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Current application status and development prospects of sweeteners(3)

Views: 89     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2023-03-28      Origin: Site


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Functional sweeteners

Functional sweeteners are sweeteners that, in addition to giving sweetness to food, have some special physiological functions. It mainly includes two categories: polyols and oligosaccharides.


Polyols are made from the hydrogenation of corresponding sugars, which are not easily digested and absorbed, and are low-calorie sweeteners; they are not used by oral microorganisms and have anti-caries function; they are water-soluble dietary fibres and have some functions of cellulose, which can prevent constipation; in addition, they also have moisturising function.



Sorbitol is a traditional variety, only about 0.5 times sweeter than cane sugar, while the price is twice as much as cane sugar, mainly used in chewing gum, mints and toothpaste, for its refreshing taste.


Xylitol is one times sweeter than sucrose and has a similar range of applications to sorbitol. Xylitol was synthesised as early as 1891 and is produced commercially through the hydrolysis of xylan-containing substances. Xylitol lowers the body's transaminases and is a liver-protective drug for hepatitis patients. It is also an important sweetener suitable for diabetics.


Mannitol is a sweetener made by hydrogenation of mannose extracted from kelp, which has a particularly good flavour quality and is very beneficial to human health. However, due to resource constraints, it cannot be produced in large quantities and its price is the highest of all sugar alcohol sweeteners.


Oligosaccharide is a general term for sugars consisting of 2 to 10 monosaccharides polymerised by glycosidic bonds. Sucrose, lactose and maltose are also oligosaccharides, but they do not have physiological functions such as preventing dental caries, lowering blood pressure and promoting the proliferation of bifidobacteria, so they are called common oligosaccharides.

The main advantages of oligosaccharides, such as coumarin, lactone sugar, palatinose, sucrose oligosaccharide, soybean oligosaccharide, oligosaccharide, lactulose oligosaccharide and gentian oligosaccharide, are that they are low in caloric energy and are hardly digested and absorbed by the body, so they do not cause changes in blood glucose values or insulin levels when taken. It is also suitable for people with diabetes, obesity and hypertension; it is not easily used by oral microorganisms and has anti-caries function; it is a water-soluble dietary fibre that can prevent constipation and colon cancer; it can strengthen bifidobacteria in the human intestine and improve human immunity. Functional oligosaccharides are of great importance to the food, chemical, pharmaceutical and feed industries. Functional oligosaccharides have been commercialised in the Japanese and European markets. China started late, but the development of new types of oligosaccharides has been included in the focus of the development of China's food industry in the 21st century.

Other natural sweeteners

These include glycyrrhizin (Clycyr- rhizin) extracted from the roots of liquorice, MogrosideV, a sweet ingredient extracted from Luo Han Guo, Monellin, a sweet ingredient extracted from the West African plant Dioscoreophyllum Cummlnsji Diel, red berries, Hydran-gea thunbergii, sweet tea lactone (Phylod-ulein) from the leaves of Hydran-gea thunbergii, etc. This area is still being extensively explored in the search for even better natural sweeteners.


An ideal sweetener should be physiologically safe; have a refreshing, pure, sugar-like sweetness; be low in calories; be highly sweet; be chemically and biologically stable; not cause dental caries; and be reasonably priced. Taking all aspects into consideration, functional sweeteners are increasingly popular and used because they can satisfy people's preference for sweet food without causing side effects, and can enhance human immunity and have certain auxiliary therapeutic effects on liver disease and diabetes. Therefore, with the development of social economy and people's health awareness, the development of functional sweeteners to meet the needs of human health will become the development direction of the world's food additives.

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