What are Sweeteners? An introduction to pharmaceutical sweetener excipients


There are a multitude of sweeteners available to the pharmaceutical scientist. Sweeteners may be broadly grouped into two categories – nutritive and non-nutritive. Nutritive sweeteners deliver calories and as their name suggests, non-nutritive do not. Non-nutritive sweeteners can be further characterized as bulk (sugar alcohols) and high intensity (artificial).


Some excipients that are sweet are often incorrectly listed in publications as “sweeteners.” These are excipients used primarily for purposes other than imparting sweetness, for example, co-solvents such as glycerol or propylene glycol, and bulking agents such as lactose or maltodextrin.


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