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Artificial sweetening agents with their chemistry and properties
Natural sweeteners like sugar cause a rapid increase in the body calories, this is a dangerous situation for the people who are suffering with diabetes mellitus. So the people are advised to use the artificial sweeteners to reduce the threat from diseases and to maintain a healthy body.
Some artificial sweeteners, their use and limitations are described below.
Natural sweeteners like sucrose (cane sugar), lactose (milk sugar), fructose (fruit sugar), not only give sweetness but also add calories to the person who intake them. Therefore, the diabetic patients are preferred to use artificial sweeteners instead of natural sweetening agents which would keep them away from problems related to 'Obesity.'
Artificial sweeteners are low calorie substances which are used as sweetening agents to replace sugar and other calorific food substances. Artificial Sweeteners are useful in controlling blood sugar level and Insulin levels in the body. Many kinds of artificial sweeteners are available in the market; the three primaries among them are Aspartame, Saccharin, and Sucralose. The others are Alitame, Neotame, Cyclamate, Manitol, Sorbitol, etc,
Chemically Aspartame is the methyl ester of a phenylalanine/aspartic acid dipeptide bonds are present. It is 160 times sweeter than ordinary table sugar and 70 percent of all Aspartame is used in sodas and cool drinks. It has flavor enhancing properties. When taken in less it is metabolized. Its trade name is neutral sweet. It is used in carbonated beverages, puddings, frozen fruit juices etc,
Limitations : since it is unstable at cooking temperature, it is useful only for cold foods and drinks.
Chemically Alitame is similar to Aspartame, it is made from amino acids, namely L-aspartic acid and D-alanine. Alitame is high potency sweetener which is 2000 times sweeter than sucrose and more stable than Aspartame.
Limitations: while using it, control of sweetness of food is difficult.
Chemically Saccharin is known as Ortho-sulphobenzamide. . Trade name is symcal. It is a synthetic, white crystalline powder; benzoic sulfinide has effectively no food energy and is much sweeter than sucrose. It is 550 times sweeter than cane sugar, but has an unpleasant bitter aftertaste. It is not easily digested by the body. It is harmless unlike sugar.
Saccharin is used in soft drinks, chewing gums, jams, jellies, sauces, gelatin and salad dressings. It is commercially available in three forms as a sodium salt, as a calcium salt and in the acid form. It does not have any calorific value. Due to its inert nature it is excreted from the body in urination process.
Chemically Cyclamate is the sodium or calcium salt of cyclamic acid. It is 30–50 times sweeter than ordinary cane sugar. It is available in three forms namely cyclamic acid, calcium cyclamate and sodium cyclamate. It is not suitable for diabetes.
It is used in caramels, chewing gums and hard candies.
It 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.
It is 200 times sweeter than ordinary table 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.,
Sucrose is chemically tri chloro derivative of Sucrose. Unlike Aspartame it is stable at cooking temperature. Sucralose is similar in structure to regular sugar and contains maltodextrin and it is 600 times sweeter than sugar. Normal body absorbs very little of this artificial sweetener. It cannot provide calories. It can be used in all products. Its appearance and taste is similar to that of sugar.
It 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 Stevie in the form of a non-nutritive sweetener or as an extract.
It provides same number of calories as sugar but the quantity is small, so calories added are less by giving less quantity.
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 is a common sweetener used in these days. 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.
It is present in many fruits and vegetables. It is produced metabolically. Xylitol is metabolized directly in liver or indirectly by fermentation of bacteria in intestine. Its sweetness is equivalent to that of the cane sugar and can replace it in every aspect with reduced calories.
Maltitol is produced by hydrogenation of maltose (a biological enzyme produced by Yeast) present in corn starch. It is also a replaceable
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