Sweeteners, what are they

Sweeteners, what are theyand which ones hurt. Natural and artificial sweeteners, which are the most common and how to recognize them on the label.

Thesweetenersthey are found in food, drinks, mouthwashes, and medications. Here's how to identify them and how to protect your health by respecting the maximum intake doses.

Sweeteners, what are they

What are sweeteners?
They are food additives used to sweeten foods and drinks.

In common parlance, asweeteneris simply defined "sweetener". From a legislative point of view, thesweetenersthey are “substances used to give sweet taste to foods and drinks or for their extemporaneous sweetening”. Just like emulsifiers and acidity regulators, they are part of the long list of food additives.

Sweeteners, are they bad?

It is impossible to give a single answer to this question. With the termsweetenerin fact, we identify a large number of very different substances. Some are bad for your health and others are considered harmless.

Generally speaking it can be said that, as with allfood additives, even with sweeteners it is important to limit their consumption without ever exceeding the recommended daily doses.

In a completely generic way, thesweetenersare divided into two broad categories,artificial sweetenersednatural sweeteners.

There are numeroussweetenersused by the food industry but those found in most products are three: xylitol (E967), saccharin (E954) and aspartame (E951).

Xylitol (E967)

It's anatural sweetener with the same sweetening power of sucrose. Unlike sucrose, it does not cause blood sugar spikes as it is absorbed more slowly by the human body. Although natural, xylitol is not without side effects. If the dose of 40 grams per day is exceeded, it risks having diarrheal effects. This natural sweetener is extracted from plants.

Saccharin (E954)

It's aartificial sweetener with a sweetening power 300 times higher than that of sucrose. It's acalorie-free sweetener.

Over time we have seen many debates about the alleged negative effects that saccharin would have on health. Saccharin has been accused of being a cause of cancer, however, unlike other food additives, it has not been included in the list of carcinogenic ingredients.

Thissweetener it is only minimally metabolized by the body (it is not digested) and therefore does not provide calories. 90% of the saccharin we ingest accumulates in the organs most supplied by the blood and in the bladder.

The production of saccharin is quite complex, starting with anthranilic acid which is first treated with nitrous acid, sulfur dioxide and finally with chlorine and ammonia.

Aspartame (E951)

Is aspartame bad for your health? Yes, if the maximum daily doses are exceeded. This was said by EFSA which in 2013 voted in his favor. The daily dose not to be exceeded is 10 mg per day. The problem is thisartificial sweeteneris present in many foods "sugar free”And often the consumer assumes it completely unconsciously.

Artificial sweeteners

Among the most used, we have already mentioned twoartificial sweeteners, saccharin and aspartame. While they are the most common, they are not the only ones. In the list of artificial sweeteners we point out: thaumatin, surcalose, cyclamate, acesulfame K and neosperidine DC.

Acesulfame K, E950

L'acesulfame K, known as E950, is a potassium salt. It has a sweetening power equal to that of aspartame and, unlike aspartame, it is heat resistant. As on saccharin, also in this case there have been heavy accusations from the scientific communities: it would seem that this sweetener could be harmful to the body and cause cancer, but even in this case, both the US FDA and the US FDA denied by the European Scientific Committee on Food. Like many otherscalorie-free sweeteners, Acesulfame K is also expelled from the body without being metabolized.

Sucralose, E955

It is 600 times sweeter than sucrose, twice as sweet as saccharin and four times sweeter than aspartame. It is used asfood additivein over 4500 food products including food and drinks. We can often read the acronymE955in combination with E950 (acesulfame K) or E951 (aspartame). Does it make apples? According to the relevant authorities, 9 mg / kg body weight should not be exceeded. Unfortunately, even in this case there are conflicting opinions. Many doubts arise on the effect that theE955it would exert on the immune system and on the thymus, a very important human gland.

You might also be interested in

  • Sulfur oxide and dioxide
  • Natural flavors: what they are
  • Acesulfame K

Video: Low-calorie sweeteners (January 2022).