The 'caffeine-sweetness' effect; potential reduction of energy in caffeinated sugar-sweetened soft drinks
Sayompark, D., Riddell, L., Swinburn, B. and Keast, R. 2008, The 'caffeine-sweetness' effect; potential reduction of energy in caffeinated sugar-sweetened soft drinks, in NSA 2008 : Proceedings of the Nutrition Society of Australia Annual Scientific Meeting, HEC Press, [Adelaide, S.A.].
NSA 2008 : Proceedings of the Nutrition Society of Australia Annual Scientific Meeting
Place of publication
Background – Excessive consumption of sugar sweetened beverages (SSB) is a contributing factor in the occurrence of overweight and obesity. The high energy intake, low satiation, high glycemic index, and intense marketing are all thought to contribute to their over consumption. In addition, the role of the mildly-addictive chemical caffeine in SSB has been questioned (Griffiths and Vernotica, 2000, Keast and Riddell, 2007). We have previously shown that low concentrations of caffeine may decrease sweetness of sugars and thereby result in excess energy in SSB formulations (Ebbeling et al., 2006). Objective – Without noticeably affecting flavour, to determine potential energy reduction when decreasing sucrose concentration from caffeinated and de-caffeinated SSB. Design – Human psychophysical taste evaluations in water, sucrose and model SSB. Triangle forced-choice ascending method of limits was used to determine caffeine taste threshold in water and sucrose (n= 62). Directional paired comparison tests to determine 1/ the influence of caffeine on sweetness of sucrose (n= 23), and 2/ the nonperceivable difference when decreasing the sucrose and caffeine concentrations in a model SSB (n= 30). Outcomes – Caffeine, at sub-threshold concentrations in common SSB (0.67mM) can be perceived in sucrose solutions because it significantly inhibits sweetness (p<0.001), the ‘caffeine sweetness effect’. Presumably coremoval of caffeine and sucrose could be achieved without affecting the sweetness of the SSB. Removing caffeine from the model SSB allowed an energy reduction of 137.4 KJ per 500 ml serving (12.6% sucrose reduction) without noticeably affecting flavour for 80% of the population. The energy reduction possible without co-removal of caffeine was a more modest 32 KJ per 500 ml serving (3.5% sucrose reduction). Conclusion – Sub-threshold concentrations of caffeine suppress sweetness resulting in higher concentrations of sugars in SSB. Excessive consumption of SSB is linked to the obesity epidemic, and we suggest the removal of caffeine and subsequent removal of 137.4 KJ energy will have long term public health benefits.
Conference Website : http://www.nsa.asn.au/conferences/2008/index.php The extract of this paper has been published in : Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol 17, No. 3, 2008.
Field of Research
111199 Nutrition and Dietetics not elsewhere classified
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