Talk:Sugar substitute

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Removed health claims from "Reasons for Use"[edit]

I removed this text from the "Reasons for Use" section, specifically the "Cost" section:

The long-term costs and risks of using artificial sweeteners -- weight gain, diabetes type II, and desensitization of gustatory (taste) sense -- outweigh this alleged benefit, however.

The reasons are:

1. It's in the wrong section. There is a separate section about health issues directly following the reasons for use. Maybe the author was trying to provide a bridge between the two sections, but I don't typically see articles written like that on Wikipedia.

2. It's uncited. Everything should be cited on Wikipedia and in an article like this, I think any health claim, for or against, is going to be controversial. A citation should be included.

3. It provides an unattributed opinion. Apart from the uncited health claims, the part that most bothered me was that "the long term risks... outweigh this alleged benefit." Whether a risk outweighs a benefit is an opinion, not a fact. It can be included if, say, it's attributed to a prominent physician or health agency, but the article itself should not make a judgment call on risks vs. benefits. And "alleged" is a word that should not be used outside of a quote. (talk) 20:57, 14 January 2014 (UTC)

Emotive/non-neutral? - aspartame[edit]

under "aspartame controversy", "Some research, often supported by companies producing artificial sweeteners, has failed to find any link between aspartame and cancer or other health problems." Suggest removal for unsupported/weaselly?

[Link titleASPARTAME!!!!]] I truly suggest for everyone to read : Everything you need to know to feel Go(o)d by Candace B. Pert, Ph.D. The Wikipedia page about Sweeteners has a lot to answer for, in fact , they should be ashamed of themselves to camoflage the truth about a highly toxic substance like aspartame and with almost sarcastical remarks mislead the reader to think it is safe to use and then this same reader will go on pickiling their organs and those of their children, this is NOT sharing knowledge, but: ? beeing corrupted, bought, or just outright stupid. We request a thorough research amongst all cientific studies about aspatame that have NOT been lead by the Aspartame shareholders. Its TIME!!!! (talk) 07:06, 10 September 2008 (UTC) (talk) 07:06, 10 September 2008 (UTC) e number is not known (of fructose) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:00, 22 September 2007 (UTC) Why are xylitol and sorbitol listed under artificial sweeteners when they are natural? Xylitol is found in strawberries and other fruits? Carltonh 18:44, 18 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I've taken care of it. -- FP 02:20, Mar 26, 2005 (UTC)

They are natural, but produced via chemistry for human consumption. You will never found natural xylitol on the market as it is a rare sugar.

I was under the impression that aspartame was a natural sweetener, as it contains natural amino acids. Does it depend on each individual's definition of "natural", or is this just an "official" definition from the FDA?

I think its a combination of both. The FDA wants to know if its synthetic, which is good, because usually synthetics have isomers in them that can't be removed, and are not found in the natural forms. These can be really easy, or really hard to seperate, depending on the isomers, therefore you could have a lot, or a little of the isomer in the product. Isomers generally have different effects than each other, especially chiral isomers. Anyways, if its made in a plant, not extracted from one, its synthetic. Not that that's necessarilly bad.

Natural substitutes to sugar[edit]

I was looking for some information on substitutes to sugar, for health concerns (part not in the article, and going for anything refined). Completely natural substitutes to sugar aren't listed at all. Something not refined or at least very little. I was thinking especially honey, or dried fruit, or plant extracts ; stevia (syrup, leaves), agave syrup, birch syrup, maple syrup even malt (syrup, powder), and not forgetting raw sugars (palm sugar, beet sugar, cane sugar, molasses...). These sugars have the advantage of being less addictive, and they also contain other nutrients, the usual refined sugar doesn't. If there is an article containing that information I think it should be linked (maybe in the "See also"). Most of those being "alternative sweeteners". Pro bug catcher 13:12, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

HAHHAHAHAHA....Sorry but that part about sugar being addictive made me burst out laughing. Honestly, how ignorant can people become?

Changes Deleted[edit]


I have been working on standardizing the list of sugar substitutes and noticed that many of my changes were deleted. By standardizing, I am refferring to deleting information that is in the child articles, noving certain information out of the list and into the child articles and coming up with a set amount of information that would be reasonable to see on a high level list. A working set of this information was:

For the Natural sugar substitutes I was using: Name of natural substitute, sweetness relative to sucrose, calories relative to sucrose, regulatory info (EU number, FDA status, warnings)

For the Artificial sugar substitutes I was using: Name of artificial sugar substitute, sweetness relative to sucrose, calories relative to sucrose, Company responsible, regulatory info (EU number, FDA status, warnings)

I was thinking of adding some type of subclassification (such as polyols, etc) to both lists.

In addition to trying to standardize the list, I was adding many entries that were not on the list. These have all now been deleted.

I have seen bits and pieces of this information scatter all over the Inet, but thought that it would be nice if one master list with standard attributes were available, so I thought of Wiki, and joined and started working on it.

I got one comment that said they liked what I was doing, and then alot of my changes were deleted by someone saying that I didn't justify the changes.

I want to continue to create this complete list that doesn't exist anywhere else, so I have copied the list prior to all the deletions and I am updating that copy on FrontPage on my PC.



I restored Michael's changes again. I can not see why they need to be deleted. In fact I think they are valuable information to anyone researching artificial sweeteners. Can the people who want to delete the info please explain why it must go? Let's work together and reach a consensus. -- FP <talk><edits> 09:07, May 12, 2005 (UTC)


I think the data is best displayed in tables. I have developed the tables below but they still need tweaking before going on the page.

Natural sugar substitutes[edit]

Name Sweetness
compared to sucrose (by mass)
Energy content
compared to sucrose (by mass)
E Number Warnings
Erythritol 0.7 0.05
Glycyrrhizin 50
Glycerol 0.6 1.075 E422
Hydrogenated starch hydrolysates 0.4 – 0.9 0.75
Isomalt 0.45 – 0.65 0.5 E963
Lactitol 0.4 0.5 E966
Maltitol 0.9 0.525 E965
Mannitol 0.5 0.4 E421
Sorbitol 0.6 0.65 E420
Stevia 250
Tagatose 0.92 0.38
Thaumatin 2000 E957
Xylitol 1.0 0.6 E967

Your table here, and your edits to the main article page, exhibit a gross misunderstanding of the numbers which used to appear here. What you should have is something along these lines

Name Sweetness compared to sucrose E Number Warnings
by mass by energy content
Erythritol 0.7 14

If you want to add energy density values, maybe

Name Sweetness compared to sucrose Energy density
E Number Warnings
by mass by energy content
Erythritol 0.7 14 0.85

or even

Name Sweetness compared to sucrose Energy density
compared to sucrose
E Number Warnings
by mass by energy content
Erythritol 0.7 14 0.05

Gene Nygaard 13:26, 12 May 2005 (UTC)

Not guaranteeing I haven't made a gross error in calculating that 14 from 0.7/0.05, But as my brain processes it now it seems that this would be right if the 0.7 times as sweet as sucrose by mass and 0.05 times the food energy per unit of mass are correct. Gene Nygaard 13:40, 12 May 2005 (UTC)

I guess maybe I don't understand what the original numbers were in the list. What I think would be beneficial in this table to most people would be the two data metrics I see commonly talked about in relationship to sugar substitutes:

- How sweet the substance is relative to sugar

ie - isomalt has 45% to 65% the sweetness of sugar, so isomalt has 0.45x-0.65x the sweetness of sugar

- How do their calories compare with sugar?

ie - isomalt has 2.0 calories per gram and sugar has 4.0 calories per gram, so isomalt has 0.5x the calories as sugar

What were the meanings of the original numbers in the list?


It sure looked to me that they were saying that a gram of erythritol is 0.7 times as sweet as a gram of sucrose, but a quantity of erythritol with a kilojoule of food energy is 14 times as sweet as sucrose the amount of sucrose with a kilojoule of food energy. It is the latter measurement—which is the one you dropped—that people are likely to be most interested in. How many kilojoules or calories is it going to take to achieve the same sweetening that I would get using table sugar? Gene Nygaard 15:46, 12 May 2005 (UTC)
I see what you're getting at now. Just to be clear... you're not saying our table was factually incorrect in any significant way; rather it was just lacking some pertinent data, right? -- FP <talk><edits> 01:20, May 14, 2005 (UTC)
I'm saying that some of the factual information was dropped, and replaced with less useful information, because you two didn't understand that there are two different ways of comparing sweetness. I haven't even checked to see if the changed numbers agree with the old ones, in those few cases whre the old ones existed. Another problem is that many of the old numbers did not indicate the basis on which the sweetness was compared--there were only a few of them with both numbers. Gene Nygaard 01:36, 14 May 2005 (UTC)
I don't understand, what information was "dropped"? All I saw was Michael adding information on E-numbers and energy density. Ok, I see now. I actually do understand there are two ways of calculating sweetness, I just misunderstood what the problem was about - I assumed that Michael was adding information on sweetness by mass and now see that wasn't at all clear to other readers. -- FP <talk><edits> 04:48, May 14, 2005 (UTC)
No, the biggest problem isn't that it "wasn't at all clear to other readers". The problem is that it not only was not clear to Michael, but the article was messed up by Michael, whose intentions were good but who did not understand exactly what he was doing. Take a look at and compare these two, which were:
  • Xylitol — 1x (by weight), 1.5x (by energy content)
    Tagatose — 0.92x (by weight), 0.38x (by energy content)
and which are now
  • Tagatose — 0.92x sweetness, 0.38x calories
    Xylitol — 1.0x sweetness, 0.6x calories, E967
The first thing to notice is the missing prepositional phrase, "0.38x (by energy content)" changed to a noun in to "0.38x calories". I don't know for sure which is correct for tagatose; I'd guess that since User:Michaeljosephcleary is confused by this, that he is the one who is wrong.
It is clearer in the case of xylitol, where he did in fact change the number (maybe he did in both of them, and somebody changed one of them back again). Note that if the sweetness by weight is 1.0x and the sweetness by energy content is 1.5x sucrose, then the energy density of sylitol shold be 2/3 as much as sucrose, or about 0.67 times. If the 0.6x is a better number, say one that could be accurately stated as 0.60x the energy density of sucrose, then if xylitol is 1.0x the sweetness of sucrose by mass, it is 1.0/0.60 or about 1 2/3 times the sweetness by energy content.
Does this help you to see the problem?
Now I'm going to go fix the numbers. I gave User:Michaeljosephcleary an opportunity to do so, and he hasn't taken advantage of it. So I'll do it based on my best guesses as to what the numbers really are. Gene Nygaard 09:51, 14 May 2005 (UTC)

I have read the comments by Gene, and have been researching energy information regarding joule. Before anyone goes and starts recalculationg all of the valuse, lets agree on what data elements should be in the table.

Name Sweetness (relative to sucrose) expressed as n.nnx Energy (up for discussion) Regulation (EU and FDA status) Warnings (laxative effects, PKU, etc...)

I am not sure what numbers to put in Energy, other than mass based energy content expressed in both Calories and joules.

What other fields can you think of for the natural sugar substitutes?

Michaeljosephcleary 10:39, 14 May 2005 (UTC)

Artificial sugar substitutes[edit]

Name Company Sweetness
compared to sucrose (by mass)
Energy content
compared to sucrose (by mass)
E Number FDA approval
Acesulfame Nutrinova 200 E950 Approved 2003
Alitame Pfizer 2000 Pending Approval
Aspartame NutraSweet 200 E951 Approved 1981
Cyclamate Abbott 30 E952 Banned 1969, pending reapproval
Dulcin 250 Banned 1950
Neohesperidine dihydrochalcone 1500 E959
Neotame NutraSweet 8000 Approved 2002
Saccharin E954 Approved 1958
Sucralose Tate & Lyle 600 Approved 1999

I like the idea of putting the data in a table. It looks better than in a simple list.

Sweetness and Energy are wasting alot of horizontal space, can the columnar headings be One word each, and then put a footnote after the table to describe the field contents in detail. Also, I am flexible in what the heading are (Sweet/Energy), but most people do not know that a calorie represents energy, so it should be somewhere in the footnote.

If space is freed, you can add an FDA column to the right of E-Number. Again, maybe the heading can be EU, with a footnote talking of EU E-Number and a date. I could see similiar info in the FDA field.

Thanks for your good work...

Also, the same fields in both tables should be the same width (as thin as possible to preserve space).

Once sized correctly, we can see if room is available to add another column and what that might be...

According to that table, Dulcin was banned in 1950, but according to the wiki page on Dulcin, "However, an FDA study in 1951 raised many questions about its safety resulting in its removal from the market in 1954 after animal testing revealed unspecified carcinogenic properties." Of course I might be assuming incorrectly that banned and removal from market are the same. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:14, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

Move Request[edit]

Also, I think that I put in a move request from Acesulfame to Acesulfame potassium.

As it sits now, the name Acesulfame potassium has two links, one to Acesulfame and one to potassium. At this level it should be one link to Acesulfame potassium. Acesulfame potassium can link to potassium, if approiate.

Any comments?

There is a redirect in place. You can just link to Acesulfame potassium. -- FP <talk><edits> 01:08, May 14, 2005 (UTC)

2.4 Sucralose controversy[edit]

I added this section today with a few items in it. Feel free to nurture it...

Sugar substitutes - Working Table[edit]

Name RS kcal/g xxxx Regulatory Type Products
Inulin 0.1 1 Carbohydrate RAFTILINE(ORAFTI), Oliggo-Fiber™ Inulin(Cargill)
Hydrogenated starch hydrolysates 0.25–0.5 3 Sugar Alcohol Hystar(Associated British Foods/SPI Polyols)
Stachyose 0.28 Carbohydrate Xi'an Dapeng Biotechnology
Maltose 0.3 4 Malt Sugar
Galactose 0.3 4 Carbohydrate Cerebrose
Lactitol 0.3-0.4 2 E966 Sugar Alcohol LACTY(CSM/PURAC)
Isomalt 0.4 2 E953 Sugar Alcohol C*IsoMaltidex(Cargill/Cerestar), Palatinit®
Isomaltulose 0.42 Carbohydrate Palatinose(Shin Mitsui Sugar Co.)
Trehalose 0.45 Carbohydrate Ascend™ trehalose (Cargill)
Mannitol 0.5 1.6 E421 Sugar Alcohol C*Mannidex(Cargill/Cerestar), Mannogem(Associated British Foods/SPI Polyols)
Glycerol 0.55-0.75 4.3 E422 Sugar Alcohol
Sorbitol 0.6 2.6 E420 Sugar Alcohol C*Sorbidex(Cargill/Cerestar), SORBO/Sorbogem(Associated British Foods/SPI Polyols)
Erythritol 0.6-0.7 0.2 Sugar Alcohol C*Eridex(Cargill/Cerestar)
Tagatose 0.75-0.92 1.5 Carbohydrate Naturlose(Spherix/BioSpherix)
Maltitol 0.9 2.1 E965 Sugar Alcohol C*Maltidex(Cargill/Cerestar), Maltisweet(Associated British Foods/SPI Polyols)
Sucrose 1.0 4 Sugar
Xylitol 1.0 2.4 E967 Sugar Alcohol C*Xylidex(Cargill/Cerestar), Xylitol(CSM/PURAC)
Fructose 1.17 4 Fruit Sugar
Cyclamate 30-40 0 E952, FDA Banned 1969, pending re-approval Sulfamate Abbott
Glycyrrhizin 50-100 0 Glycoside Magnasweet (MAFCO WORLDWIDE CORPORATION)
Periandin V 90-100 Glycoside From the the rhizomes of Periandra dulcis L. (Leguminosae) (a.k.a Brazilian licorice)
Mabinlin 100 Protein Isolated from the bear fruit of Capparis Masaikai.
Aspartame 160-220 4 Discovered 1965, E951, FDA Approved 1981, Offpatent 1992 Dipeptide derivative Canderel,Equal,NutraSweet,Sweetex(Merisant)
Rubusoside 200 Glycoside Rubososide is extracted from the leaves of the Chinese Blackberry Bush (Rubus Suavissimus S. Lee).
Acesulfame potassium 200 0 E950, FDA Approved 2003 Sulfamate Nutrinova
Saccharin 200-700 0 E954, FDA Approved 1958 Sulfamate SweetMate,Sucaryl(Merisant)
Rebaudioside A 240-400 Glycoside From Stevia rebaudiana (Bertoni).
Stevia 250 Glycosides
Dulcin 250 FDA Banned 1950 Phenylurea
Mogroside V 250-425 Glycoside From Fruit of Lo Han Kuo (Momordica Grosvenori Swingle or Siraitia Grosveroni Swingle)
Phyllodulcin 300-400 CAS#480-46-6 Dihydroisocoumarin Isolated from the leaves of Hydrangea macrophylla Seringe var. thunbergii MAKINO
Aspartame-acesulfame salt 350-400 E962 Dipetptide sulfamate Twinsweet
Trilobatin 400-1000 Glycoside Dihydrochalcone glycoside from Symplococos paniculata Miq. (Simplocaceae), a.k.a. sweetleaf, sapphire berry, lodhra (Sanskrit) or ludh (Hindi).
Perillartin 400-2000 Glycoside Monoterpenoid from leaves, seeds and flowering tops of Perilla frutescens (L.) Britton (Labiatae) from India
Osladin 500 Steroidal Saponins From the fern of Polypodium vulgate L. (polypodiaceae)
Pentadin 500 Protein Isolated from fruit of Pentadiplandra brazzeana Baillon (Africa)
Curculin 550 Protein Isolated from the fruit of Curculigo latifolia (Malaysia)
Siamenoside I 563 Glycoside From Fruit of Lo Han Kuo (Momordica Grosvenori Swingle or Siraitia Grosveroni Swingle)
Sucralose 600 0 FDA Approved 1999 Sugar derivative Splenda(Johnson & Johnson/McNeil Nutritionals)
Neohesperidine dihydrochalcone 1,500 E959 Glycoside citrosa® (Exquim S.A.)
Alitame 2,000 Pending FDA Approval Dipeptide derivative Aclame(Pfizer)
Brazzein 500-2,000 Protein Isolated from the fruit of an African plant Pentadiplandra brazzeana Baillon
Monellin 1,500-3,000 Protein Bio Resources International
Thaumatin 1,600-3,000 E957, FDA-GRASS 3732 Protein Talin (Overseal)
P-4000 4,000 FDA Banned 1950 Nitroaniline
Neotame 8,000 0 FDA Approved 2002 Dipeptide derivative NutraSweet
Sucrooctate 162,000 Guanidine
Carrelame 200,000 Guanidine
Sucrononate 200,000 Guanidine
Bernadame 200,000 Guanidine
Lugduname 230,000 Guanidine
Miraculin sweet-inducing activity Glyco-protein Bio Resources International

RS is relative sweetness to sucrose (by weight)

  • Cyclamate, Dulcin, P-4000 — FDA Title 21, Subchapter B, Food For Human Consumption, Part 189 Substances Prohibited From Use In Human Food. [1]
  • Carrelame, Lugduname, Sucrononate, Sucrooctate — D. Glaser. Specialization and phyletic trends of sweetness reception in animals. Pure Appl. Chem., Vol. 74, No. 7, pp. 1153–1158, 2002. [2]
  • Protein — R. Kant. Sweet proteins – Potential replacement for artificial low calorie sweeteners. Nutrition Journal 2005, 4:5 doi:10.1186/1475-2891-4-5. [3]
  • Sugar Alcohol — Sugar Alcohols Fact Sheet. September 2004. International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation. [4]
  • Erythritol, Fructose, Glycerol, Isomalt, Lactitol, Maltitol, Maltose, Mannitol, Sorbitol, Sucrose, Xylitol — Polyol Comparison Chart [5]
  • Alternative Sweeteners, Third Edition. Lyn O’Brien Nabors (editor)
  • Taste Effectiveness in Kangaroos (Wallabia bicolor bicolor) to Various Compounds Sweet in Humans. D. Glaser, J.M. Tinti and C. Nofre. Abtract from "TOSTQ 7" Sweet Taste Conference Dijon 24th - 25th of September 2001. [6]


  • Associated British Foods/SPI Polyols — Products [7]
  • Cargill/Cerestar — Products [8]
  • Cargill - Product [9]
  • Spherix/BioSpherix — Products [10] SEC 10-K [11]
  • CSM/PURAC — Products [12], Annual Report [13]
  • Johnson & Johnson/McNeil Nutritionals — Products [14], SEC 10-K [15]
  • Merisant — Products [16], SEC 10-K [17]
  • Pfizer — Products [18], SEC 10-K [19]
  • Bio Resources International, Inc [20]
  • Xi'an Dapeng Biotechnology [21]
  • Overseal [22]
  • Exquim [23]
  • ORAFTI [24]

Woking Table Comments[edit]

Some suggestions, Michael
  • Make better use of the preview button, so that the history does not reflect all of your failed attempts to make the tables work. We all have to come back and correct ourselves now and then because we didn't get it right the first time, but it should not happen so many times in a row.
  • You need to explain all the acronyms used in your headers. What the heck is "RES"?
    • That includes explaining the basis of the comparison of sweetness, in the current version only by weight.
  • Why have you removed the sweetness by energy content information, something which was here for some of them even before you started editing? This is basically irrelevant, and should not be included, for high intensity sweeteners. But it is often the most relevant consideration in low intensity sweeteners.
  • You also need to explain your likely-to-confuse "kcal/g" units. This is not 1000 times the calories which are used in this context, which are the large calorie or kilogram calorie or food calorie. They are 1000 times a different, mostly obsolete small calorie or gram calorie which used to be used in chemistry and physics, and which has now been pretty much totally replaced by the joule in those contexts.
  • The table should also include kJ/g (or equivalent MJ/kg)
    • Calories are not part of the modern metric system, the International System of Units. They are not acceptable for use with the SI, either.
    • Joules are the primary units used in this context in some places such as Australia.
    • European nutrition labels also are required to include energy in joules.
  • Is this just a random ordering? Maybe you shoulg throw out your ideas about the order in which they should be listed for discussion here.
  • That's also true in a more general sense; since you still have this table on the Talk page as a suggestion, when you make changes in the way it is arranged, throw in a little comment telling us what you are doing any why, so that you can get some feedback as to the reasonableness of your thinking. That's the whole purpose of putting it on the talk page before putting it into the article, isn't it? Gene Nygaard 12:57, 20 May 2005 (UTC)

  • Gene, thanks for all of your input. I have been using the preview function, but based on how I go do research and then add some info to the web page I end up doing many small edits. Is there a way to delete the intermediate versions? I was going to do this building of the page in the sandbox, but that sounded like it would be deleted by the system at some point.
  • At some point all of the columns will be fully documented and actually contain data. :) The RES column is nothing, but could be the home of joules.
  • The table is sorted in ascending relative sweetness.
  • There are a few more natural sugars to add to the list, but I am holding off until I find good references.
  • As far as the kcal/g goes, from reading some information about it, kcal/g appears to be the same as Calories/g; but definetly to finalize the table, we need to finalize the column headings and the footnotes or explanations of the columns.
  • On a move forward, I have not been including sweetness by energy content, as from beeming around the inet, I usually only see relative sweetness to sucrose and calories. Basically, as sweeteners get sweeter, less sweetener is added to get the desired sweetness flavor, and more bulking agents might be added, if needed.
  • Here are the current columns: Name, RS, kcal/g, RES(Will become joules), Regulatory, Type and Products. Please think about changes to the columns and/or additional columns.

Michaeljosephcleary 16:47, 20 May 2005 (UTC)

Yes, kcal/g is indeed the same as calories per gram. Very confusing; that's why it needs to be explained, if that's what you use. Note that the notion that the large calories are always written as "Calories" with a capital letter is the figment of the imagination of some authors of textbooks in some fields such as chemistry (where this particular flavor of calories, the large calorie family, hasn't been used to any extent in over half a century). It is not a generally followed practice. Note also that it is a useless convention of no utility whatsoever in contexts where it would be capitalized in any case. In particular, when "Calories" is used not just as a unit of measure, but also as a substitute for the quantity being measured, on some nutrition labels such as those common in the United States, it is the first word of a line in the table, capitalized just like "Sugars" and "Iron" are capitalized.
I don't understand the point about "RES" and "joules".
  • If you just mean to provide both joules per gram, and food calories per gram, then use the rowspan/colspan options in the table to group them together.
"Relative sweetness" needs to be disambiguated to show that you are talking about "relative sweetness by weight" even if you delete the information about "relative sweetness by energy content". In both cases, it is "relative to sucrose".
"Relevant sweetness by energy content" should not be deleted for low-intensity sweeteners. People want to know that achieving the same sweetness using sucrose as they get with a substitute will cost them the consumption of three times (or whatever) as much food energy in terms of joules or calories. This isn't important for high-intensity sweeteners, because zero is a sufficient approximation of the food energy added by the sweetener (any particular fillers used might change this, however, if you ever deal with particular formulations based on the sweeteners in that way). Gene Nygaard 14:56, 21 May 2005 (UTC)
This table is a great idea. Why hasn't it been integrated in the main article? I'd also like to see a version of the table that's normalized on sweetness. In other words, for one gram of sucrose, how much of each substitute would be equivalent and how many calories would it contain? This is not easy information for the layman to calculate from the current working table, much less from the article's raw list. I also sympathize with the earlier comment about "taste". The table needs a "taste" column if that information can be found for many of the sweeteners. I further sympathize with the comments about consumers' ignorance! Wikipedia is in a good position to offer a meta-analysis of the current state of artificial sweeteners with quantified information and links to primary sources, e.g. studies that show risk or lack of risk with particular sweeteners. If the table is truly orphaned, I suppose there won't be an objection to me replacing the current raw list with the table? Chambm42 (talk) 17:02, 10 March 2011 (UTC)

Article Reorganization[edit]

I like the idea of merging and removing all of the proposed articles.

I do believe that it would make more sense then to rename this article (Sugar_substitute) to Sweeteners, which would me more approiate.

Michaeljosephcleary 06:53, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I came here from (Honey) by clicking on (Sweeteners) and found an article about artificial sweeteners. While I have no problem with "Sugar substitute" as the article title, I'm not sure "sweeteners" by itself is a good redirect. In my mind, "sweeteners" means all sweeteners, including plain old sugar. (talk) 21:10, 14 January 2014 (UTC)

Natural sugar substitutes vs. polyols[edit]

The way paragraph 5 is currently phrased makes it sound like naturally-occurring sweeteners like xylitol and sorbitol are not polyols. After listing xylitol as sorbitol as "natural sugar substitutes," in paragraph 5, polyols are called "another important group of non-sugar sweeteners" in paragraph 6. It is my understanding that xylitol and sorbitol are polyols. The polyol article lists them as polyols. I think this article should be clarified to state that xylitol and sorbitol are natural sugar substitutes AND polyols, but I wouldn't want to edit incorrectly. Is this accurate? JordeeBec 21:35, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

Delisted GA[edit]

Hi. I have removed this article from the Wikipedia:Good article listing due to the following:

  • No references. One of the GA criteria is that a reference section must be provided. Inline citations are preferred but not required. When this issue has been addressed, please feel free to re-nominate. Thanks! 04:06, 25 March 2006 (UTC)


My girlfriend discovered a sweetener used in gum in S Korea called Zylatol. From what she heard Zylatol is good in most of the ways that sugar and artificial sweeteners are bad - helps teeth, helps cholesterol, better absorption (no blood sugar spikes), all natural and more.

Is this the sweetener in regular Trident? - Is Zylatol available as a powdered sweetener in other countries? Can we find enough information, especially scientific, to add this possible wonder sweetener to the list?

I think you mean Xylitol? See alternate Wikipedia articles MrAnderson7 (talk) 21:41, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

sweetness factors[edit]

Does anyone here know how the sweetness factors e.g. 250x for stevia are measured, actually?--ChainSuck-Jimmy 07:56, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

Relative sweetness (RS) of sweet ingredients are evaluated against sucrose solution by expert panel. It can be evaluated on a weight basis or molar basis. Scientists will use the latest methodology, while product developers or supplier companies will do it by Weight. Basically you make sucrose solution at different concentration (e.g. 10, 20, 30, 40.. g/L) and compare them one by one to a solution containing stevia (or any other sweetener). For example 250x sweeter than sucrose on a weight basis means that the sweetness of 0.1g of stevia in 1 litre will be similar to 25 g of sugar in 1 litre. Beware that the relative sweetness can change with the sweetner concentration. Stevia is only 200 times sweeter than sucrose at higher level. The same apply for sucralose which is sometime 700 hundred times sweeter (at low concentration) and sometime 500 times when used at high concentration. It is for that it is commonly agreed to have an RS of 600. The other factor to take into account is the purity of the ingredients you assess. Sensonet 12:58, 24 October 2007 (UTC)


This page doesn't mention that common sugar substitutes do not taste anything like real sugar - are bitter, and extremally easily differentiated from sugar in taste test. Need citations for this though. Btxg (talk) 01:11, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

Controversy over health section[edit]

Why is this here? It's biased, unreferenced, and written in a childish manner.

"Most artificial sweeteners cause problems. Aspartame causes brain failure. Acesulfame K causes cancer. Artificial sweetener except Tagatose and Xylitol are very bad for you. Stevia has dichlorofructose which has an unknown effect and could be extremely dangerous. People should stay away from artificial sweeteners." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:00, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

Has been removed, thanks Kittenhoarder (talk) 06:09, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
There's a new problem. The Stevia section of the article reads like a sales pitch. Bias? (talk) 04:45, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
There is still some BS about cancer here. Seriously? This is why I will not support Wikipedia and the fact it's the most powerful site of its type in the net is making it very dangerous. There is no evidence that these products cause cancer in humans YET and until the there is, this entire remark ships be removed. The biggest cause of cancer today is being fat and the biggest cause of being fat is too much bloody sugar! Sorry for ranting but I've lost too many friends to cancer to listen to this twaddle or see it spread without good reason. (talk) 00:06, 29 January 2016 (UTC)
What exactly are you objecting to? The article states that aspartame and saccharin had both been suspected carcinogens, but goes on to explain that such fears are no longer grounded. This is far more informative than simply not mentioning cancer at all. The article also states "As of 2015 it is unclear if artificial sweeteners affect the risk of cancer." This appears to be a reasonable summary of this review, which concludes "Although there are indications that heavy, prolonged consumption might increase the risk of certain cancers, the evidence for this is inconclusive. ... Further large-scale epidemiological studies in humans on the effects of sweetening agents on cancers other than that of the bladder and the brain are necessary to establish the safety of these common food additives." If there are similarly reliable sources that are more positive about artificial sweeteners' safety, or that support their use to reduce cancer risk, I'd welcome their inclusion. Adrian J. Hunter(talkcontribs) 01:25, 29 January 2016 (UTC)


Why is Agave nectar/extract/etc not on this list? I've found this to taste better than the natural ones i've tried (Stevia, Xylitol etc) it's easier to obtain and cheaper at least in my experience. Not sure why it's nowhere to be found on this page.... —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sduibek (talkcontribs) 15:01, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

Because Agave nectar IS sugar. its not a sugar substitute. It may have a better glycemic index than some other sugars, but its fully caloric, and not a substitute that will reduce caloric intake.(mercurywoodrose) (talk) 21:25, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

the list of sugar substitutes is not complete in the article[edit]

theres more sugar substitutes listed in this discussion than on the actual article. can someone complete the list . Most notably its missing truvia and the other newer stevia derrived sweeteners. Id personally like people to become more aware of these stevia based sweeteners so they will gain in popularity and finally end up in most softdrinks and candies and ice cream etc etc etc. Since its from a plant im quite certain in my mind that its by far the safest sweetener of all . —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:23, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

Truvia is a brand name product, a combination of nonnutritive sweeteners, i believe. other stevia derived sweeteners are of course covered by the link to stevia. i know you can buy powdered stevia flowers, which is a green powder with a stronger licorice flavor than stevia extract. just like licorice roots (from whose form were developed the candy licorice sticks) are naturally sweet without sugar, due to the glycorryzine (sic) in them. again, the link we have suffices, i believe. (mercurywoodrose) (talk) 21:25, 21 September 2010 (UTC)


I have met two people with extremely weird views on the subject: one person who thought "soda" didnt have sugar in it. for him, sugar drinks were things like Kool aid, and soda was ok as it didnt have sugar. another person thought that diet soda had sugar in it. to quote "they have syrup, which is just sugar". i wonder if there have been any studies to find out what people really understand. I suspect a lot of consumers may think that high fructose corn syrup is NOT sugar, while others may have become convinced that soda is now sugar free, considering how prominent diet soda is. I also wonder if some people think that diet soda is a trick, and really has sugar. people...are...ignorant.(mercurywoodrose) (talk) 21:31, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

allot of regular soda these days also use sweeteners, the industry likes to confuse people so they don't care anymore (and it's working) Markthemac (talk) 12:22, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

Diets cause weight gain[edit]

I am dumbfounded at the fact that it is not well known whether diets cause weight gain or weight loss. They have been around since the 20's and have been popular for getting skinny since shortly after world war II and we don't know if it works... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:50, 24 April 2011 (UTC)

Formatting people![edit]

Xearis (talk) 11:39, 16 August 2011 (UTC) When I viewed this article earlier it was a mess. Someone had just tacked in a description of Stevia nowhere near the rest of the other common sugar substitutes used in food, and even those didn't have a proper section, they were just all added into Health issues. So I corrected it. Made a new section "Sugar substitutes commonly used in food" alphabetized the list and moved Stevia into it. While I was at it I felt the "Reasons for use" section deserved to be the first in line since since I think when most people ask about something the question just after "what is it?" is "why do we use it?/What is it used for?" So now the article is a bit less rambling and flows better in my opinion. Happy to have helped.

Why no brand names?[edit]

This article is remarkable for the absence of brand names. IMHO, most people are familiar with the names of these products, but not with the mass of material about their content. The article provides the latter, but nothing about the former. Unless there is some great objection, I intend to add a small, fully-referenced section showing the common brand names and identifying their constituent sweeteners. One good source I've found is HERE Lou Sander (talk) 13:57, 16 March 2012 (UTC)

Insulin Response --- Are you kidding me?[edit]

The article right now says "Animal studies have indicated that a sweet taste induces an insulin response in rats.[6] However, the extension of animal model findings to humans is unclear, as human studies of intragastric infusion of sucralose have shown no insulin response from analogous taste receptors."

I am sorry, but can the person who wrote the second sentence explain to my why he/she thinks that a test of an intragastric infusion contradicts the findings of the animals study that linked the sweet taste to an insulin response? Last time I looked we taste things in our mouth, which is exactly the part that is bypassed by an intragastric infusion. Therefore, both studies/experiments do not contradict eachother and really don't have any connection. But the way it's written ("However, ...") suggests that the human experiment somehow debunks the findings of the animal study. Now, I am right there with the mentioning that animal studies are not optimal for extrapolating results for humans, but it's weird to first cite a study where it's about the sweet taste and then try to contradict it by a study that purposefully eliminated the taste part. -- (talk) 19:21, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

Waistline increase from diet sodas[edit]

"Epidemiologists from the School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio reported data showing that diet soft drink consumption is associated with increased waist circumference in humans." ScienceDaily Alatari (talk) 19:32, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

Please read WP:MEDRS. Dbrodbeck (talk) 19:39, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

This is one of the worst paragraphs I've ever read on Wikipedia.[edit]

It is utterly pointless waffle.

"A 2005 study by the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio showed that increased weight gain and obesity were associated with increased use of diet soda in a population-based study. The study did not establish whether increased weight gain leads to increased consumption of diet drinks or whether consumption of diet drinks could have an effect on weight gain." (talk) 09:11, 10 August 2014 (UTC)

What does the source say? Dbrodbeck (talk) 11:51, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
I clearly remember reading in approx 1982-3 of an initial study that (essentially) found the only undesired side-effect of very high consumption of aspartame-laden soft drinks was an (apparent) induced craving for carbohydrates, but someone with a lot more time than I will have to look it up. SmarterAlec (talk) 14:28, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

/* Health issues */ Suitability of "primary sources" re reversion by User:Yobol[edit]

While I agree that a review article would be the best source for this controversial issue, User:Yobol did not provide one, but merely deleted a discussion of a new long article in the prestigious peer-reviewed journal Nature authored by a substantial and credible multi-institutional collaboration, accompanied by an independent commentary supporting its significance. We may have to wait a few years to this information to appear in a review article. Nature is a multidisciplinary journal. I'm a senior scientist in a quite different field in which many if not most scientists would consider getting such an article published in a journal such as Nature as a highlight of their career. In contrast, the reversion left in place a second-hand report of a presentation at a conference, appearing apparently without peer-review in WebMD, a commercial service financed by advertising, third-party contributions and sponsorships. (The previous item on this talk page also comments on this citation.)Layzeeboi (talk) 03:59, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

I will be replacing the entire section shortly with secondary sources. Primary sources, even those published in high impact journals, are generally not reliable for medical claims per WP:MEDRS. Yobol (talk) 04:01, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
Ok, good, thanks. Just to clarify, it wasn't mainly the high-impact journal that impressed me so much as the apparent credentials of the collaboration and their multiple modes of investigation. After you deal with my sins of wp:recentism there, you might glance with horror at more such at Mastectomy -- another new big study to impress a neophyte like me. Any good review for that issue? Layzeeboi (talk) 05:31, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

I do not have access to the nature journal article, however from the available graphics it appears that the final conclusions are limited to saccharin. If anyone has access to this pay-walled article it would be beneficial to make a distinction which sweetener is harmful. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:16, 25 September 2014 (UTC)

"Reasons for Use - Cost" ??[edit]

"Cost – many sugar substitutes are cheaper than sugar. [....]" Is there any data to support this? I'm only aware of current pricing in Canada and the US, from personal shopping at grocery stores, and I have yet to see any sweetener priced cheaper than white (beet) sugar. The last line concerning long-term storage of prepared foods might have some truth to it (at least according to the cite, but when was the last time anyone saw a Twinkie go bad?). SmarterAlec (talk) 13:38, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

Good question. I wonder though as many sugar substitutes are way sweeter than sugar the price per kg or whatever may not be as instructive as the price per, umm, unit of sweetness or something. Dbrodbeck (talk) 15:14, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
from memory, its the costs in terms of use with such a high sweetness ratio relatively little is needed. (probably also - simpler handling since its weight/sweetness ratio, that you have to heat water to get sugars to dissolve readily etc) Grocery pricing is a black art all of its own, so I wouldn't base estimates of cost based upon buying a half-kilo of sweetener cut back with other carbs as opposed to an industrial sack of it. GraemeLeggett (talk) 15:27, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Weight Loss[edit]

The section on Weight Loss quotes a single study indicating that non-caloric sweeteners have no effect on weight loss, and may actually cause weight gain. Readers may find it helpful and informative to note that this study (mostly) uses water as a control for comparison; this particular study does not consider caloric replacement effect when Non-Nutritive Sweeteners (NNS) are used as a "Sugar Substitute"... the subject of this article. When compared to water, NNS does not in general have any weight loss effect. This is exactly as most readers expect. However in studies where the comparison is between NNS and sugar (the topic of this article), weight loss actually is reported for most subjects. Because this particular study (mostly) compares NNS with a water control, and is not about NNS as a sugar substitute, many if not most readers may find the sole use of this study in a "Sugar Substitute" article to be potentially misleading. As a result, the credibility of Wikipedia may be compromised. — Preceding unsigned comment added by EvelDewar (talkcontribs) 16:43, 8 August 2017 (UTC)

Recent studies confirm that weight gain is actually likely. See
 Home » Harvard Health Blog » Artificial sweeteners: sugar-free, but at what cost? - Harvard Health Blog .. Artificial sweeteners: sugar-free, but at what cost? 
  AND A 2017 review did not find evidence supporting the use of non-nutritive sweeteners for weight loss, with a possible association of routine consumption with weight gain and risk of heart disease.Azad, Meghan B.; Abou-Setta, Ahmed M.; Chauhan, Bhupendrasinh F.; Rabbani, Rasheda; Lys, Justin; Copstein, Leslie; Mann, Amrinder; Jeyaraman, Maya M.; Reid, Ashleigh E.; Fiander, Michelle; MacKay, Dylan S.; McGavock, Jon; Wicklow, Brandy; Zarychanski, Ryan (16 July 2017). "Nonnutritive sweeteners and cardiometabolic health: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials and prospective cohort studies". Canadian Medical Association Journal. 189 (28): E929–E939. doi:10.1503/cmaj.161390. 
 A 2010 review concluded there is a correlation between consumption of artificially sweetened beverages and weight gain in children, but that no clear causal link has been determined. Brown, R. J.; de Banate, M. A.; Rother, K. I. (August 2010). "Artificial sweeteners: a systematic review of metabolic effects in youth". International Journal of Pediatric Obesity. 5 (4): 305–312. doi:10.3109/17477160903497027. PMC 2951976Freely accessible. PMID 20078374.   Research has shown that the consumption of artificial sweeteners weakens the association of sweet taste as a food cue with post-ingestive caloric sensory. Some studies explain this by indicating that such products do not fully activate the brain's "food reward pathways" as sugar does.   . PMID 20589192.  Unknown parameter |pmc/articles/PMC2892765/= ignored (help); Missing or empty |title= (help)  In turn, this can lead to the over-consumption of high-calorie sweet tasting foods when eaten in a diet alongside artificial sweeteners, which may cause weight gain.  Davidson T. L., Sample C. H., Swithers S. E. (2014). "An Application of Pavlovian Principles to the Problems of Obesity and Cognitive Decline". Neurobiology of Learning and Memory. 108: 172–184. doi:10.1016/j.nlm.2013.07.014.  Peter K Burian (talk) 20:19, 1 November 2017 (UTC)

Which sweeteners have been USA FDA approved?[edit]

This Dec. 2016 Harvard article only lists five, plus Stevia. The Wikipedia article lists more of them.

Artificial sweeteners: sugar-free, but at what cost? - Harvard Health Blog ... Artificial sweeteners: sugar-free, but at what cost? The FDA has approved five artificial sweeteners: saccharin, acesulfame, aspartame, neotame, and sucralose. It has also approved one natural low-calorie sweetener, stevia.

Is Harvard wrong or is this Wikipedia article wrong? Peter K Burian (talk) 20:23, 1 November 2017 (UTC)

CORRECTION, Stevia is not FDA approved. I don't fully understand the FDA statement about this below. (Is it NOT approved? OR Does it not require approval because it is a natural product? See the comment about this in History: revision as of 20:33, 1 November 2017)
The plant commonly known as Stevia contains steviol glycosides, which are used as sweeteners. If food ingredients, such as sweeteners, are generally recognized as safe (“GRAS”), they do not require FDA approval as a food additive. Based on its review of information and data submitted by industry in GRAS notices submitted to FDA, FDA has not questioned the GRAS status of certain high-purity steviol glycosides for use in food. These high-purity steviol glycosides may be lawfully marketed and added to food products sold in the United States. However, stevia leaf and crude stevia extracts are not considered GRAS and do not have FDA approval for use in food.

Peter K Burian (talk) 20:42, 1 November 2017 (UTC)

Stevia leaf as a sweetener is not GRAS, but high purity extracts, particularly Rebaudioside-A as is used in the sweetener Truvia, are GRAS. ~Anachronist (talk) 07:16, 11 January 2018 (UTC)
Peter K Burian: Some clarification is needed: 1) FDA does not "approve" food ingredients (like it does rigorously for drug approval), but requires manufacturers to prove ingredients are safe via the submission by the manufacturer of a GRAS portfolio of toxicology and safety evidence; 2) further, as described here, How does FDA regulate the use of high-intensity sweeteners in food?, "The use of a food additive must undergo premarket review and approval by FDA before it can be used in food", i.e., in large-scale manufacturing; 3) the steviol glycosides used as sweetening agents under various product names "stevia" are extracted from the stevia leaf, indicating controlled, reproducible, and - as the FDA emphasizes - high-purity manufacturing steps that assure product consistency and safety; 4) raw stevia leaves or crude stevia extracts have considerable potential for inconsistency and adulteration, are unlikely to be proven with evidence of safety, and so have not passed GRAS scrutiny; and 5) as one can tell from the stringent requirements for stevia extracts to achieve high-purity quality and GRAS approval, the extensive manufacturing involved can hardly lead to calling GRAS-approved steviol glycosides "natural". More broadly by the same definition, there are no "natural" sweeteners because all of them require manufacturing if they are to be proven safe and qualified as GRAS ingredients. --Zefr (talk) 14:47, 11 January 2018 (UTC)
I'll add that "natural" is an ambiguous and unregulated term in the food industry. Steviol glycosides extracted in highly pure form are "natural" only in the sense that these chemicals already exist naturally in the stevia plants. That is the sense I believe Harvard is using to describe the GRAS stevia extracts. That isn't the case for other sweeteners such as sucralose, which is a manufactured chemical that doesn't exist anywhere in nature. ~Anachronist (talk) 22:13, 11 January 2018 (UTC)

Bulking or Thickening Agents[edit]

I think a section on bulking agents would be useful. This description is too long.

Dextrin is described as a bulking agent. The most common form of Dextrin used as a bulking agent appears to be Maltodextrin. Branched Dextrins are less viscous (bulking) than unbranched Dextrins such as Maltodextrin. Unbranched Dextrins are absorbed as starch, so they increase the Glycemic Index and reduce the sweetness-to-energy ratio of sugar substitutes.

The other common Bulking or Thickening Agents are Starch, Gelatin and Dietary fiber.

Starch is a mixture of polydextrose molecules. Starch is insoluble in cold water, but when a mixture of starch and water is heated, the starch granules disintegrate and the smaller molecules (amylose) dissolve in and thicken the water, while the longer molecules are suspended. Many types of starch form a non-Newtonian fluid in water - it has low viscosity at low shear force, but the viscosity (resistance to shear) increases with shear force (when the shear force is removed, the viscosity reduces to normal). Many other bulking agents reduce in viscosity when subjected to shear force, so starch can be used to counter this change. The disadvantages of starch are the same as the disadvantages of dextrin.

Gelatin is hydrolyzed collagen, that dissolves in hot water, but thickens as it cools. It is digested as protein, so it does not increase blood sugar. In low concentrations, cold gelatin in water solution has a thickening action similar to sugar, but in higher concentrations, it forms a gel. Because its bulking action is strongly affected by temperature, it cannot be used in baking. The commercial advantage of gelatin as a food additive is that it is well known to the public, and has almost no effect on the taste of food.

Dietary fibers are not absorbed directly by the human digestive system but some types can ferment in the large intestine and the fermentation products can be absorbed. Insoluble fibers absorb water, is not usually fermented in the intestines, helps attain a feeling of fullness, but are not good food thickeners. Soluble fiber (such as agar or carrageenan) can dissolve in water forming a gelatin-like syrup or gel, but are normally almost completely fermented in the large intestine (producing absorbable nutrients, but in large amounts sometimes cause bloating and diarrhea). Gums (such as xanthan gum, locust (carob) bean gum, and guar gum) are similar to soluble fiber but are less soluble in water and less fermentable.

Dietary fiber is important in human nutrition, helping control the rate that food passes through the digestive system, preventing constipation, and some types help reduce serum cholesterol. The Daily Value of Dietary Fiber is 1.5 grams per 100 Calories. However, there is some consumer resistance to soluble fiber and gums as food additives, because people do not recognize the names. Nutritionists often combine soluble fiber with gums, but gums tend to form a clear suspension, rather than dissolving. Drbits (talk) 22:58, 10 January 2018 (UTC)