ZERO CALORIE SWEETENERS

On my quest to discover all zero-calorie sweeteners in stores across the United States,

I found hundreds of options and list them here in two groups: natural & artificial

 

NATURAL SWEETENERS

Stevia | Brown & Powdered
Stevia | Dried Leaf
The whole-leaf Stevia is dried, cut, and turn into a green powder. It has a very mild sweet taste and does not dissolve well. Extracts (highly refined with > or = 95% purity) from the leaf are approved by the FDA but the leaves itself are not due to inadequate toxicological information.
Stevia | with Benefits
Monk Fruit | Pure Extract
Monk fruit, also called luo han guo fruit, is a small green fruit of the Chinese plant Siraitia grosvenorii Swingle. The sweet components in the fruit, referred to as mogrosides, are 230 to 425 times sweeter than table sugar.
Monk Fruit | Liquid
Monk fruit, also called luo han guo fruit, is a small green fruit of the Chinese plant Siraitia grosvenorii Swingle. The sweet components in the fruit, referred to as mogrosides, are 230 to 425 times sweeter than table sugar.
Monk Fruit | with Erythritol
Monk fruit, also called luo han guo fruit, is a small green fruit of the Chinese plant Siraitia grosvenorii Swingle. The sweet components in the fruit, referred to as mogrosides, are 230 to 425 times sweeter than table sugar.
Monk Fruit | with Inulin
Monk fruit, also called luo han guo fruit, is a small green fruit of the Chinese plant Siraitia grosvenorii Swingle. The sweet components in the fruit, referred to as mogrosides, are 230 to 425 times sweeter than table sugar.
Monk Fruit | with Glucose
Monk fruit, also called luo han guo fruit, is a small green fruit of the Chinese plant Siraitia grosvenorii Swingle. The sweet components in the fruit, referred to as mogrosides, are 230 to 425 times sweeter than table sugar.
Monk Fruit | with Rare Sugars
Monk fruit, also called luo han guo fruit, is a small green fruit of the Chinese plant Siraitia grosvenorii Swingle. The sweet components in the fruit, referred to as mogrosides, are 230 to 425 times sweeter than table sugar.
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Monk Fruit | Powdered & Golden
Monk Fruit & Stevia Blend
Monk Fruit | Packets
Erythritol
Allulose
Miracle Fruit
Miracle Fruit extract (or Miraculin) is a protein extracted from the African berry, Synsepalum dulcificum (or Richardella dulcifica). It does not taste sweet but is able to transform acidic flavors into sweet. It can enhance the sweetness of low pH (acid) foods and beverages to become 200 to 800 times sweeter than table sugar.
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  • Sugar substitutes labeled as natural and zero-calories contain sweeteners obtained from a plant. Stevia, monk fruit, erythritol, and allulose are FDA-approved. 

  • The two most popular are high-intensity sweeteners: stevia (term used to refer to steviol glycosides = refined extracts from the leaves of the stevia plant) and monk fruit (term used to refer to mogrosides = refined extracts from the monk fruit)

  • The other two are carbohydrates that are less sweet than table sugar: erythritol (sugar alcohol obtained from corn) and allulose (rare sugar obtained from corn).

  • Miracle fruit extract (contains miraculin) is not a FDA-approved ingredient so you are not going to find it as a sugar substitute. However, you can buy the fruit itself or the extract in tablet form. 

  • Find out if a sweetener claimed as 'natural' meets your expectations by reading two of my blog posts: 

 
Stevia | Pure Extract
Stevia leaf extracts are food ingredients with GRAS status. The leaf extracts go through a great deal of processing and purification until they become palatable and free of impurities. They provides zero calories and are 200 to 400 times sweeter than table sugar. Find here a variety of brands of pure stevia leaf extracts.
Stevia | Liquid
Stevia leaf extracts are food ingredients with GRAS status. The leaf extracts go through a great deal of processing and purification until they become palatable and free of impurities. They provides zero calories and are 200 to 400 times sweeter than table sugar. Find here brands of liquid stevia. The most common carriers include glycerine, erythitol, alcohol, and cellulose. Some are sold as dietary supplements and allow health claims on labels.
Stevia | with Erythritol
Stevia leaf extracts are food ingredients with GRAS status. The leaf extracts go through a great deal of processing and purification until they become palatable and free of impurities. They provides zero calories and are 200 to 400 times sweeter than table sugar. Find here a variety of brands of stevia-erythritol blend.
Stevia | with Inulin
Stevia leaf extracts are food ingredients with GRAS status. The leaf extracts go through a great deal of processing and purification until they become palatable and free of impurities. They provides zero calories and are 200 to 400 times sweeter than table sugar. Find here a variety of brands of stevia-inulin blend.
Stevia | with Sugars
Stevia leaf extracts are food ingredients with GRAS status. The leaf extracts go through a great deal of processing and purification until they become palatable and free of impurities. They provides zero calories and are 200 to 400 times sweeter than table sugar. Find here brands of stevia-sugar blends. Sugars used are glucose or organic raw cane sugar.
Stevia | with Maltodextrin
Stevia leaf extracts are food ingredients with GRAS status. The leaf extracts go through a great deal of processing and purification until they become palatable and free of impurities. They provides zero calories and are 200 to 400 times sweeter than table sugar. Find here brands of stevia-maltodextrin blends.
Stevia | with Xylitol
Stevia | with Rare Sugars
Stevia | Monk Fruit Blend
Stevia is the term used to refer to steviol glycosides (highly refined extracts from the leaves of the stevia plant) 
Monk fruit is the term used to refer to mogrosides (extracts obtained from the luo han guo fruit)
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ARTIFICAL SWEETENERS

Sucralose
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.
Saccharin
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.
Aspartame
The food additive Aspartame is a high intensity sweetener that, being a protein, provides 4 Calories/g. But since it can be up to 400 times sweeter than table sugar, it is used in such small amounts that contributes few to no calories. It is approved by the FDA as a nutritive sweetener.
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  • Artificial sweeteners are not found in nature. Even if produced from a source material found in nature (such as sucralose, which is made from table sugar) or 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 a natural sweetener.

  • Six artificial sweeteners are approved as ingredients in sugar substitutes. Saccharin-based products were the first available in stores; the Sweet'N Low brand name has been the most popularAspartame - acesulfame K blends were popular for some time but were surpassed by sucralose, which is the most used of all six.

  • Only a couple of brands use neotame as ingredient and I have not found sweeteners containing advantame, the most recently approved high intensity sweetener.

WHAT'S A ZERO CALORIE SWEETENER?

  • Zero Calorie Sweeteners are available to you in various forms: granulated, powdered, sachets, cubes, tablets, liquid and as syrups. The color code for them is usually green for stevia, yellow for sucralose, blue for aspartame, and pink for saccharin.

  • By law, a sweetener may be labeled calorie free, no calorie, or zero calorie if it provides less than 5 cal per serving. One serving is often the amount of product (teaspoon, drops, squeezes) with sweetness equivalent to 1 or 2 teaspoons of table sugar.

THE HIGH-INTENSITY SWEETENERS

  • Most zero-calories sugar substitutes you find in stores have High-Intensity Sweeteners (HIS), which deliver intense sweetness with no calories and no nutritional benefits. Being several hundred times sweeter than table sugar, they are used in a fraction of the weight of any caloric sweetener

  • Because they are used in such small amounts, they have no effect on volume, nor mouthfeel. As a result, high-intensity sweeteners are often blended with fillers or bulking agents which give them an overall resemblance to table sugar, making them spoonable & pourable, and mask their off-flavors.

  • As opposed to table sugar, they are used mainly for sweetening purposes and no other culinary role. Most zero calorie sugar substitutes containing high intensity sweeteners tend to work best in foods that do not require sugars for texture, shelf life, moisture retention, color and aroma.

  • More recently, two sweeteners - erythritol and allulose - have been promoted as zero calories. They are not high intensity. In fact, both are less sweet than table sugar. In addition, they are not completely free of calories as high-intensity sweeteners are. They provide about 1 to 1.5 calories per teaspoon or 40 to 70 calories per cup, which makes them "reduced calorie sweeteners". Learn more about erythritol here and about allulose here.

Which high intensity sweeteners are FDA-approved?

  • Eight high-intensity sweeteners (HIS) are permitted for use in food in the US. When artificial, they are regulated as a food additive. When natural, they have their use as a sweetener generally recognized as safe (GRAS). The difference is food additives undergo premarket review and approval by FDA. GRAS substances have their safety evaluated by experts qualified by scientific training and experience, not by FDA.

  • Stevia and/or monk fruit are natural. Both have GRAS status. They are not food additives. Six artificial sweeteners are approved: saccharinaspartameacesulfame potassium (ace-K), sucralose, neotame, and advantame. All are food additives

  • Aspartame is the only one approved as a nutritive sweetener because it provides 4 cal per gram, but it is used in such small amounts that it is effectively non-nutritive. Stevia, monk fruit, sucralose, saccharin, acesulfame K and neotame are non-nutritive sweeteners (0 cal/ gram).

  • Stevia (leaf extract) is the most popular high intensity sweetener. I found almost 200 products sold in stores and list them here. They contain a variety of stevia leaf extracts such as reb A, reb D, reb M, or stevioside.   

  • Miracle fruit extract (miraculin) is not approved as a ingredient in sweeteners. Erythritol and allulose are not high intensity sweeteners; you can read more about erythritol here and about allulose here.

 

Copyright © 2020  WhatSugar Blog by Adriane Mulinari Campos 

Everywhere in the USA | Based in Richmond,VA | Email me at info@whatsugar.com

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