Diabetes Mellitus is a chronic metabolic disorder that prevents the body to utilize glucose completely or partially. It is characterized by raised glucose concentration in the blood and alteration in carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism. This can be due to failure in the formation of insulin or liberation or action.
High content of sugar consumption is undesirable for diabetics and for obese individuals. Non caloric and high intense sweetners are available as sugar substitutes.
An ideal sweetener is as sweet as or sweeter than sucrose ,has a pleasant taste with no after taste, is colorless, odorless, readily soluble, stable, functional, and economical.
Types of Artificial sweeteners:
Polyols : polyols though occur in nature they are synthesized on industrial scale from easily accessible carbohydrates such as starch, sucrose glucose,invert sugar and lactose. Sugar alcohols (xylitol, sorbitol, mannitol, lactitol etc) known as polyols are white crystalline water soluble powders.
They are less sweet and 50% of energy of polyols is available to human body. Average caloric value is 2.4Kcal/g.They are suitable for diabetic because rapid glycemic response is avoided. Their intake should be restricted to 40-50g/day for adults and 30g/day for children’s in order to avoid gastrointestinal discomforts
2)Non calorie sweeteners:
Cyclamate: It is thirty times sweeter than sucrose it tastes much like sugar and is heat stable. Banned later and is not in use.
Acelsulfame-K: it is synthetic derivative and is not metabolized in the body and is excreted unchanged. It has undesirable after taste having metallic flavors.FDA (USA) approved this compound for use as a table top sweetener and in dry beverage mixes, instant coffee and tea, puddings, gelatin, chewing gum and dairy products.
: This has a sweet taste similar to sugar .it is more than 2000times sweeter than sucrose.
Aspartame: this is a white, odourless, colourless, crystalline powder that has a sugar like taste andsweetness potency 180-200 times that of sucrose without any bitter after taste. Aspartame is not stable to heat and changes chemically and loses sweetness when heated.
Saccharin: It is sodium ortho benzene sulphonamide or the calcium salt. It is 300 times sweeter than sucrose. It is stable in a wide variety of products under extreme processing conditions. This is inexpensive. It gives bitter after taste if taken in more amounts.
Sucrolose: It is a white crystalline solid and is 600times sweeterthan sugar and no bitter after taste. It is very soluble in water and stable at high temperatures and there for can be used for baking and cooking food items. Sucrolose does not interact with any other food component. Soft drinks contribute to artificial sweetener.
Use of sweeteners by a diabetic patient is not encouraged as it does not help the patient to wean away from sweet foods.
Nutritionist & Dietician
PhD Research Scholar