Consider the following:
1. Sucralose
2. Aspartame
3. Xylitol
Which among the above is / are artificial sweeteners?

Answer: [A] Only 1 & 2

About Sucralose and Aspartame

The two popular artificial sweeteners are Sucralose and Aspartame. Sucralose is about 600 times sweeter than natural sugar, while aspartame is about 200 times sweeter.

Sucralose stays stable even at higher temperatures, this makes it ideal for cooking and baking. Aspartame on the other hand breaks down at higher temperatures, hence, is rarely used for cooking and baking.

Aspartame leaves a bitter aftertaste in mouth, if used in hot dishes or beverages. This is due to its breaking down at high temperatures. Aspartame also turns the food bitter if stored for long time.

Sucralose is a derivative of table sugar and is formed by selective chlorination method. Aspartame on the other hand, is a methyl ester of the dipeptide of the natural amino acids namely, L-aspartic acid and L-phenylalanine. Both of these sweeteners are white in color and come in a fine powder. The chlorine composition of Sucralose makes it particularly dangerous as chlorine is highly reactive element. Whereas, aspartame may produce highly toxic methanol after the process of hydrolysis.

Both Sucralose and aspartame score well when it comes to counting calories. While Sucralose  is absolutely free of calories, aspartame is also substantially low in calories. Sucralose is not metabolized by the body, hence, there is no further breaking down. It gets out of the body without interfering with the digestion mechanism. Aspartame, due to its low calorie content, is often used in diet soft drinks. Both these sugar substitutes provide sweetness without piling up the calories in your body. This is the biggest advantage of using sugar substitute. Although, people resort to these substitutes in an attempt to counter obesity, a research shows that people are more prone to over eat foods with these ingredients. This eventually leads to obesity.


About Xylitol:

Xylitol is a natural sugar substitute safe for diabetics. It is not an artificial sweetner but is a natural sugar alcohol sweetner found in the fibers of many fruits and vegetables, and can be extracted from various berries, oats, and mushrooms, as well as fibrous material such as corn husks and sugar cane bagasse. Xylitol is roughly as sweet as sucrose with only two-thirds the food energy.

This question is a part of GKToday's Integrated IAS General Studies Module