The key difference between aspartame and saccharin is that aspartame is 200 times sweeter than saccharin.
Aspartame and saccharin are sweeteners. These are useful in producing a sweet taste for food products. Aspartame is an organic compound having the chemical formula C14H18N2O5, while saccharin has the chemical formula C7H5NO3S.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Aspartame
3. What is Saccharin
4. Aspartame vs Saccharin in Tabular Form
5. Summary – Aspartame vs Saccharin
What is Aspartame?
Aspartame is an organic compound having the chemical formula C14H18N2O5. It can be described as an artificial non-saccharide sweetener that is about 200 times sweeter than sucrose. Moreover, it is commonly used as a sugar substitute in the food industry for foods and beverages. We can recognize aspartame as one of the most rigorously tested food ingredients.
The amount of aspartame we need to produce a sweet taste is so small; therefore, the amount of calories it can make is negligible. However, it can still produce 4 kcal of energy per gram. The sweet taste of aspartame is different from that of table sugar and many other sweeteners. Compared to the sweetness of sucrose, the sweetness of aspartame lasts long. Therefore, we can often blend it with other artificial sweeteners such as acesulfame potassium to get a sweet taste that is very much similar to sugar.
Like other peptides, aspartame can hydrolyze into its component amino acids under conditions of elevated temperature or high pH. Therefore, aspartame is unsuitable for baking purposes, and it can also degrade products having a high pH, which is required for longer shelf life. Moreover, aspartame is unstable under heat, which can be avoided or reduced to some extent by encasing it in fats or in maltodextrin.
What is Saccharin?
Saccharin has the chemical formula C7H5NO3S and is a type of artificial sweetener having no food energy. This substance is about 300-400 times sweeter than sucrose. Moreover, it has a bitter or metallic aftertaste. An aftertaste can be defined as the taste intensity of a particular food that we may perceive immediately after the removal of that food from the mouth. This bitter or metallic aftertaste of saccharin can be tasted mainly at high concentrations.
The molar mass is 183.18 g/mol. Saccharin appears as a white crystalline solid. Usually, saccharin is a heat-stable substance. In addition, it does not react with other ingredients in food, and similarly, it stores well. Often, we can use blends of saccharin with other sweeteners in order to compensate for the weaknesses and faults of other sweeteners.
We can produce saccharin in various different ways, including Remsen and Fahlberg method that starts with toluene. In this method, the sulfonation of toluene is done using chlorosulfonic acid, which gives the ortho and para-substituted sulfonyl chloride. Thereafter, the ortho form needs to be isolated from the mixture, and then it is converted into sulfonamide using ammonia. Finally, the oxidation of the methyl substituent tends to give carboxylic acid, and it leads to cyclization, which results in saccharin-free acid.
What is the Difference Between Aspartame and Saccharin?
Both aspartame and saccharin are sweetening agents. The key difference between aspartame and saccharin is that aspartame is 200 times sweeter than saccharin. Moreover, aspartame is a non-saccharide, while saccharin is a type of saccharide. Besides, aspartame contains calories, so it is considered a nutritive sweetener, whereas saccharin is a non-calorie sweetener, so it’s less nutritive.
The below infographic presents the differences between aspartame and saccharin in tabular form for side-by-side comparison.
Summary – Aspartame vs Saccharin
Aspartame is an organic compound having the chemical formula C14H18N2O5. Saccharin has the chemical formula C7H5NO3S. The key difference between aspartame and saccharin is that aspartame is 200 times sweeter than saccharin.
1. “Which Is Worse: Saccharin or Aspartame?.” LIVESTRONG.COM, Leaf Group.
1. “Aspartame” By Yikrazuul – Own work (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Saccharin” By Harbin – Own work (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia
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