Tuesday, October 26, 2021

History and discovery of artificial sweetener saccharin

Saccharin is the first and oldest artificial sweetener that has been used for over a century to sweeten foods and beverages without adding calories. Saccharin is approximately 200-700 times sweeter than sucrose.

Saccharin has been identified by Fahlberg and Remsen in the year 1878 at university of John Hopkins (Baltimore). This was found after those chemists were researching the oxidation mechanisms of toluene sulfonamide.

They were working with coal-tar derivatives. During their research, a substance accidentally splashed on Fahlberg’s finger and he noticed the substance had a sweet taste, which he traced to the chemical commonly known as saccharin.

Remsen and Fahlberg’s original paper on the discovery of saccharin was published in 1879, one year after their experiments had been performed.

Saccharin was widely spread during global wars when the sugar shortage provoked, e.g., during world wars I and II.

Saccharin was banned in the year 1981, because this caused bladder cancer in rats after giving overdose of saccharin.

In 2000, the National Toxicology Programme determined that saccharin should no longer be listed as a potential cancer-causing agent because mechanistic studies have shown that these results apply only to rats. Saccharin remains an FDA approved sweetener.
History and discovery of artificial sweetener saccharin

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