylitol is a polyol and Polyols are banned from soft drinks in the EU because of their laxative effect.

A variety of fruits and vegetables naturally contain xylitol, including plums, strawberries and cauliflower. Even the human body produces a small amount.

Xylitol is slowly and only partially absorbed in the intestine and is converted into glucose in the liver. About 50g a day of xylitol can cause diarrhoea by causing water retention in intestine. If consumed in large amounts, side effects can include bloating and gas.

European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in 2011 accepted the claim that xylitol has a lesser effect on blood sugar levels than sugar, due to its slow absorption rate. This means it could help people with impaired glucose tolerance, which is a risk factor for diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Sorbitol

It is a low-calorie sweetener which is chemically extracted from glucose.

It is used as an alternative to sugar in a range of foods, including low-calorie and sugar-free foods, as well as pharmaceutical and oral health products, such as toothpaste and chewing gum.

Sorbitol has less of an effect on blood sugar levels than sugar, which can benefit people at risk of developing diabetes.

It looks and feels like table sugar, but with but contains 2.6 kcal/g compared to 4kcal/g for sugar which means that it has 60% fewer calories.

When eaten, sorbitol has a mouth-cooling sensation, with virtually no aftertaste.

Sorbitol is a polyol so just like Xylitol it has laxative effect. Health benefits and side effects of sorbitol are similar to that of Xylitol.

Sorbitol naturally occurs in certain foods, such as apples and pears; stoned fruit, such as peaches and apricots; and dried fruit, such as prunes and raisins.

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