Prospective Sweeteners

In addition to the low-calorie sweeteners awaiting U.S. approval for use in foods and beverages, there are a number of additional prospective low-calorie sweeteners. These include the following:

Dihydrochalcones (DHCs)

Non-caloric sweeteners derived from bioflavonoids of citrus fruits. Approximately 300 to 2,000 times sweeter than sucrose. Delayed sweet taste; licorice aftertaste. Currently "Neo-DHC," synthesized from seville oranges, has greatest potential for food applications. About 1,500 times sweeter than sucrose. Potential use in chewing gum, candies, mouthwash, toothpaste, some fruit juices, some pharmaceuticals.

Status: approved for use in the European Union and Zimbabwe. Approved for use in the U.S. for flavoring products such as baked goods, beverages, chewing gum, frozen dairy products, candy and sauces.


Non-caloric extract of licorice root. 50-100 times sweeter than sucrose. Used as a flavoring for tobacco, pharmaceuticals and some confectionery products; used as a foaming agent in some non-alcoholic beverages. Pronounced licorice flavor limits wide-spread use.

Status: approved for use in the U.S. as a flavor and flavor enhancer.

Thaumatin (TalinTM)

Mixture of sweet-tasting proteins from a West African fruit. Approximately 2,000-3,000 times sweeter than sucrose. Taste develops slowly and leaves licorice-like aftertaste. Acts synergistically with saccharin, acesulfame K and stevioside. May be useful as a flavor extender for some pharmaceutical and cosmetic products; other potential applications include beverages and desserts. Cannot be used in products to be baked or boiled.

Status: approved for use in foods and beverages in Israel, Japan and the European Union. In the U.S. approved as a flavor enhancer for products such as beverages, jams and jellies, condiments, milk products, yogurt, cheese, instant coffee and tea, and chewing gum.

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