kerravonsen: tea, nuts and noodle soup (Food)
[personal profile] kerravonsen
I now know why the strawberry "milkshake" flavour of Optifast tastes better than the vanilla flavour: the vanilla uses saccharin as a sweetener, the strawberry uses aspartame. I just checked the long, long ingredients list on both packets. Yes, I can detect the bitter aftertaste of saccharin.
(goes off to website to check the other varieties)

Looks like the chocolate milkshake flavour uses saccharin also, but the coffee milkshake flavour doesn't.

Checking up again on the entry on Wikipedia about saccharin, I deduce that they use saccharin in the vanilla and chocolate because they're more popular than strawberry and coffee, or some other reason which necessitates that they have a longer shelf-life, because aspartame doesn't stay stable as long as saccharin does.

Chocolate bar: uses sorbitol
Cherry crunch bar: uses fructose
Cappuccino bar: uses fructose also
Chocolate dessert: uses maltodextrin and glucose
Lemon dessert: uses maltodextrin, fructose, sugar and aspartame

Well, at least I know not to try the chocolate milkshake flavour.

I've been doing reading up and taste-tests on various artificial (and natural) sweeteners.
Name Taste Food energy Insulin reaction Other notes
Saccharin bitter aftertaste (ugh) none apparently yes
Sucralose (Splenda) like sugar, no aftertaste. The spoon-for-spoon is light and fluffy; forget fairy-floss, this stuff really melts in your mouth. none or low like sugar (high)
Aspartame (Equal) sweet, no aftertaste very low ? breaks down when heated
Stevia sweet, a slight chlorophyll-ish aftertaste, but only at high concentrations low ? natural
Xylitol compared with spoon-for-spoon Splenda, it has a crisper fresher wetter sort of taste, like menthol without the menthol. No aftertaste. medium low GI natural, possible laxative effect, tooth-friendly

So... there's trade-offs for the different sweeteners, as one might expect. But I really want to avoid saccharin if I can...
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Kathryn A.

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