Sweet solution production

Food manufacturers are ever on the look out for new sweet-tasting compounds that are easy to produce or extract, have the same effect on the palate as sugar but with close to zero food calories. Now, a new sweetener, based on a protein extract from a West African fruit, could provide all the sweetness and "lite". Indeed, researchers at the University of Wisconsin have spent the last few years investigating the structure-activity relationships in sweet proteins. They have also devised a production method that should allow scale-up of this extract, brazzein, for the low-calorie drinks and food industries. Brazzein is 2000 times sweeter than sucrose when compared to a 2% sucrose solution in water, has none of the bitter after taste of other artificial sweeteners and is heat stable.