Biotechnology of Non-Nutritive Sweeteners
This chapter is a brief summary of the current FDA-approved non-nutritive sweeteners (NNS), namely synthetic saccharin, acesulfame K, sucralose, aspartame, neotame, advantame and natural stevia and luo han guo/monk fruit extracts. It also briefly reviews seven types of natural sweet proteins identified in plants, thaumatin, monellin, mabinlin, pentadin, brazzein, miraculin and curculin (neoculin) which exhibit promise as NNS. The increasing public awareness of adverse health impacts of excessive sugar consumption has created increasing consumer preference for NNS with few or no calories. In the last two decades there has been a surge in the use of NNS worldwide as a tabletop sweetener and in processed food products and beverages. The compelling benefits of NNS are that it increases the food and beverage choices with lower calorific value, and hence may help with weight management. It can promote heath by increasing the palatability of nutrient-rich foods and beverages. It also aids in the management of diabetes, hyperlipidemia, control of dental caries and some metabolic disorders.