Human beings have a natural preference for the sweet taste. Traditionally, natural products such as sugar and honey were used to make what we eat and drink taste sweet. However, the desire to find alternative sources of sweetness with fewer calories has led to the development of a range of low calorie sweeteners.
Low calorie sweeteners have been safely used and enjoyed for more than 100 years. The first commonly used low calorie sweetener, saccharin, was discovered in 1879 and several others have been found since then, like acesulfame K (ace-K), aspartame, cyclamate, sucralose and stevia.
Today, all of these low calorie sweeteners are used in foods and drinks and can be found in products aimed at healthy eaters, people with diabetes and those who want to manage their weight or dental health.