Sugar Substitutes | Saccharin


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What is saccharin?

Saccharin (two brand names: Sweet ‘N Low and Sweet Twin) is a low-calorie sugar substitute that was first discovered in 1879. It is 200 to 700 times sweeter than sugar, depending on how it is used. Some people may notice an aftertaste when they consume saccharin. This is often eliminated in processed foods by combining saccharin with another sugar substitute.

Saccharin provides sweetness and enhances the flavor of food without adding as many calories as sugar. Unlike sugar, it does not contribute to tooth decay. It also does not raise blood sugar levels. This may be helpful if you have diabetes and have to be careful about how much sugar you consume.

What products contain saccharin?

Saccharin is found in many processed foods and drinks, including chewing gum, canned fruit, baked goods, and soft drinks. It is also used as a tabletop sweetener (for example, to sweeten a glass of iced tea). It is used in some medicines and vitamins.

Saccharin can be used as a substitute for sugar when you are baking. For best results, follow the package instructions for using it in your recipes.

Is saccharin safe?

Saccharin is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a food additive. This means that the FDA has reviewed scientific evidence to be sure that it is safe for use in foods and drinks.

You might remember that saccharin used to carry a warning label that said it was known to cause cancer in laboratory animals. However, there has been extensive research on the safety of this sugar substitute. In 2000, the U.S. government removed the requirement for a warning label on foods and drinks made with saccharin.

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 03/15
Created: 01/10

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