Non nutritive sweeteners are commonly referred as artificial sweeteners. These are either zero calorie sweeteners or low-calorie sweeteners, which are the key ingredients of many dietary products and provide significant sweetening effect to them without adding calories or carbohydrates. Non nutritive Sweeteners are approved for use in several low-calorie, dietetic foods and beverages.
The popular non nutritive sweetener, Saccharin is around 300 times as sweet as sucrose and needs to be used only in very small quantities. Up to 1 gram of saccharin per day poses no health risks to the adults. Saccharin has no caloric value and it does not promote tooth decay. As it is not metabolized by the body, it is excreted from the body unchanged. Saccharin is a widely used ingredient in the diets of diabetics and of those who should avoid intake of sugar. This non nutritive sweetener is extensively used in diet soft drinks and in various low-calorie foods. One of the most intense sweeteners, Saccharin is used in pharmaceuticals and foods where the presence of sugar may lead to spoilage.
Aspartame is one of the most popular low-calorie sweeteners, which is used in many diet and sugar-free beverages and foods. Approximately 200 times sweeter than sugar, Aspartame is one of the most intense sweeteners and found in over 6,000 foods and beverages worldwide. These include fruit juice beverages, weight loss shakes, gum, gelatin, carbonated soft drinks, pie filling, yogurt, pudding, cocoa mixes, chocolate, ice cream, nutritional bars, jellies, jams, maple syrups, breath mints, protein drinks, flavored water and cereal. This non nutritive sweetener has pharmaceutical uses too, it is found in vitamins, laxatives and cough drops. In a variety of cooking and baking recipes too Aspartame is used.
Sucralose is produced by altering the chemical composition of sucrose. It is 600 times sweeter than sugar and used in a wide range of foods and beverages. One of the healthy low calorie sweeteners, Sucralose has no negative effects on health. Sucralose is mainly beneficial for diabetics and eliminates all undesirable effects on blood sugar levels in them. Sucralose artificial sweetener is used to sweeten baked goods and a variety of food products like carbonated drinks, fruit spreads, milk products, processed fruit products and frozen desserts. This non nutritive sweetener benefit dental health as it does not promote bacterial growth. Sucralose is a popular sweetening agent in chewing gum.
One of the most natural low calorie sweeteners, Stevia is extremely sweet and has a wide range of uses and applications. Stevia is extensively used in soft drinks, pickles, pastries, yogurt, jam, chewing gum, candy and sorbets. Stevia preserves the crunchiness and crispiness of biscuits and cookies and retains the original taste and freshness of preserved or canned food. Stevia is excellent for producing sugarless gums and sauce products. When used in feedstuff, it improves the palatability of animal feeds. This non nutritive sweetener is also used in alcoholic beverages and medicines.
These noncaloric sweeteners or low-calorie sweeteners are many times sweeter than regular table sugar and have strong sweetening effect, therefore, only very little amount is necessary. When it is about potential health risk, these are safe for all age groups although high amount is better to avoid.