Contrary to traditional sugar, synthetic sweeteners provide essentially no nutritional value. Owing to their appropriate taste and physical-chemical properties, inter alia: resistance to high temperatures, chemical stability, and solubility in water and in other media, they are applied in the food industry. Those compounds are produced from plant materials or obtained in chemical reactions; the production thereof amounts to thousands of tons per annum. High-intensity sweeteners can be divided by the type of structural element present in the molecule into: aromatic, cyclic, and heterocyclic sweeteners. It is also possible to divide them by the presence of functional groups therein into: sulfonamides (e.g.: cyclamate and saccharin), dipeptides (e.g.: aspartame, alitame, neotame), sucrose derivatives (e.g.: sucralose), or guanidine derivatives that are less known (Carrelame, Sucrononate and Lugduname). High-intensity sweeteners are characterized by varying intensity of their sweet taste. The strongest sweetener is neotame, next, alitame and thaumatin, while the weakest one is cyclamate and its salts: sodium, potassium, and calcium. In addition to their strong taste qualities, sweeteners exhibit gelling properties, they give the products suitable durability and texture; they help reduce unpleasant, bitter aftertastes caused by other food additives or reinforce the desired aroma. Synthetic sweeteners are also used in the organic synthesis as starting materials to produce compounds with interesting features, for example antimicrobial ionic liquids or anticancer drugs.
high-intensity sweeteners, permitted food additive, ionic liquid, anticancer activity