Intense sweeteners are food additives which are used in many foods and drinks to replace some or all conventional carbohydrate sweeteners such as sucrose and glucose. Because they are hundreds or even thousands of times more sweet than these sugars, only very small amounts are needed to achieve the same level of sweetness. Although some intense sweeteners are metabolised and provide calories to the consumer, the fact that they are used in such small amounts means that they make a negligible contribution to the total energy value of the food itself. They can therefore provide substantial calorie savings compared with conventional foods sweetened with sugars. This property has resulted in the development of important markets for ‘diet’ (‘low calorie’) and ‘reduced calorie’ foods and drinks.
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