At Trimino Brands, customers are always asking us about sweeteners. Everyone seems to agree (including the scientists) that cutting back on added sugar is important for maintaining a healthy diet. But, while we're willing to sacrifice sugar, we still crave great flavor!
Enter high-intensity sweeteners; these sugar substitutes (also called sugar alternatives) pack a ton of flavor into few or no calories.
Table sugar (sucrose) has about 16 calories per teaspoon. That's a lot of calories if you're trying to sweeten a drinkable protein. Trimino Brands created its original flavors (Peach, Coconut Pineapple, Mixed Berry, and Strawberry Lemonade) with sucralose. In 2017, Trimino Brands launched three new flavors sweetened with stevia: Raspberry Limeade, Orchard, and Citrus.
This article breaks down the difference between sucralose and stevia.
The 4 original flavors of trimino - protein infused water are sweetened with sucralose. Sucralose is an FDA-approved food additive that is 600 times sweeter than table sugar. Meaning you need a lot less sucralose than sugar to achieve the same sweetness.
Sucralose is an artificial sweetener formed by modifying sucrose. In 1976, scientists replaced three hydrogen-oxygen groups on a sugar molecule with three chlorine atoms. They discovered a super sweet sugar alternative that is calorie-free!
In 1999, the FDA approved sucralose as a general-purpose sweetener. Unlike table sugar, sucralose is not processed by the body as a carbohydrate. It typically won't raise blood sugar levels.
Some people worry, "Are artificial food additives safe?" The National Cancer Institute notes:
"Sucralose has been studied extensively, and the FDA reviewed more than 110 safety studies in support of its approval of the use of sucralose as a general-purpose sweetener for food."
How much sucralose should you eat? According to the FDA, the acceptable daily intake (ADI) of sucralose is 5 milligrams per kilogram body weight per day or about 23 packets of Splenda® for a 132 pound person.
A lot of people consider stevia a natural sweetener because it's refined from leaf extracts rather than synthesized in a lab. But, that's a bit of a simplification. While the starting ingredient of stevia is natural, the resulting sugar substitute has been processed. The flavors in Trimino Brand's natural variety pack are sweetend with stevia.
Stevia comes from the leaves of Stevia rebaudiana, a South American plant in the chrysanthemum family. Stevia leaves are harvested, dried, steeped and then purified through a process of filtering and centrifuging. The resulting stevia extract is 95% steviol glycosides. Steviol glycosides are the sweet-tasting parts of the leaves.
Through refining and concentrating the steviol glycosides, stevia becomes 200-400 times sweeter than table sugar.
High-purity steviol glycosides are generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the FDA. The GRAS designation means that qualified experts consider the food additive safe for its intended use. While high-purity stevia extracts are GRAS, whole-leaf stevia and crude stevia extract are not considered GRAS and their import into the United States is not permitted for use as sweeteners.
How much stevia should you eat? The ADI established by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) is 4 milligrams per kilogram body weight per day or about 9 packets of Truvia®.
A note about taste:
Not everyone perceives flavor the same way. Genetic differences in the taste bud receptors for sweet and bitter flavors cause some people to love the sweetness of stevia while others find the taste bitter. Try for yourself and stick with the sweetener that tastes best to you.
Regardless of whether you choose stevia or sucralose, each bottle of trimino - protein infused water contains 7 grams of whey protein isolate and 100% of four B vitamins.