The structural analogy of acesulfame with saccharin is not the only area of commonality. ACE-K exhibits a flavor profile with bitter and metallic attributes that are equivalent to or stronger than those of saccharin. The FPA data for ACE-K are summarized in Table 1. Interestingly, it has been found that the population is heterogeneous with respect to its sensitivity to the bitter and metallic off-tastes of acesulfame-K, as has also been noted for saccharin. Particularly striking in this study is the finding that the same individuals who are sensitive to saccharin off-taste characteristics are also sensitive to those of ACE-K. As a consequence, ACE-K, like saccharin, has minimal utility as a sole sweetener in food applications. Although quantitative temporal profile data on acesulfame-K are not available, it appears, qualitatively, to be quite similar to sucrose in this dimension. In summary, it is expected that ACE-K will find a niche in food applications as an alternative to saccharin. Thus, its principal application should be as a component of blends with aspartame and other sweeteners with sucroselike flavor profiles.
C/R function data on acesulfame-K are provided in Table 1. The sweetness potency of ACE-K drops off with increasing sucrose reference concentration just as is the case for saccharin, cyclamate, and aspartame. The rate of this decrease is rapid, very much as is the case for saccharin. Thus, from the C/R function for ACE-K given in Table 1, Pw(2) = 204, Pw(8) = 76, andPw(10) = 34 are calculated.
ACE-K received its first approval in the United States for tabletop use in 1988 and finally received approval for all food categories in 1998. An ADI of 15 mg/kg was established by the FDA after review of the safety assessment studies submitted by Hoechst. An ADI of 15 mg/kg has also been established by JECFA. The safety studies conducted on ACE-K have been reviewed (52).
The solubility of acesulfame-K is quite high, with 27 g dissolving in 100 mL of water (53). If, for illustration, the Pw(8) = 76 value of acesulfame-K is employed, it can be calculated that acesulfame-K is more than 250 times more soluble than necessary to match the sweetness intensity of 8% sucrose.
The hydrolytic stability of acesulfame-K is substantially less than that of saccharin. For example, under conditions designed to model a cola CSD application, 15% is lost in 1 year at room temperature and 25% is lost in 3 months at 40°C (104°F) (54). Products that have been identified from ACE-K degradation include acetoacetamide-N-sulfonic acid, acetoacetamide, acetoacetic acid, and acetone. In summary, it can be said that although ACE-K is not completely stable toward hydrolytic breakdown, its slight instability does not create any problems (eg, loss of sweetness) from an application perspective.
Until the discovery of saccharin, nearly all known sweet substances were carbohydrate based. In 1976, in a collaborative program between Hough's laboratory at Queen Elizabeth College in the University of London and scientists at Tate & Lyle, it was discovered that certain halo-deoxysucrose derivatives are potently sweet (55). This collaboration led to the selection of a trichlorinated derivative of sucrose that they named sucralose (5) as a product candidate (56). The halodeoxysucroses, of which sucralose is the best known example, are the first carbohydrate-based sweeteners that are substantially more potent than the simple sugars. The commercialization of 5 was pursued by a joint venture of Tate & Lyle and McNeil Specialty Products Company, a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary. Sucralose is known under the brand name of Splenda®. The properties of sucralose were reviewed in 1996 (57).
FPA data on sucralose are provided in Table 1. As can be seen by inspection of these data, sucralose exhibits a clean sweet taste equivalent to that of sucrose. No off-tastes are observed. Unfortunately, temporal profile data on sucralose are not available, and so it is not possible to quantitatively-compare it to sucrose in this dimension. In general, however, sucralose's sweetness appears to linger somewhat similar to the behavior of aspartame.
C/R function data on sucralose are provided in Table 1. Its sweetness potency drops off with increasing sucrose reference concentration just as is the case for saccharin, cyclamate, aspartame, and acesulfame-K. Thus, from the C/R function given in Table 1, Pw(2) = 910, Pw(8) = 470, and Pw(10) = 330 are calculated for sucralose.
In 1998, the FDA granted approval for the general use of sucralose in foods and beverages. An ADI of 5 mg/kg was established by the FDA after review of the safety assessment studies submitted. In contrast, an ADI of 15 mg/kg has been recommended by JECFA. Sucralose slowly hydrolyzes in acidic food and beverage products to the monosaccharides 4-chloro-4-deoxy-galactose and 1,6-dichloro-dideoxy-fructose, and for this reason, it was required that safety studies be carried out on sucralose and the two degradation products. The solubility of sucralose in water is very high and is not significantly affected by pH. Sucralose is commercially available as a 25% (w/v) solution. If, for illustration, the Pw(8) = 470 value of sucralose is employed, it can be calculated that sucralose is >1400 times more soluble than necessary to match the sweetness intensity of 8% sucrose.
The hydrolytic stability of sucralose is high, though not as high as that of saccharin. As already mentioned, it does slowly hydrolyze to the two chlorinated monosaccharides 4-chloro-4-deoxy-galactose and 1,6-dichloro-dideoxy-fructose in acidic food systems. However, the loss of sucralose over 1 year is <5%, and so there is no significant loss of sweetness. In the solid form, sucralose does break down with loss of hydrochloric acid, causing the solid product to caramelize. This problem has substantially been addressed by reducing the particle size of the solid material to less than 12 ¿¿M. The microparticulated material has adequate shelf life for common food and beverage manufacturing operations. In summary, it can be said that although sucralose is not completely stable, its slight instability does not create any problems (eg, loss of sweetness) from an application perspective.
Alitame is the product of an intensive research program carried out by Hendrick and his coworkers at Pfizer Central Research during the 1970s (58). The program was aimed at the identification of a stable, cost-effective analogue of aspartame that, of course, still retains the quality taste of aspartame. Alitame was selected from a group of hundreds of aspartame analogues, which were synthesized by the Pfizer chemists. Alitame has recently been reviewed (59).
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