This web log serves as a forum for news, views and discussion about all things related to the science of food: food chemistry, microbiology, engineering, process technology, and nutrition. Also discussed are issues related to food safety, GMO foods, organic foods, health and wellness, and news about what's going on in the PSU Food Science Department.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. --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.[MORE]