There are two types of sweeteners:
- Caloric (nutritive)
- Noncaloric (non-nutritive)
The caloric sweeteners provide 4 calories per gram. The noncaloric varieties provide zero calories
Caloric sweeteners provide sweet flavor and bulk when added to food. They also maintain freshness and contribute to product quality. Caloric sweeteners act as a preservative in jams and jellies, and a flavor enhancer in processed meats. They provide fermentation for breads and pickles, bulk to ice cream, and body to carbonated beverages. Some caloric sweeteners are made by processing sugar compounds. Some occur naturally.
Noncaloric sweeteners are used in place of caloric sweeteners in some foods. They do not provide calories, but they do provide the sweet taste. All noncaloric sweeteners are chemically processed.
Review Date: 05/03/2009
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.