• 2021 BUYING GUIDE •
On my quest to discover all zero-calorie artificial sweeteners sold in supermarkets,
I found about 70 products. See the complete list and how they compare.
ARTIFICIAL SWEETENER BRANDS & PRODUCTS
There is A LOT to see here. Scroll down to explore it all or, if you are short on time, make your choice below:
Explore artificial sweeteners in liquid form made with sucralose and saccharin
The food additive Sucralose is made from table sugar in a process that changes its configuration into a compound around 600 times sweeter with no calories.
The food additive Saccharin is a salt around 200 to 700 times sweeter than table sugar. It provides no calories as it is not metabolized and is excreted in urine. It has noe effect on bood glucose. It may be combined with other sweeteners (such as glucose) or bulking agents (such as maltodextrin) in commercial tabletop sweeteners.
Click the Try it button of each sweetener to be linked to Amazon
where you can read reviews, labels, Q&As, and price.
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Liquid artificial sweeteners are made with sucralose or saccharin. The predominant ingredient is water. Flavors, preservatives, or both are often added to improve taste and maintain freshness. They may contain other ingredients (erythritol or maltodextrin) to mask off-flavors. Syrups contain gums to make them viscous.
- Liquid products are used mainly for sweetening purposes and no other culinary role. They provide no volume and mass to your recipes. They work best in foods that do not require sugars for texture, shelf life, moisture retention, color and aroma.
Artificial Sweetener Vs. Natural Sweetener "Made Artificially"
According to the FDA's website, natural ingredients are "found in nature and might be manufactured artificially" [I refer to those ingredients as synthetic]. On the other hand, the FDA states that artificial ingredients are "not found in nature and therefore must be artificially produced".
In the FDA's view, both synthetic and artificial sweeteners are manufactured artificially, but one is found in nature and the other is not. Synthetic sweeteners promoted as natural include erythritol, allulose, and xylitol as I discussed in a blog post > Natural Sweetener: Not What You Might Think.
Both synthetic and artificial sweeteners are obtained through processes that chemically change or break down components of the starting material. They are produced using sophisticated technology. Read more about it on this post > 5 Misconceptions about Natural Sweeteners.
Quick Facts about Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners are ingredients not found in nature. Even if produced from a source material found in nature (such as sucralose, which is made from table sugar) or if their component parts are found in nature (such as aspartame, which is split in our body into 3 components widely found in foods), it does not make them "natural".
Pure artificial sweeteners are calorie-free and we only need a tiny pinch of them to get the same sweetness of a teaspoon of table sugar. Because they are used in a fraction of the weight of sugar, they are often blended with fillers or bulking agents, which gives them an overall resemblance to table sugar, making them spoonable and pourable. Read all about bulking agents here.
Sugar substitutes (in liquid, granulated, powdered, sachets, cubes, and tablets) with less than 5 calories per serving are labeled as calorie free, no calorie, or zero calories . Always keep in mind the size of one serving, as their calories are not zero if you are measuring cups of it. Read more about it here.
The color code for sugar substitutes is usually yellow for sucralose, blue for aspartame, and pink for saccharin.
Which artificial sweeteners are approved for use in sugar substitutes?
Six artificial sweeteners are permitted for use in food in the U.S., but one (advantame) has not been used in sugar substitutes. They are regulated as food additives and include saccharin, aspartame, acesulfame K, sucralose, and neotame
Aspartame is the only one approved as a nutritive sweetener as it provides 4 calories per gram. However it is used in such small amounts that it is effectively non-nutritive. Read more about high intensity sweeteners here.
What happens to artificial sweeteners in our body?
Aspartame is rapidly metabolized into two amino acids—aspartic acid and phenylalanine—and methanol. Those organic compounds are available in many common foods. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, which are found in milk, eggs, meat, and legumes. Aspartame should be avoided by people with phenylketonuria (PKU), a rare disease that results in brain damage if large amounts of phenylalanine are ingested.
Acesulfame is rapidly and completely absorbed in the small intestine but is not metabolized. 99% of the ingested amount is excreted unchanged within 24 hours, mainly through urine.
Most of the saccharin (85 to 95%) is absorbed in the small intestine and is excreted unchanged in the urine. The remaining unabsorbed amount is excreted in feces.
About 85% of the sucralose is not absorbed in the small intestine, passes through the gastrointestinal tract unchanged, being excreted in feces. The remaining amount is absorbed and most of it is excreted unchanged in urine within 24 hours.
Fillers and Bulking Agents
Artificial sweeteners in pure form are super sweet. Because they provide sweet taste with tiny volume and weight, sugar substitutes often require fillers or bulking agents so they can have an overall resemblance to table sugar. The basic idea is that something is needed to fill in that empty space.... keep reading >>>
As you can see in the sweeteners listed above, maltodextrin and glucose are the most commonly used fillers in artificial sweeteners. Others include lactose, erythritol, xylitol and tagatose.
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