Sweet chemistry: Symposium explores sugar alternatives, science of taste

taste buds. In addition to producing picky eaters, the condition also carries health implications. Supertasters tend to be thinner, drink less alcohol, smoke less and have lower rates of cardiovascular disease, studies have shown. Now, a group of scientists has found that being a supertaster also can have a down side: They tend to have a higher number of colon polyps, which is a risk factor for colon cancer. (AGFD 124, Tuesday, March 28, 1:33 p.m.)

Wednesday, March 29

Tricking the taste buds with sweetness enhancers Researchers at Senomyx, Inc. in La Jolla, Calif., are developing compounds that can enhance sweetness or saltiness by activating or blocking certain taste receptors. The compounds, which could help reduce the amount of sugar or salt added to certain foods while maintaining the normal flavor, are scheduled to appear in a wide variety of food products within the next few years. (AGFD 140, Wednesday, March 29, 9:03 a.m.)

Neotame: New sweetener could reduce calories while retaining taste Attention soda fans: Your favorite beverage could soon reduce calories while retaining taste thanks to neotame, a non-calorie derivative of aspartame that is 10,000 times sweeter than sugar. The potent sweetener can reduce the amount of high-fructose corn syrup used in sodas, cutting calories by as much as one-third while providing the same taste and texture of a normal soda, according to researchers at Duke University Medical School. The sweetener, approved by the FDA in 2002, is starting to appear in a small number of food products and dietary supplements. (AGFD 157, Wednesday, March 29, 4:15 p.m.)

Thursday, March 30

Stevioside: Natural sweetener gets safety nod from Belgium group Stevioside is a natural non-caloric sweetener derived from the South American shrub

Contact: Michael Bernstein
American Chemical Society

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