Sweeteners - the calorie-free alternative

The predilection for sweets is innate to us humans and we reluctantly do without this taste experience. However, fruit pies, desserts etc. have the big disadvantage that they are very high in calories. The sweeteners are an alternative sweetener: acesulfame, aspartame, cyclamate, neohesperidin DC, saccharin and thaumatin.

Benefits of sweeteners over sugar

Sweeteners (as good as) have no calories or their calories are negligible due to the high sweetness. Here they offer a decisive advantage over the table sugar, since the calorie saving and weight reduction plays an essential role for many people.

The sweetness of sweeteners is also considerably higher than that of sugar (35-2000 times). Therefore, only very small quantities are needed for sweetening food.

Sweetener does not ferment even at non-optimal temperatures. Thus, sweetened foods are more durable and more hygienic than sugar-sweetened foods. Sweeteners can not be fermented by oral bacteria to acids, which then attack the teeth (no cariogenic effect).

Sweeteners have no effect on the appetite. Also, the insulin and blood sugar levels do not change after the consumption of sweeteners.


The oldest sweetener on the German market is saccharin. It is 550 times sweeter than sugar. Saccharin is very stable and storable and is ideal for cooking and baking.

Saccharin is slowly absorbed by the human organism but not recovered and excreted unchanged. In combination with other sweeteners, saccharin acts synergistically, ie these sweetener combinations are sweeter than the sum of the individual sweeteners.


Cyclamates were discovered by accident in 1937. With about 35 times the sweetening power of sugar, it has the lowest sweetening power among sweeteners.

Due to its good stability, cooking and baking ability, cyclamate is widely used in foods and beverages, especially in combination with saccharin. Also for cyclamate applies the synergistic effect.


Aspartame consists of the two amino acids L-aspartic acid and L-phenylalanine. One gram of aspartame contains 4 calories. Due to its high sweetness - about 200 times sweeter than the corresponding amount of sugar - these calories are not significant.

Aspartame loses its sweetness on prolonged exposure to heat and is therefore not suitable for cooking and baking.

All products that are sweetened with aspartame must bear the label on the label contains phenylalanine. This is a warning to people suffering from the metabolic disorder phenylketunorie.


Acesulfame tastes 200 times sweeter than sugar. It is also part of sweetener blends. Acesulfame-K is heat resistant and can therefore be used for cooking and baking.


Thaumatin is a low-calorie sweetener derived from West African catfruit. Thaumatin has a taste-improving and flavor-enhancing effect.

Since it has a very high sweetness (about 2000 - 3000 times sweeter than sugar), its energy content (4 kcal per g) can be neglected.

Neohesperidin DC is derived from citrus fruits and is a non-caloric sweetener that is about 400-600 times sweeter than sugar. Like thaumatin, neohesperidin DC has a flavor enhancing effect.

Tips for handling sweeteners

Sweeteners are offered in the form of tablets, liquid sweetness and sweetness in the trade:

  • A sweetener tablet usually corresponds to one teaspoon of sugar; a teaspoon of liquid sweetness sweetens as intensively as four heaped tablespoons of sugar.
  • Tablets are suitable for sweetening all hot liquids.
  • Liquid sweetener is used for cold drinks, cold dairy foods, cereals, fruit salad, quark, jams & Co., dressings, marinades and pastries.
  • Sweetened sweeties are ideal for sprinkling fruit and fruit pies, waffles, desserts - but of course also for calorie-saving baking.

When baking liquid sweeteners have the disadvantage that they do not reach the binding effect and the volume of sugar and sugar substitutes due to their low mass. Yeast, kneading and brandy doughs can be easily prepared with sweetener; in the case of stirred and biscuit doughs, however, part of the sweetener is recommended to be replaced by sugar. The sweetener spreads better if you stir it in a liquid (eg egg, milk, yogurt) and then give it to the cake dough.

sugarsweetenerssugar alcoholssugar alcohols
Energy input (kcal / g)4no2.44
Sweetness factor130-300000.51.2
Influence on insulin levelsstronglynolowlow
Influence on the digestive systemneutralnocan be laxativeneutral
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