A Sweetener That May Be Healthy For You
We’re living in the age of sweeteners. More often than not, if you see a sachet of sugar at your cafe table, you’ll see a sweetener option right next to it. All forms of sugar are being swapped out for low-calorie substitutes. What if there was a way to not only get your sweet satisfaction, but actually have it benefit your health? Scientists have reported in the ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry that a certain protein will soon be viable sweetener option.
The Old Route
Initially, artificial or non-nutritive sweeteners were the go-to choices. But with some time and research, the majority of society is aware that these are dangerously unhealthy. Some would even say more so than standard sugar.
What are the main issues? Ironically, non-nutritive sweeteners are still linked to heavy weight gain, diabetes and so many other health concerns. So with that, healthier alternatives started to gain popularity.
What’s Happening Today?
These days, natural sweeteners are becoming a preferred option over sugar. What you have to understand is natural sugar substitutes are not the same thing as calorie free sugar substitutes. All it means, is they are much healthier alternatives for your body.
What are some of the top natural substitutes?
- Stevia (0 calories)
- Raw honey (64 calories per teaspoon)
- (Real) maple syrup… not maple flavoured syrup folks (52 calories per teaspoon)
- Coconut sugar (45 calories per teaspoon)
- Blackstrap molasses (47 calories per teaspoon)
These are not your only healthy alternatives though. There are genuinely so many sugar alcohols – like Xylitol, which is also a very good option!
If you would like to know more about what sugar substitutes you should use. Follow this link.
The Sweetener Of the Future?
Brazzein is a protein that is actually found in the fruit of a West African climbing plant called Oubli (Scientific name: Pentadiplandra Brazzeana) and can naturally be up to 2000 times sweeter than normal sugar.
What Are The Benefits?
- Tastes almost identical to sugar, unlike the slightly acquired taste of something like stevia.
- 4 calories per gram, which you won’t even consume considering you only need a drop to make something sweet.
- Perfectly usable for people with lifestyle diseases such as diabetes or heart disease.
- Not even Low GI, it’s got NO GI.
- Completely, 100% natural and safe (How often do you actually hear that these days?)
Of course Mother Nature would make something as miraculous as a sweet protein this specific and tricky to find, and that’s not even the catch.
So What’s the Issue?
Because the protein is quite rare and this world is rather large, the biggest issue at hand is finding a way to make it in large enough quantities.
- Purifying the actual natural protein from the fruit is almost impossible on a commercial scale
- Current attempts at engineering the micro-organisms necessary to make the protein in a lab have yet to be successful either
The brilliant news is that scientists at the Chung-Ang University in Seoul, South Korea are working on a whole new approach to produce Brazzein by using yeast.
So, unless you ever find yourself in the midst of West Africa and happen upon an actual Oubli fruit to take home with you. Keep your fingers crossed that these next few trials will be successful!