Non-nutritive Sweetener


Non-nutritive Sweetener, Artificial Sweetener, Sugar Substitute, Acesulfame-K, Sweet One, Sunett, Aspartame, Equal, Nutrasweet, Saccharin, Sugar Twin, Sweet'N Low, Sweet-10, Sucralose, Splenda

  • Uses
  1. Sweeteners suitable for non-heated use: All
  2. Sweeteners suitable for cooking and baking
    1. Excellent: Sucralose (Splenda)
    2. Good (blended with sugar): Acesulfame-K or Saccharin
  3. Sweeteners to avoid heating: Aspartame and Neotame
  • Precautions
  1. Non-nutritive Sweeteners are beneficial in limited amounts to reduce sugar use (esp. in Diabetes Mellitus)
    1. Modern Non-nutritive Sweeteners (e.g. Sucralose, Aspartame) appear safe based on longterm data
    2. Longterm effects of Artificial Sweeteners in children are unknown
  2. However, Artificial Sweeteners may cause a paradoxical increased craving for food and additional calories
    1. Artificial Sweeteners fail to result in same sense of reward from sweets
    2. Artificial Sweeteners have been associated with increased weight gain and Diabetes Mellitus risk
      1. Fagherazzi (2013) Am J Clin Nutr 97(3):517-23 [PubMed]
  3. Palate can be trained to appreciate lower levels of sweatness
    1. Attempt to use lower amounts of Artificial Sweetener
  • Contraindications
  1. Aspartame is contraindicated in Phenylketonuria
  • Preparations
  1. Acesulfame-K (Sweet One, Sunett)
    1. Approved by FDA in 1988
    2. Sweetness relative to sugar: 200 times sweeter
    3. Safety supported by >90 studies
  2. Aspartame (Equal, Nutrasweet)
    1. Approved by FDA in 1981
    2. Sweetness relative to sugar: 180 times sweeter
    3. Not heat stable
    4. Contraindicated in Phenylketonuria
    5. Safety supported by >100 studies
    6. No association with SLE, MS, Seizures, brain cancer
    7. Low level of formaldehyde and Methanol form on intake
      1. Also occurs with tomato and citrus intake
      2. Not considered a health hazard
  3. Saccharin (Sugar Twin, Sweet'N Low, Sweet-10)
    1. Discovered in 1879
    2. Cheap with long shelf life and heat stability
    3. Sweetness relative to sugar: 300 times sweeter
    4. Bladder Cancer occurred in rats at very high doses
      1. Less than 6 servings per day thought to be safe
      2. Safe use supported by FDA, NCI, AMA, ACS, ADA
  4. Sucralose (Splenda)
    1. Approved by FDA in 1998
    2. Safety supported by >110 studies
    3. Sweetness relative to sugar: 600 times sweeter
    4. Excellent shelf life without heat degradation
    5. Not digested, so does not add calories to food
  • FDA Consumer Article on Sugar Substitute Safety
  • Resources
  • Other
  1. David Emery's Urban Legends and Folklore