Plants as a source of natural high-intensity sweeteners: a review
The plants described in this review are a source of natural highintensity sweeteners, which can be used in food and by the pharmaceutical industry in the future. Most of the plants are still not approved for use, even though they are traditionally used in countries where they appear naturally. Ten of the herein described intense sweeteners are characterized by a much higher sweetness in relation to sucrose. The highest values were received for miraculin, obtained from Synsepalum dulcificum (400,000 times sweeter than sucrose, induced by citric acid); thaumatin (1,600 to 3,000 times sweeter), monatin (1,200 - 3,000) and pentadin (500 to 2,000 times sweeter). Some of these substances can also modify the taste, like changing sour into sweet taste (miraculin and neoculin). The most widely used sweeteners are steviol glycosides and thaumatin, which have been admitted for use as a sweetener in the European Union, while in the US, they have the GRAS status (thaumatin as a food enhancer). Mogroside obtained from Siraitia grosvenorii (called Luo Han Guo) is not approved for use in the EU, but was granted GRAS status in the US by the FDA. This gives a chance that it will soon be approved as a novel food or food additive in the European Union.
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