Sunday, April 28, 2019

Discovery of Cyclamate

In 1937 Michael Sveda a graduate student at the University of Illinois was working in the lab on the synthesis of anti-fever medication.

One day in the laboratory of Prof. Audrieth, he picked up a cigarette lying on his lab bench, put it in his mouth, and discovered that it tasted surprisingly sweet.

Sveda then tasted every substance in sight and traced the sweetness to a compound known as sodium cyclohexylsulfamate. Five years later, Sveda and his professor obtained a patent and assigned the rights to DuPont, Sveda's new employer.


After some initial development by duPont, cyclamate was taken up (under licence) by Abbott Laboratories, a pharmaceutical firm in North Chicago that hope to produce a sweetener suitable for diabetics and other people on sugar restricted diets.

This substance, which proved to be approximately 30 times sweeter than sugar, was first marketed in 1949 as sodium cyclamate in tablet form for use by diabetics.

In 1953, a mixture of 10 parts cyclamate to 1 part saccharin largely replaced the cyclamate-only product, because taste panels had judged that combination to be more palatable.

Cyclamate is generally used in foods as either the sodium or calcium salt. Since 1937, many other sulfamates have been synthesized, although none have been developed for use in foods.

In November 1959, cyclamate was place in the Food and Drug Administration’s list of GRAS. Cyclamate is approved as a sweetener in at least 130 countries while it is currently banned in the United States.
Discovery of Cyclamate
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