University of Illinois Extension

What are Artificial or Non-nutritive Sweeteners?

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Artificial or non-nutritive sweeteners are sweeteners that do not provide any carbohydrate or calories per serving. There are six main non-nutritive sweeteners:

non-nutritive sweeteners

  • Acesulfame potassium – Sold as Sweet One®, Sunett, or Swiss Sweet®, it has less of an aftertaste than saccharin and it is more stable when heated than aspartame. This sweetener, however, it is not available in all markets.
  • Aspartame – Sold as NutraSweet (blue packet) and Equal, has little aftertaste but becomes unstable at high temperatures so it is not appropriate for baking or cooking.
  • Luo han guo extract – Some extracts may also contain sugar, but pure extract is from this fruit, which is also called monk fruit. It is sold as Nectresse [with R in circle symbol], which also contains a sugar alcohol, erythritol, sucrose (sugar) and molasses. Each packet must have less than 5 calories to be able to claim “no calories” on the lable.
  • Neotame – Although it has been approved for use by the FDA in 2002, it is not available for individual use.
  • Saccharin - Sold as Sweet n Low®, Sweet Twin, or Necta Sweet (pink packet) or as Sugar Twin® (a brown sugar substitute), this sweetener is very stable for baking, but it does have a noticeable aftertaste when used in large quantities.
  • Stevia – Truvia™, Sweetleaf, and PureVia™ are brand name table-top zero calorie sweeteners that are also used as an ingredient in some beverages. Truvia™ can be found in some Coca-Cola products and PureVia™ can be found in some PepsiCo. products. The sweetening ingredient, rebiana is found in the leaves of the stevia plant. There are many forms of rebiana compounds.
  • Sucralose – With the trade name of Splenda® (yellow packet), it is an artificial sweetener that is made from sugar with certain chemical changes. It has the same volume and taste as sugar and it is stable to heat. Using large amounts of Splenda® will add calories. For this reason, products made with Splenda® will have fewer calories than if made with sugar, but will still have some added sweetener calories.

Note: Sugar Twin sold in Canada contains cyclamate, which is banned in the United States.

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This document is a source of information only, and is not medical advice.