Applied Sciences (May 2022)

Current Advances and Future Aspects of Sweetener Synergy: Properties, Evaluation Methods and Molecular Mechanisms

  • Congrui Wang,
  • Yi Liu,
  • Xiangzhong Zhao,
  • Bo Liu

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 12, no. 10
p. 5096


Read online

Sweetener synergy is the phenomenon in which certain combinations of sweeteners work more effectively than the theoretical sum of the effects of each components. It provides benefits in reducing sweetener dosages and improving their sweetness. Many mixtures of sweeteners with synergistic effects have been reported up to now. Both artificial high-intensity sweeteners and natural sweeteners are popularly used in sweetener mixtures for synergism, although the former seem to display more potential to exhibit synergy than the latter. Furthermore, several evaluation methods to investigate sweetener synergy have been applied, which could lead to discrepancies in results. Moreover, structurally dissimilar sweeteners could cooperatively bind at the different sites in the sweet taste receptor T1R2/T1R3 to activate the receptor, and their hydration characters/packing characteristics in solvents could affect their interaction with the receptor, providing the preliminary explanations for the molecular basis of sweetener synergy. In this article, we firstly present a systematic review, analysis and comment on the properties, evaluation methods and molecular mechanisms of sweetener synergy. Secondly, challenges of sweetener synergy in both theory and practice and possible strategies to overcome these limitations are comprehensively discussed. Finally, future perspectives for this important performance in human sweet taste perception are proposed.