Calorie-free or low-calorie sweeteners have become increasingly popular due to new attitudes regarding sugar. We’ve all seen the yellow, pink, and white sugar packets and an array of different sugars in the baking isle, but a new protein may begin to gain popularity as a low calorie sweetener – brazzein. Brazzein is a fruit protein derived from West African fruit, but the reason you don’t hear about it is because the isolation of brazzein is very difficult. There is a new approach, however, that utilizes yeast to over produce specific proteins that are involved in the formation of brazzein. This approach was done by a specific yeast species where 2.6 times more brazzein was produced and, according to a taste panel, the product was over 2000 times sweeter than traditional sugar. This is very useful research for nutritionists, food chemists, biologists and those in the food industry and it is only the beginning of brazzein.
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