Artificial Sweetener Fermentation Report

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Introduction Debates concerning the health effects of artificial sweeteners are relevant not only for scientists and dieticians, but also for diabetics and individuals who are trying to lose weight. According to the American Diabetes Association (2014), aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet); acesulfame potassium (Sunett, Sweet One); neotame; sucralose (Splenda); saccharin (Sweet ‘N Low, Sweet Twin, Sugar Twin); and advantame are six alternatives to natural sugar that are commonly added to foods and incorporated into store-bought foods. Rebaudioside A (Stevia) is a natural sweetener that is also quite common (para. 3, 5). The benefits of artificial sweeteners include their concentrated flavor and their low calorie content. In fact, many companies claim …show more content…
To accomplish this objective, we designed a fermentation experiment that utilized natural sugar and various sugar substitutes as fermentation substrates. Comparing the amounts of carbon dioxide that the yeast in each solution produced would reveal the relative amount of energy (calories) contained in each compound. I collaborated with four other students for this experiment, and together we collected data for a sugar control and four different types of sweeteners. We hypothesized that the Domino sugar would produce the most carbon dioxide because it contained the most calories. By using Domino sugar as a control, we predicted that we would be able to determine which artificial sweeteners contained the lowest number of calories, and thus would be the best low-calorie substitute for table …show more content…
This compound contains dextrose in addition to pure monk fruit extract. This information, combined with the Stevia data, implies that the dextrose was not the determining factor in the amount of fermentation that occurred in these two solutions. Rather, it is likely that the monk fruit molecule itself was slightly more difficult to hydrolyze than the Stevia molecule.
The yeast in the Equal solution produced slightly less carbon dioxide than those in the Monk Fruit in the Raw tube. Equal is comprised of dextrose, maltodextrin and aspartame (Kuruvilla, n.d., para. 7); it was slightly more difficult for the yeast to hydrolyze Equal than the Monk Fruit compound, implying that the bonds in the molecules from the pure monk fruit were weaker than the bonds in the maltodextrin and aspartame. The yeast in the ‘Fake’ Truvia tube produced the least amount of carbon dioxide of the five compounds. After forty minutes, only 3 millimeters of carbon dioxide had accumulated in this fermentation tube (Table 1). The ‘Fake’ Truvia compound “combines the sugar erythritol with rebiana from the stevia plant” (Kuruvilla, n.d. para. 7). The bonds between the oxygen and nitrogen atoms were too strong for the yeast to hydrolyze (Figure 1); thus, only a negligible amount of fermentation occurred in this

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