The science of nutrition and healthy eating
The science of nutrition and healthy eating

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The science of nutrition and healthy eating

4 Sweeteners

Described image
Figure 8 Different packets sweetener sachets.

Sweeteners are used in some foods to reduce the energy from food, in an attempt to reduce obesity. There have been many headlines about the safety of sweeteners. In 2010, there was a Panel discussion about sweeteners and they came up with ten points in a document called ’The Science of Low Calorie Sweeteners – separating fact from fiction’.

Low calorie sweeteners are food additives that provide a sweet taste with very few calories (Table 4). Click on this link and read the document: The science of low calorie sweeteners – separating fact from fiction [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] (British Nutrition Foundation, 2010)

Table 4 Sweeteners used in the UK to reduce the amount of sucrose (table sugar) which provides 4kcal/gram

Type of sweetener Name E number Acceptable daily intake (ADI)

mg/kg body weight

Energy provided Comments
Bulk sugar alcohols:








None specified 2.4 kcal/g


10g/100g or more require a warning statement as it can lead to gastrointestinal side effects in sensitive individuals.




acesulfame K (ace K)









200 times sweeter than sucrose

Ace K: cannot be used by people with PKU

Intense stevia E960 4 zero Plant based: 200–300 times sweeter than sucrose
Intense sucralose E955 15 zero 600 times sweeter than sucrose
Intense neotame E961 None specified zero 7000 times sweeter than sucrose

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