Research Alert

Newswise — Washington D.C. – In a Dec. 3 perspective in Advances in Nutrition, 11 nutrition researchers review existing measures of sweetness in foods and beverages to better understand the role of sweetness in health. They also call for developing more consensus methods as a number of health agencies call for reductions in consumption of sweet-tasting foods, based on the hypothesis that reducing exposure to the perception of sweet tastes may reduce “sweet tooth” incidence—subsequently reducing intake of added sugars and calories.

However, not considering the sources of sweetness undermines this rationale. Additionally, recent scholarly reviews and studies fail to bear this rationale out. If consensus sweetness measures could be developed, researchers could combine data from different studies and facilitate the conduct of new science to address the role of dietary sweetness in the diet and in health.

This narrative review article provides an overview of available sensory techniques, their strengths and limitations, and recent efforts to measure the sweetness of foods and diets across countries and cultures. The article concludes with a proposed future direction for improving methods for measuring sweetness in an effort to base dietary recommendations around sweetness on rigorous science.

The article is titled: Perspective: Measuring Sweetness in Foods, Beverages, and Diets: Toward Understanding the Role of Sweetness in Health

Paula R Trumbo, Katherine M Appleton, Kees de Graaf, John E Hayes, David J Baer, Gary K Beauchamp, Johanna T Dwyer, John D Fernstrom, David M Klurfeld, Richard D Mattes, Paul M Wise. Advances in Nutrition, nmaa151,