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Sugar alternatives leave bitter taste.

The most important factor in what type of sweetener people prefer has little to do with how sweet it is. Rather, it more depends on other tastes, such as bitterness or sourness, report researchers from Ohio State University, Columbus.

Food scientists asked college students to rate 13 different sweeteners, based on how much bitter, sour, and metallic tastes they perceived with each substance. Many of these compounds are found in items such as diet soda, gum, candy, and Jell-O, and some can be used for baking.

Not surprisingly, sugar rates highest, with sucralose (brand name Splenda), a sweetener derived from sugar, the most acceptable alternative. The researchers attribute this to its lack of a noticeable sour or bitter taste.

"So many sugar substitutes have an unpleasant taste," says Jeannine Delwiche, assistant professor of food science and technology and co-author of the study. "Understanding how people perceive these tastes may help create a sugar substitute that is more palatable. That ultimately means making tastier products with fewer calories.

"Sugar is the gold standard for companies that make artificial sweeteners. But it's packed with calories. Most of these other substances have few to no calories."
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Title Annotation:Artificial Sweeteners
Publication:USA Today (Magazine)
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2006
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