Thursday, September 04, 2008

Sweeteners in Foods

Sugars and sweeteners have an important role in the human diet and choosing the right ones in the right amounts can influence health.

Sweet tasting substance play an important role in modulating food choice and preference. It is highly palatable and very popular. Many processed foods have sweeteners added and much of their success depends on having the right degree of sweeteners to attract the consumer.

Sweetening agents are added to a large number of foods and beverages. Sweeteners include other sugars, as well as an abundance of natural and synthetic agents of varying strength and caloric values.

Many sweeteners are classified as nonnutritive sweeteners. While this classification might imply a lack of nutritional value, the implication is correct only in a relative sense. The introduction of diet soda in the 1950s sparked the wide spread use of nonnutritive sweeteners, substitutes for sugar that provide no calories. 

Evidence shows that diets that use nonnutritive sweetened products can aid in weight loss and/or maintenance (i.e. weight control) in obese people. Nonnutritive sweeteners were generally consumed in beverages.

Replacement of sugars in foods has given a new perspective on healthy foods where claims such as ‘sugar free’, ‘no-added-sugar’ and ‘reduced calorie sugar’ are being exploited by food manufacturer.

There are other sweet substances know as D-tagatose and trehalose recognized in GRAS and can be added to foods. Small amounts of tagatose are found naturally in some dairy foods, and tagatose is derived from lactose.
Sweeteners in foods
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