Volume 26, April 2014, Pages 155–161
Food biotechnology ⬢ Plant biotechnology
The increasing public awareness of adverse health impacts from excessive sugar consumption has created increasing interest in plant-derived, natural low-calorie or zero-calorie sweeteners. Two plant species which contain natural sweeteners, Stevia rebaudiana and Siraitia grosvenorii, have been extensively profiled to identify molecules with high intensity sweetening properties. However, sweetening ability does not necessarily make a product viable for commercial applications. Some criteria for product success are proposed to identify which targets are likely to be accepted by consumers. Limitations of plant-based production are discussed, and a case is put forward for the necessity of biotechnological production methods such as plant cell culture or microbial fermentation to meet needs for commercial-scale production of natural sweeteners.
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