Saccharin is a white, crystalline, aromatic compound. It was discovered accidentally by I. Remsen and C. Fahlberg in 1879. Pure saccharin tastes several hundred times as sweet as sugar. It is not readily soluble in water, but its sodium salt, which is sold commercially, dissolves readily. Saccharin has no nutritional value and is excreted unchanged by the body. It is used as a sweetener by persons who must limit their consumption of sugar. Despite the fact that saccharin causes cancer in laboratory rats, its ban was rescinded after a public outcry. In 1984 the World Health Organization suggested an intake limit of 2.5 mg/day per kg bodyweight. Other non-nutritive sweeteners include sodium cyclamate, which is 30 times as sweet as sucrose and, unlike saccharine, has no bitter aftertaste at high concentration but causes bladder cancer in mice and has been banned in the United States since 1970. Aspartame is about 160 times as sweet as sucrose and is a widely used low-calorie sweet amino acid derivative. It cannot be used in cooking because it is destroyed on boiling in water. People who are sensitive to the amino acid phenylalanine should not use aspartame. Stevioside, which is 300 times as sweet as sucrose, is a terpene derivative and is available in several countries. Sodium saccharin is the most commonly used saccharin. It comes in a variety of particle sizes and concentrations.
Saccharin has been used to sweeten foods and beverages without calories or carbohydrates for over a century. Its use was considerable during the sugar shortages of the two world wars, particularly in Europe. For many people, saccharin is an integral part of their lifestyle. It is particularly important to those whose diets require a restriction of caloric or carbohydrate intake, such as persons with diabetes. Most health practitioners favor the use of a non-caloric sweetener like saccharin in weight reduction and for people with diabetes. According to opinion research, people use saccharin to stay in better overall health, control weight or maintain an attractive physical appearance. Research also has shown that health professionals believe saccharin is especially beneficial to persons with diabetes and the obese, and helps reduce dental cavities.
Saccharin continues to be important for a wide range of low-calorie and sugar-free food and beverage applications. It is used in such products as soft drinks, tabletop sweeteners, baked goods, jams, chewing gum, canned fruit, candy, dessert toppings and salad dressings. Saccharin also is used in cosmetic products, vitamins and pharmaceuticals.
CAS No.: 128-44-9
Chemical name: Sodium Saccharin, Sodium Ortho-Sulphobenzimide
Molecular Formula: C7H4O3NSNa. 2H2O
Molecular Weight: 241.19