Sweeteners are the substances that are used as an alternative to the sugar. They are also known as the sugar substitutes giving low energy as compared to the normal carbohydrates or table sugar. They mostly provide the taste sweeter than the table sugar. Their most usage is usually for the provision of taste, texture and flavor along with energy needs. Every sweetener is not appropriate to the requirements of every individual. The old sweeteners are known as bulk sweeteners while the new ones are called Intense sweeteners or Alternate sweeteners. The bulk and alternate sweeteners are the types of artificial sweeteners. This article discusses the artificial sweeteners or sugar substitutes with respect to their type. They would be discussed approximately from all aspects.
Types of sweeteners:
There are two types of sweeteners:
Bulk sweeteners (the old ones)
Alternate sweeteners (the new ones)
The bulk sweeteners are the substances that provide food energy and include:
High fructose Syrups
Sugar alcohols (xylitol, sorbitol)
They all are known as nutritive sweeteners. The advantage of sucrose and other old and bulk sweeteners is to provide quick burst of energy. They are important from many respects and give different advantages.
Bulk sweeteners are useful in many respects. These are following:
Bulk sweeteners usually provide energy for body activity about 3.75 kcal or 16kJ per gram.
They also serve as sweetening agents.
As we know that humans are born with the natural desire of sweet taste and attraction for it. They are used to satisfy that sweet desire of humans being.
They usually make foods more palatable. For example, when sprinkled on grapefruit, sour taste is reduced.
They are also used as the preservatives in the foods, for example jams, jellies etc.
They also act as the food for yeasts and other micro-organisms e.g fermenting bacteria in fermentation processes of industry.
They also provide body the consistency and viscosity in foods that usually provide bulk mouth feel in syrups, candies and baked goods.
They also important in the deforestation process. They are functional in many properties e.g lowering point of liquids.
Disadvantage of bulk sweeteners:
For sedentary people, they are not much useful as they are high energy dense. Moreover, these sweeteners also promote tooth decay.
As you know that the bulk sweeteners have inherent disadvantages that of energy and tooth decay, to cope over these disadvantages alternate sweeteners have been developed. They include:
Advantages of alternate sweeteners:
Alternate sweeteners have many advantages over bulk sweeteners. These include:
They are not metabolized by the body and thus don’t provide any calories or energy or provide insignificant number of calories in the quantity used.
They are especially beneficial for the persons who require the low calorie diet or diet with calorie restriction e.g diabetes or overweight.
Out of the above mentioned alternate sweeteners, only the discussion of a few will be discussed:
It is a colourless and odourless organic substance that is 200 to 700 times sweeter than sucrose. It is absorbed slowly and is not metabolized by the body. It is readily excreted by the kidneys unaltered by the kidneys out of body. It has bitter after taste.
It is used in table top sweeteners, beverages, baked goods, jams, toppings, chewing gums, processed fruits, confections and sauces.
When the saccharin is consumed in excess, it leads to cancer. That’s why it has been banned in many European countries.
it is a dipeptide known by the trade name of NutraSweet and is 180 to 200 times sweeter than sucrose. It provides the same calories as sugar but the quantity of it used is much less as 1g for every 180g of sugar. It doesn’t have bitter after taste.
It is also used as table top sweetener, in beverages, chewing gums, confections, fruit spreads, toppings and fillings.
It is also an artificial sweetener. Cyclamates are 30 times sweeter than sucrose. They taste very much like sugar. When used along with saccharin comes over the bitterness of saccharin.
It has been banned in European countries and the U.S.A.
Other alternative sweeteners:
A large number of artificial sweeteners have been developed. Some have been produced from plant extract. Stavioside is a mixture of glycosides derived from a plant Stevia rebaudiana. Glycyrrhizin is a terpenoid found in the root of licorice plant. Sucralose is obtained by selective chorination of sucrose molecule and similarly many others.
So, artificial sweeteners are used as sugar substitutes and you can enjoy the same sweet taste as sugar containing sucrose without the fear of calorie exceeds.