Navigation Links
Sugar substitutes not so super sweet after all
Date:9/4/2014

The taste of common sugar substitutes is often described as being much more intense than sugar, but participants in a recent study indicated that these non-nutritive sugar substitutes are no sweeter than the real thing, according to Penn State food scientists.

In the study, participants compared the taste of non-nutritive sweeteners that are often used as low- or no-calorie sugar substitutes with those of nutritive sweeteners, such as sugar, maple syrup and agave nectar. The participants indicated they could perceive the non-nutritive sweeteners -- such as aspartame, marketed as NutraSweet; acesulfameK, often called AceK; and RebA, a compound found in the stevia plant -- at lower concentrations than real sugar, but the intensity of these sensations was no sweeter than sugar and other nutritive sweeteners.

"While you can detect non-nutritive sweeteners at lower levels than sugar, that doesn't really tell us anything about the perceived intensity of that sweetness," said John Hayes, assistant professor, food science and director of the sensory evaluation center.

The assumption that these sweeteners are excessively sweet may be the result of confusing potency and intensity, said Hayes, who worked with Rachel Antenucci, a graduate student in food science.

"In terms of receptor biology, the potency of a substance describes the lowest concentration that activates a taste receptor, but this does not predict the intensity, or magnitude, of the response," said Hayes.

The ability to detect sweetness of non-nutritive sweeteners at low levels, then, is related to their potency, but not their intensity, he added. Sugar, on the other hand, is less potent but causes more intense sensations of sweetness.

"These ingredients are often marketed or described as 'high-intensity' sweeteners, but that's misleading," said Hayes. "Our data confirm other work showing the maximal sweetness of low-cal sweeteners is often much lower than that of table sugar or other natural sweeteners, like maple syrup."

The researchers, whose findings are available online in the International Journal of Obesity, said these sweeteners did not seem to act as supernormal stimuli -- a term first used by Nobel laureate Niko Tingergen to describe exaggerated stimuli that serve as triggers for innate behaviors.

Some psychologists have suggested that supernormal stimuli and the responses they provoke could be a factor in the obesity epidemic, said Hayes.

"We have evolved to like sweetness from before birth, so some people assume so-called 'high intensity' sweeteners hijack or over-stimulate our natural drive to consume sweet foods, causing us to overeat," said Hayes. "However, this view assumes that foods we eat today are more intense than those we would have been exposed to evolutionarily, and our data imply this isn't the case."

Hayes also said the availability of highly desired foods may play a more important role in the obesity epidemic.

The researchers recruited 401 participants to take part in a series of taste tests held at the Sensory Evaluation Center at Penn State. Once the subjects were briefed on the study, they tasted between 12 and 15 separate samples that contained maple syrup, agave nectar and sucrose, as well as various concentrations of aspartame, sucralose, AceK and RebA. Participants indicated that the caloric sweeteners all had higher sweetness ratings than the non-nutritive sweeteners.


'/>"/>

Contact: Matt Swayne
mls29@psu.edu
814-865-9481
Penn State
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Team aims to make sugarcane, sorghum into oil-producing crops
2. Glycemic index foods at breakfast can control blood sugar throughout the day
3. New study: Snacking on raisins significantly reduces overall post-meal blood sugar levels
4. Penn researchers improve living tissues with 3-D printed vascular networks made from sugar
5. Sugar-sweetened drinks are not replacing milk in kids diets
6. Blood sugar diabetes risk for South Asians
7. RIT scientists decode 3 bacterial strains common to grapevines and sugarcane
8. Boosting galactan sugars could boost biofuel production
9. New study finds neither HFCS nor table sugar increases liver fat under real world conditions
10. Organic tomatoes accumulate more vitamin C, sugars than conventionally grown fruit
11. Kids consumption of sugared beverages linked to higher caloric intake of food
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/5/2018)... ... December 04, 2018 , ... ... oligo synthesizer, the Dr. Oligo 192c, built on Biolytic’s Molecule Synthesis Platform. ... have allowed them to become the world’s fastest in oligonucleotide synthesis, the 192c ...
(Date:11/29/2018)... Pa. (PRWEB) , ... November 29, 2018 , ... ... investment in Semba Biosciences with the intention of acquiring full ownership. The transaction ... Participation Agreement was executed on November 14, 2018. “We are extremely pleased to ...
(Date:11/27/2018)... ... 26, 2018 , ... PulseEd™ uses researched technology, published in the Journal ... blood flow to the penis. Regular and unimpeded blood flow to the blood vessels ... erectile function. The recorded results of SWT (sound wave therapy), indicated that almost 80% ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/29/2018)... ... 2018 , ... RAGS, today announced the closing of a $1.5 million Second ... existing investor and board member Jeremy Andrus, CEO of Traeger Grills, as well as ... enable the company to accelerate its growth and expand the product line. RAGS has ...
(Date:11/27/2018)... ... 27, 2018 , ... New patients in need of a dental crown ... with or without a referral. Dr. Myers has many years of experience improving patient ... bridges and custom crowns. , As a dedicated cosmetic dentist , Dr. ...
(Date:11/20/2018)... VANCOUVER, British Columbia (PRWEB) , ... November 19, ... ... Repositories (ISBER) is pleased to announce the release of the Chinese translation of ... released in January 2018, is a practice-changing publication aimed at advancing the science ...
(Date:11/20/2018)... ... ... Each year Forbes receives thousands of nominations for candidates wishing to be ... under 30 years of age. The Forbes 30 Under 30 list showcases the top ... Capital and Science. , In 2017, Visikol CEO Dr. Michael Johnson was named ...
Breaking Biology Technology: