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Intensive sweeteners

Intensive sweeteners, from aspartame to stevia

The category of intensive sweeteners includes all the calorie-free sweeteners that sweeten much more than sugar, from 30 to 8 thousand times more. Almost always synthetic - except for the steviol glycosides, extracted from the stevia plant - sweeteners are always subject to limits of use, indicated by European regulations in terms of ADI (admissible daily dose), i.e. the quantity not to be exceeded in one day.

Because they are always mixed together

Some sweeteners, in addition to the sweet taste, have a strong aftertaste (metallic or bitter, rather than mint or licorice). And therefore their mix is ​​frequent, in the numerous products that contain them, to reduce the organoleptic edges and maximize the total sweetening power.

Among the intensive sweeteners there are some (e.g. saccharin, aspartame, acesulfame K) much discussed. Several scientific studies have indicated potential toxicity profiles, without however affecting the mechanism for renewing use authorizations granted by the European Commission.

Below is a comparison of the sweetening power and the ADI for each substance.

Marta Strinati

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Professional journalist since January 1995, he has worked for newspapers (Il Messaggero, Paese Sera, La Stampa) and periodicals (NumeroUno, Il Salvagente). She is the author of journalistic surveys on food, she has published the book "Reading labels to know what we eat".

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