Artificial Sweeteners Essay

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They are five artificial sweeteners available in the United States: saccharin, aspartame, sucralose, neotame, and acesulfame potassium. Along with these five artificial sweeteners, there are other herbal/natural sweeteners on the market like stevia, sorbitol, lactitol, and xylitol. Saccharin is a derivative of the basic substance, benzoic sulfinide. It has no food energy and is 300 times sweeter than sucrose, but has an unpleasant bitter aftertaste, especially at high concentrations. In many cases it is used to sweeten products such as drinks, candies, medicines, and toothpaste. The most popular brand of saccharin is Sweet’N Low, which is found in many restaurants. Aspartame is the methyl ester of the dipeptide of the natural amino acids L-aspartic acid and L-phenylalanine. It is 180 times sweeter than sugar in typical concentrations, without the high energy value of sugar. While aspartame, like other peptides, has a caloric value of 4 calories per gram, the quantity of aspartame needed to produce a sweet taste is so small that its caloric contribution is negligible, which makes it a popular sweetener for those trying to avoid calories from sugar. The sweetness of aspartame has a slower onset and longer duration than that of sugar. The most popular brands of aspartame are Equal and NutraSweet, which are found in many consumer foods and beverages. Sucralose is manufactured by the selective chlorination of sucrose, in which three of the hydroxyl groups are replaced with chlorine atoms. Sucralose is approximately 600 times as sweet as sucrose, twice as sweet as saccharin, and four times as sweet as aspartame. Unlike aspartame, it is stable under heat and over a broad range of pH conditions and can be used in baking or in products that require a longer shelf life. It is a no-calorie artificial sweetener and is found in the incredibly popular brand: Splenda.

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