TOOTH FRIENDLY SWEETENER

aka Noncariogenic or Cariostatic Sweetener

  • In my quest to discover all tooth friendly sweeteners across the U.S., I found hundreds of noncariogenic and/or cariostatic options.

  • Noncariogenic sweeteners do not promote or may reduce the risk of dental caries as defined here by the FDA 

  • Noncariogenic sweeteners may: (1) be slowly metabolized by our mouth bacteria to form some acid, or (2) not be metabolized at all.

  • Cariostatic sweeteners, mainly xylitol, have an anti-cavity effect by starving harmful mouth bacteria, inhibiting their growth & activity

  • The FDA allows some sweeteners to carry claims such as "does not promote," "may reduce the risk of," "useful in not promoting" caries. 

  • Not all 'sugar free' sweeteners are necessarily tooth friendly as if it has a high content of acid (low pH), it is not. 

  • Tooth friendly sweeteners may be: (1) reduced calorie (provide 50 to 90% less calories than table sugar) or (2) calorie free  >>>

ZERO CALORIE SWEETENERS

Tooth-friendly, calorie-free tabletop sweeteners with high intensity sweeteners

High Intensity Sweetener

  • High Intensity Sweeteners (HIS) are several hundred to several thousand times sweeter than table sugar (sucrose)

  • Used in tiny amounts, they provide no calories and minute volume & mass (bulk) to the tabletop sweetener

  • They are often combined with fillers or carriers to make tabletop sweeteners spoonable or pourable, and to mask off-flavors

  • Fillers and carriers are carbohydrates; the most common used carrier in tooth friendly sweeteners include erythritol and inulin

  • Seven HIS are used in tabletop sweeteners in the U.S.: stevia, monk fruit, sucralose, saccharin, aspartame, acesulfame K, neotame

 

Tabletop Sweeteners 

 

  • Tabletop sweeteners (aka tabletops) are available to you in various forms: liquid, granulated, powdered, sachets, cubes, and tablets 

  • By law, zero-calorie tabletop sweeteners deliver sweetness with little (<5 cal) to no calories per serving

  • One serving is the amount equivalent in sweetness to a reference amount of table sugar (often 1 or 2 tsp, not 1 cup)

  • Zero calorie sweeteners are often 2x as sweet as table sugar, but it varies; it can be 4x, 8x, 60x or as sweet as sugar 1:1

  • Miracle fruit extract is not sweet but behaves like a sweetener in contact with acidic foods (not approved by the FDA as a sweetener)

  • The teaspoon-for-teaspoon sweeteners are as sweet as table sugar and so, measure like it on a 1:1 ratio; 1tsp sugar = 1tsp sweetener

  • The color code for sweeteners is usually green for stevia, yellow for sucralose, blue for aspartame, and pink for saccharin.

 
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 brands of pure stevia leaf extract, with no fillers or additives.
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 | Cubes & Tablets
Stevia cubes and tablets contain stevia leaf extract plus other ingredients such as erythritol, glucose, or cellulose. Each cube or tablet is as sweet as one teaspoon of table sugar.
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 | 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)
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.
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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.
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. Not approved as a food ingredients by the FDA, but the extract is sold in tablets or you can buy the frozen fruit.
Natural Sweetener | Liquid
Tabletop sweeteners made with stevia, monk fruit or both.
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).
Artificial Sweetener | Liquid
Tabletop sweeteners made with high intensity sweeteners not found in nature and so, are artificially made.
I found liquid tabletop sweeteners made with saccharin or sucralose.
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Aspartame
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 (200g or ~ 1 cup of table sugar can be replaced by 1g of aspartame). It is approved by the FDA as a nutritive sweetener.
Saccharin
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.
Sucralose
Sucralose is made from table sugar in a process that changes its configuration into a compound around 600 times sweeter with no calories.
Tsp-for-Tsp | with Erythritol
Tsp-for-Tsp Sweeteners are as sweet as table sugar and so, measure like it on a 1 to 1 ratio. One teaspoon of these sweeteners is equal in sweetness to one teaspoon of table sugar.
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REDUCED CALORIE SWEETENERS

  • Contain low-digestible carbohydrates that for the most part are less sweet than table sugar but offer 50 to 90% less calories

  • Include polyols (erythritol, xylitol), rare sugars (tagatose, allulose), and some soluble fibers (inulin, fructo- and isomalto-oligosaccharides)

  • Add weight/volume to foods and as a result are able to impact mouthfeel and texture similar to how sugar does

  • Often promoted for baking, even though some do not undergo caramelization and other browning reactions

  • The so-called Cup-for-Cup Sweeteners measure like table sugar on a 1:1 ratio; ; 1 cup sweetener = 1 cup table sugar

  • Are often less sweet than table sugar, and to compensate for that, these carbs are blended with high intensity sweeteners

LOW-DIGESTIBLE CARBOHYDRATES

  • These carbohydrates are partially or not digested at all and so, reach the large intestine intact, offering digestive health benefits

  • They offer positive effects by improving bowel function (fiber) or by stimulating the growth and activity of gut microbes (prebiotic)

  • Erythritol, inulin, FOS, IMO, tagatose & allulose are only slightly or not digested at all, having minimal or no effect on blood glucose 

  • Partially digested polyols (xylitol, sorbitol, mannitol) are slowly converted into glucose, not causing a sudden increase in blood sugar

  • Common adverse effects are digestive issues similar to that experienced when having too much high-fiber foods, such as beans

  • Advantages of these carbs: sweet taste, lower in calories, bulking properties, and digestive health benefits: as fiber or as prebiotic.

 
Erythritol
Erythritol-based Sweeteners. Erythritol is a polyol or sugar alcohol - a type of carbohydrate that, unlike sugar, is not completely digested. It is less sweet than sugar (~70% the sweetness of regular sugar). It is promoted as a natural sweetener as is found in nature but is synthetically produced by fermentation or an electrochemical process. It is considered a zero-calorie sweetener as it provides 0.2 kcal/g.
Xylitol
Xylitol is a polyol or sugar alcohol - a type of carbohydrate that, unlike sugar, is digested slowly, having little impact on blood sugar or insulin levels. Xylitol provides about half the calories of regular sugar (sucrose). Xylitol is the sweetest of the polyols and is as sweet as sucrose.
Xylitol-based Sweeteners
These sweeteners contain xylitol blended with stevia, inulin, erythritol, or sucralose.
Xylitol is a polyol or sugar alcohol - a type of carbohydrate that, unlike sugar, is digested slowly, having little impact on blood sugar or insulin levels. Xylitol provides about half the calories of regular sugar (sucrose). Xylitol is the sweetest of the polyols and is as sweet as sucrose.
Sorbitol | Mannitol | Isomalt
Tabletop Sweeteners that contain carbohydrates that are slowly, partially, or not digested at all
Provide 25 to 90% fewer calories than sugars
Include polyols, rare sugars, and some dietary fibers.
Soluble Fiber | Inulin, FOS, IMO
May be oligossacharides or polysaccharides | Fructooligosacharides (FOS): a carbohydrate with linear chains of (< 9) fructoses.
Inulin (from Jerusalem artichoke, chicory root, or agave): a carbohydrate with long chains of ( > 10) fructoses.
Isomalto-oligosaccharide (IMO): a short-chain carbohydrate, produced from starch.
FOS, inulin & IMO have 1/2 the calories of table sugar and are prebiotics (are minimally digested in the small intestine and stimulate the growth of healthy bacteria)
Rare Sugars
Rare sugars, as the name implies, are rare in nature but can be synthetically produced. Examples are allulose (aka D-psicose), D-xylose, and tagatose. They are slightly sweet; typically half as sweet as table sugar. (allulose is 70% as sweet as sugar). Their sweetness profile is very similar to table sugar. Are low in calories. Have low GI. D-xylose is a synthetic sugar produced from coconut shells, corn cobs, and other plants rich in hemicellulose.
Cup-for-Cup | With Erythritol
Are tabletop sweeteners that measure spoon-for-spoon (or cup-for-cup) like regular sugar,
and mantain some of sugar's role in baking
but with less calories.

When substituting this sweetener for sugar, consumer must substitute 'equal volume', not 'equal weight', because this sweetener is much lighter than sugar.

Do not contain sugars but have as main ingredient carbohydrates such as polysaccharides (often maltodextrin) and/or polyols.
Cup-for-Cup | With Other Sweeteners
Are tabletop sweeteners that measure spoon-for-spoon (or cup-for-cup) like regular sugar,
and mantain some of sugar's role in baking
but with less calories.

When substituting this sweetener for sugar, consumer must substitute 'equal volume', not 'equal weight', because this sweetener is much lighter than sugar.

Do not contain sugars but have as main ingredient carbohydrates such as soluble fibers, xylitol, and rare sugars.
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SWEETENERS TO AVOID, LIMIT, OR REDUCE

aka Cariogenic Sweeteners

  • Dental caries (tooth decay) occur when bacteria in our mouth (especially Streptococcus mutans) produce acids by fermenting sugars

  • Acids produced by oral bacteria demineralize the tooth (dissolve calcium and other minerals), initiating and developing caries. 

  • Since dental caries are initiated and developed in the presence of sugar, it is important to understand what 'sugar' means. 

What Exactly is Sugar? 

  • To most of us the term 'sugar' refers to one sweetener: table sugar = sucrose from cane or beet. But 'sugar' has many definitions. 

  • The truth is sugar encompasses a wide array of caloric sweeteners from many different sources, not only from cane & beet. 

  • Honey is a sugar. Maple syrup is a sugar. So are coconut sugar, date syrup, and agave nectar. I have found almost 70 sweeteners!

  • Most caloric sweeteners contain sucrose and/or its components parts, glucose and fructose. Others have lactose and maltose.

  • Sweeteners containing sugars are cariogenic as bacteria in our mouth are able to metabolize them, producing acid.

  • The more frequent and longer the exposure of teeth to sweeteners containing sugars, the greater the risk for dental caries.

  • There are many other risk factors for cavities such as the form and physical properties of the sweetener (liquid, solid, sticky).

  • According to the World Health Organization, you should limit sugars to < 10% of total energy intake – and ideally even further, to <5% – to minimize the risk of dental caries throughout your lifecourse.  

  • Sweeteners that increase the risk for dental caries and so, are NOT tooth friendly include: 

Sugars (also known as Caloric Sweeteners)

Blends with Less Sugar (Reduced-Sugar Sweeteners)

  • Be aware of zero calorie tabletop sweeteners with fillers such as maltodextrin or glucose. They contain minimal amount of carbohydrates per serving but they are NOT tooth friendly if you are having too much of it with frequency.

Stevia with Maltodextrin and/or Sugars

Monk Fruit with Maltodextrin and/or Sugars 

Aspartame with Maltodextrin and/or Glucose 

Saccharin with Maltodextrin and/or Glucose

Sucralose with Maltodextrin and/or Glucose

  • Note: not all sugars are cariogenic. Go here to read about 'rare sugars' which are also referred to as the 'real sugar without the calories'.

Copyright © 2019   WhatSugar Blog | By Adriane Mulinari Campos 

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

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