The Future of “Artificial” Sweetness

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

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Today, an increasing number of Americans desire local, whole, and organic foods. Artificial sweeteners are, by definition, none of these things. Assuming this trend continues, a strong market will exist for alternatives to artificial sweetener that can provide sweet taste with reduced caloric intake. One of these will certainly be Stevia, an increasingly popular natural sweetener formed by crushing the leaves of the stevia plant. See stevia. And new research avenues into taste may enable us to become our own artificial sweeteners. In one study, researchers are exploring whether our own taste receptors can be altered so as to make our experience of sweetness more intense. Such a twist, while currently more science fiction than fact, would enable our bodies to draw more sweet pleasure from naturally occurring sugar, and to consume less.