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Open Access Highly Accessed Review

Sweet proteins – Potential replacement for artificial low calorie sweeteners

Ravi Kant

Author Affiliations

Institute of Bioinformatics and Applied Biotechnology, ITPL, Bangalore-560066, India

Nutrition Journal 2005, 4:5  doi:10.1186/1475-2891-4-5

Published: 9 February 2005

Abstract

Exponential growth in the number of patients suffering from diseases caused by the consumption of sugar has become a threat to mankind's health. Artificial low calorie sweeteners available in the market may have severe side effects. It takes time to figure out the long term side effects and by the time these are established, they are replaced by a new low calorie sweetener. Saccharine has been used for centuries to sweeten foods and beverages without calories or carbohydrate. It was also used on a large scale during the sugar shortage of the two world wars but was abandoned as soon as it was linked with development of bladder cancer. Naturally occurring sweet and taste modifying proteins are being seen as potential replacements for the currently available artificial low calorie sweeteners. Interaction aspects of sweet proteins and the human sweet taste receptor are being investigated.

Keywords:
Sweet protein; Sweet taste receptor; Sweetener; T1R2-T1R3; Diabetes