What gives artificially sweeteners chemicals its "sweetness" apparently
‘Sweetness’ doesn’t just come from sugar - any molecule that can activate the particular taste bud receptors on the tongue can trigger the perception of sweetness. The majority of sweeteners are artificially created, although some (such as stevia) are naturally occurring. Here’s a look at three of the major sweeteners:
- 300 times sweeter than sugar.
- Not metabolised (broken down) by the body, so no calories.
- Bitter, metallic aftertaste, especially at high concentrations, which has to be masked.
- Can be prepared from toluene, from chlorotoluene, or by reacting anthranilic acid successively with nitrous acid, sulfur dioxide, chlorine and then ammonia.
- Combination of two amino acids - aspartic acid & phenylalanine.
- 180-200 times sweeter than sugar.
- Breaks down when heated so cannot be used in heated foods.
- Broken down into aspartic acid, phenylalanine and methanol in the body.
- Degrades with time and loses its sweetness.
- 600 times sweeter than sugar.
- Manufactured by substituting three of the OH groups in sucrose with chlorine atoms.
- Not metabolised by the body, so no calories.
- Marketed as ‘Splenda’.