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What’s in a name?

Have you heard of erythritol, aspartame or jaggery? They’re all sugar substitutes but with quite different contributions and properties.
Stevia
© BBC Good Food

You’re probably already aware that there are numerous sugar substitutes on the market, some are natural alternatives such as honey, some have been manufactured from a natural source, like stevia, and others are synthetically produced. We’ll be meeting a wide selection of them this week, but first an introduction to some of the more curious sounding sugar substitutes!

Have you heard of erythritol, aspartame or jaggery?

Jaggery
Jaggery is a dark coloured, unrefined natural sugar made from the sap of the date palm or sugar cane

They’re all sugar substitutes but with quite different contributions and properties. We’ll be learning about them and several others this week, but here is a brief introduction to a handful of them:

  • Jaggery is a dark coloured, unrefined natural sugar made from the sap of the date palm or from sugar cane.
  • Erythritol is a sugar alcohol, derived from plants including corn. It looks like sugar but is much lower in calories.
  • Stevia is a zero-calorie sweetener derived from the leaves of a shrub-like plant.
  • Aspartame is a non-nutritive sweetener. It is a derivative of two amino acids, aspartic acid and phenylalanine and is often used in diet foods and drinks.
© BBC Good Food
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Sweet Tooth: Understanding Sugar and the Body with BBC Good Food

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