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Sugar Substitutes, their Benefits and Concerns

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Choose one sugar substitute and describe what makes this substance unique.
Today artificial sweeteners and other sugar substitutes are found in a variety of food and beverages. Identify three food products that contain a sugar substitute.
a. Explain why is it advantageous (to you the consumer and the producer of the product) to include the sugar substitute instead of natural sugar in the food products you identified.
b. Why do you think that the use of marketing claims such as "sugar-free" or "diet" are powerful tools?
c. Have you ever purchased a product based on these marketing claims?
i. Did you research why the product was able to make the claim?
ii. Will your research from this Discussion change your purchasing choices? Why?
Compare and contrast one health benefit and one health concern with regards to the use of artificial sweeteners.
a. Do you think that the benefits are greater that of the concerns? Explain.
b. Explain why there is a growing concern that these artificial sweeteners are addictive
(please provide references Please)

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Solution Preview

Hi,
I have explained in details about sugar substitutes, the pros and cons, the popular food and beverages they are widely used. Also are explained some of the concerns that are circulating among the general public. Please go through the references.
**Attachment: MS word Document

SUGAR SUBSTITUTES:
Flavor of food and drinks are enhanced by substances known as "Sugar Substitutes", which are either chemically prepared or are plant-based substances. Other names used to describe sugar substitutes are "artificial sweeteners" or "non-caloric sweeteners." They can be used as a tabletop sweetener (for example, to sweeten a glass of iced tea) or as an ingredient in processed foods and drinks. Usually sugar substitutes are several times more sweeter to taste than the common sugar "Sucrose". That's why only small quantity of the sugar substitute may be used to achieve the same level of sweetness as by the common sugar. There are low calorie and also zero calorie sugar substitutes in the market. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) administration strictly regulates the use and application of sugar substitutes as food additives. Only after a thorough research and scientific literature review a sugar substitute is approved for use as food or drink additive by the FDA. Following are the various types of foods & drinks where sugar substitutes are being used:
• Zero calorie soft drinks (Diet Coke & Pepsi).
• Processed foods
• Baked goods
• Powdered drink mixes
• Candy
• Puddings
• Canned foods
• Jams and jellies
• Dairy products
• Several other foods and beverages.
• Artificial sweeteners are also popular for home use. Some can even be used in baking or cooking.

FDA approved sugar substitutes:
FDA has approved the following sugar substitutes as food additives:
• Acesulfame K (brand names: Sunett and Sweet One)
• Advantame
• Aspartame (two brand names: Equal and Nutrasweet)
• Neotame (brand name: Newtame)
• Saccharin (two brand names: Sweet 'N Low and Sweet Twin)
• Sucralose (brand name: Splenda)
• Highly purified stevia extracts called "steviol glycosides" (two brand names: Pure Via and Truvia)
• Monk fruit extracts (two brand names: Monk Fruit in the Raw and PureLo) are sugar substitutes that are "generally recognized as safe" (GRAS).
• FDA approved sugar alcohols as sugar substitutes, like mannitol, sorbitol, and xylitol.

BENEFITS OF USING SUGAR SUBSTITUTES, ADVANTAGES OVER NORMAL SUGAR:
• Sugar substitutes provide sweetness and enhance the flavor of food without adding the calories of sugar or without raising the blood sugar levels. Diabetic patients concerned about the amount of sugar consumed, the sugar substitutes provide a good and healthy alternative.
• The reason artificial sweeteners generally don't raise blood sugar level is because they are not carbohydrates. But because of concerns about how sugar substitutes are labeled and categorized, it advised to always check with one's doctor or dietitian before using any sugar substitutes if someone has diabetes.
• One benefit of artificial sweeteners is that they don't contribute to tooth decay and cavities unlike products which are made up of normal sugar.
• Sugar substitutes are helpful for those who are trying to control the amount of calories consumed. Most of the commercial foods and drinks labeled as "light," "reduced calorie," and "sugar-free" are made up of these substitutes. The reduced calorie or zero calorie characteristics of sugar substitutes is due to ...

Solution Summary

The material above discusses about sugar substitutes, their benefits to diabetics and general public. It also points out the various concerns which are prevalent about these sugar additives and how valid those claims are actually. The sugar substitute ACESULFAME POTASSIUM has been explained in details including the anecdote about its accidental discovery. Several references are cited substantiating the claims made in the document above.

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