A New Low-Calorie Sweetener That Could Also Improve Gut Health

By: | August 15th, 2022

Sugar craving is very common. Sugar has the power to make you fall helplessly in love with it. But too much table sugar can be extremely dangerous to your health.

Artificial sweeteners such as saccharin, aspartame, and sucralose used as a sugar alternative usually have less food energy. These artificial sweeteners are also found to increase your appetite, gain weight, and other negative health issues.

So to search for a better sweetener with no drawbacks of sugar and artificial sweeteners, researchers in Spain from the Institute of Food Science Research and the Institute of Physical Chemistry started searching for sweet substances from natural sources.

Now researchers in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry have revealed a low-calorie sweetener that can improve gut health.

After doing a lot of research, researchers developed a sweetener based on galactooligosaccharides and modified mogrosides. Galactooligosaccharides, are low-calorie sugars found in mammalian milk. These carbs promote probiotic activity and can be a source of energy for beneficial gut microbes. However, their sweetness is not enough to replace table sugar.

In contrast, extracts from the luo han guo fruit contain mogrosides — compounds 200 to 300 times sweeter than table sugar. However, these extracts at times contain off-flavors, which can be removed with enzymes.

Researchers combined the best of both sweeteners and came up with a brand-new low-calorie sweetener.

Authors explained in their Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, “In conclusion, these substrates could be considered as novel candidate prebiotic sweeteners, foreseeing a feasible and innovative approach targeting the sucrose content reduction in food. This new ingredient could provide health benefits when evaluated in human studies by combining sweetness and prebiotic fiber functionality,” 

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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