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Sugar (sucrose) substitutes that are used to sweeten food and beverages. Typically, artificial sweeteners taste 200 or more times sweeter than sugar. Although not all artificial sweeteners are calorie-free, because these sugar substitutes can be used at very low levels to obtain the desired sweetness, their contribution of calories to a serving of food or drink approaches zero (see illustration). In contrast, sugar contains about four calories per gram; that is, about 16 calories per teaspoon. A typical serving of a soft drink (355 ml) sweetened with sugar contains about 140 calories, while the same-size artificially sweetened soft drink may contain less than 5 calories. See also: Food; Food manufacturing; Sugar; Taste
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